Friday, March 28, 2014

'Butterply Boy'

Most of us recognize the scent of horse pucky when we’re near it… and as far as I can tell, anyone who ain’t a Crackerjack Sailor usually has the contrived notion that a Sea Story ain’t noth’n but a pile of manure… like a fish’n story… you’d better get your weighters on because it’s gett’n deep!! Ya’ just had to have been there to even believe it!!!

Well, this one comes from The Preacher… the one and only Keeper of the Ancient & Majestic Order of Shit River & Guardian of the chilled San Migoo, Owyn Bradford!  How did he get the nickname preacher you ask?!? 

“I was in a bar in Yoko back in the day, went to the Benjo-San, and found a nekkit girlie mag on the deck! As my happy ass was stepp’n out I fell over landing on my knees and shuffled my ass all the way to the bar stool… All the while my Chief was watch’n and yelled out…’Look at Bradford on his knees with the Good Book! His name is Preacher now!’… And so it was for the next nine years!!!”

If that ain’t a no shitter then I’ll be damned!  And here is the rest of the story…


Now shipmates this ain’t no SHIT! Late in the fall of   66’ we found ourselves off the gun line, enjoying libs in dear old Olongapo City, aka ‘Sailors’ Disneyland!!’ Now you know the bar girls always bade us not to be ‘butterply boys’… you set up with a girl and you’re not expected to do the horizontal mambo with anyone else!!!
My base of operations was the Tri-V Club, about halfway down on the right hand side! Mila was my …ahem… special friend!! But one night I thought I’d see what was going on elsewhere in town so I dropped in to New Pauline’s and had, well, an interesting evening!! I vaguely recalled getting a hickey or two in the process!!!
On the way back to the ship, I thought I’d have a beer at the Tri-V, get three sticks of monkey meat and then call it a night! Sooooo I sauntered in to the Tri-V, plopped down, and asked for a San Migoo!! No sooner had I taken my second swig than Mila appeared and sat down!! Pleasantries exchanged, she suddenly snapped…

“What thiis?!?”

… and pulled my trop white shirt to one side – to reveal a line of hickeys from earlobe to shoulder, kinda sorta like a red drippy epaulet!!!

Before I could say anything, she picked up an empty beer bottle and broke it on the table edge, and with her other hand pulled out and whirled open about a 29 cm butterfly knife!  Aptly named…
“You summa beech, gonna keel you!”

… she howled, and I grabbed my white hat and sprinted for the door, she hard on my heels. Down Magsaysay Drive I ran, with screams and yells not far behind!! As I neared the guard shack, I fumbled for my back pocket!!!

 “Fuck the ID, buddy!”

… shouted the Marine guard…

“She’s gaining on you!”

Redoubling my efforts, I skidded past the shack just as the (thrown) half bottle smashed to twinkling shards against one of the columns holding the shelter up! Mila stormed off muttering as I hauled out my DD2N and displayed it!!

“Whoo, pal, musta been good libs!”

… commented the gyrene...

“Anytime you come back just ahead of a blade and a broken bottle you KNOW you had a helluva time!”

I panted… And thus endeth the reading of the morning lesson…


I always loved stories like these… as there's no sense in looking back at could’a, should’a, would’a… as you know, I wouldn’t change a gauddamned thing! And I’d always revered the accounts of the ol’ salty dogs who’d came before me with stories depicted in iniquity!! It's as if destiny was a giant porch light & I was the junebug a buzz’n around it in the middle of the night!! In fact I can sit around on a hot humid rainy day & reminisce with an ice cold San Migoo and lose myself, what a ride it was... What a ride it was!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Okay, here goes... I feel like a fella who’s soaked in DFM while sparking the flint on one of them there ship store bought Navy Zippos! At the moment when things just start to look pretty dog-gone good, here I go jump’n in the chicken coup ruffl’n feathers & causing a shit storm!! Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls and Children of All Ages… here’s a simple tale of bullshit laden, contrived gobbledygook stitched together to jumpstart a few smiles!!!

I’d just got done talk’n to an ol’ shipmate the other day who I watched grow up from Seaman to Master Chief over the years and we got to shoot’n the shit about sea stories…

“Alright you big dumb two star… I’m tinkering with a few idears for another glorified Sea Story & I specifically remember you gett’n all bamboozled by a forklift or someth’n or rather in the cargo handling area… you got any details you could spare me?!?”

Now if you knew this fella the way I did you’d realize the quantity of service stripes on his sleeve were inversely proportional to the amount of brain cells left in his nogg’n!! When we served together on the ol’ Rainier, this here fella couldn’t find his ass with two hands and a bloodhound in a locked fan room… how the hell he ever became a Master Chief I’ll never know!!!

But Hey, nobody said you had to have the IQ of Albert Einstein to be a Gunners Mate! As the ol’ saying goes… A Gunners mate ain’t nothing but a Boatswains Mate with a Hunt’n License! At one point that unsalvageable bastard had a foul weather jacket that looked like a grease gun blew up on it and he had the vocabulary to match… Grab ass, nonsense and horseplay was the Pride of such a young Gunners Mate other than shoot’n air bunnies out his ass… or talk’n about bashing the bishop in strange places if you know what I mean!! When it came to being worth a shit… he was about as useful as a screen door on a submarine!!!

Yeah, he was slightly brain damaged by the time he showed up on the front door steps of the PreComm unit N°.7 from the ol’ Great Mistakes Gun School... he’d been slightly abused, was one step above Cromagnum… with a predisposition to become a Chief already having that curl in his index finger from all them too many beer mugs, it made a great fit for a Chief’s coffee mug!!

… As ol’ Master Chief Gurley could tell it best…

“Remind me to tell you about the 2000 pounders I nearly dropped that caused that incident your speaking of!”

… I think ol’ Gurley was try’n to impersonate ‘Don Quixote of La Mancha’ try’n to lance the ship’s gunner to one of them there heavy stanchions at the end of the cargo hold…

“The fork truck is only employed as justification for grown men to run the living hell out of each other... When we make it to the other end of the cargo hold, we score a goal or whatever you wanna call it!! Then Gunner Williamson and the EOD Chief will show up like two Dodge City sheriffs making a two gun draw!! The safety observers will be like refs only call’n penalties if small arms are involved or if a shipmate loses a limb!! Dogg’n Wrenches, Crowbars, DC Axes & other reflash tools pilfered from the DC locker are acceptable substitutes for hockey sticks & football bats!! Onlookers, Lolligaggers, & Skylarkers are allowed to bash each other while dodging fork trucks to keep the causualty figures high and safety numbers low for the next current SITREP… number of maimed… drunks with concussions... ears bitten off.... and folks with broken fingers & toes!!  We’ll have to call in the marines to stop this shit… GAME ON!!!”

… he had a whole bunch of years before he had to worry about getting right with his maker and with the way things were going, he just assumed he’d live forever…

“It was a hot day as we were slogging around in obscene heat, wearing flak jackets and basting in our own sweat, heavy web gear, hauling bombs and ammo, water to guard against dehydration, eating stuff you wouldn’t feed your dog... and did I mention it was hotter than a festered titty in a wool bra!?!”

… I could tell this story was going soft brown on us real quick…

“After a long deserved brake of suck’n down the pop and gett’n wrapped around a bunch’a grab ass’n while relaxing for a few on the fantail with some buddies to the tune of a dirty ol’ nekkit girly magazine…”

… Yeah, this was coming from a vertically-fornicated mind…

“I jumped on one of them fork trucks haul’n 2000lb bombs, two per pallet, driving like a Mario Andretti accelerating in circles around the cargo hold on the main deck when the nose of one of them there bombs hit a fork truck guard circling around into the handling area… about that time the banding snapped and one of them bombs went a roll’n off the pallet and down the handling area…”

… And the ‘OOOH SHIT’ factor plays into the equation…

“… The Bos’n and a young deck seaman were in the area and started Yelp’n and Holler’n and Runn’n like hell…”

… Like there was anywhere to run… right?

“The EOD was called up and I got an ass chewing from the BMC(EOD) and Gunner Williamson who wanted to rip my gizzard out through the nose with his bare hands and eventually grounded me to the hold level magazines for the rest of the upload with the ‘Shitty Kitty!”

… And I could only imagine what was going down on the Kitty Hawk as someone yelled ‘FIRE IN THE HOLE’ and the whole gauddamned place probably looked like an ICBM was just launched into orbit!!!

I guess at the time Master Chief Gurley hadn’t read his OP4 & OP5 about the 500 pound bomb drop off a forklift in Port Chicago out of Concord, CA back around 68’! There still pick’n off the pieces of DNA from that poor fella in the local township!!!

Yeah, he was about as slick as snot on a doorknob with too many jokers & not enough aces in that there deck back in his Seaman days! With all the antics & shenanigans that fella pulled… it’s a wonder he wasn’t put on restriction riding handcuffed to the seat half nekkit in a Shore Patrol paddy wagon most of his career!! Hell… Gunner Williamson considered replacing him with a battery operated mechanical monkey!!!

Years later our paths crossed once again as he showed up at my mess as a ‘Chief Select’ with much need and anticipation for training and good mentorship… and a jolly green charge book to go with it! Long forgotten memories began to parade across the reverse side of my eyeballs as I recalled the only clumsy son-of-a-bitch that I knew who could figure a way to trip over a cordless phone!! Whoever would’ve known there’d be a slight chance in hell that the perpetrator of such Barnum & Bailey sized acts of circus clowning would someday be a gauddamned Master Chief!!!

I told him that retirement is grand and how I’m enjoying sitt’n on my ass and turning into a crotchety ol’ coot! I imagine him sitt’n on his front porch in a rickety old wooden rocking chair with ten other long bearded whiskey swill’n hill billies somewhere near a rural Eastern Kentucky distillery drinking the ‘Lighting’ and near 200 proof ‘Shine’ from up there in them hills…

“But I love my job…”

… He says…

“I just hate to work!”

I figure a retired Gunner Williamson will be drop’n off some bomblets on that ol’ front door step so’s he can overthrow the Kremlin… that’s if he doesn’t throw out his back and get a hernia from try’n to pick the bastards up over his shoulder!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

‘Electronic Magic’

I’m thread’n another yarn but I’ve been busy lately so I figured I’d lace a good story through from a shipmate by the name of Joe DiPietro that goes way back on the USS Chicago CG11 sometime in the 1970’s… It goes a lil’ someth’n like this…

We were sitting around the Forward ET Shop, our feet up on the work benches, telling jokes and trying to figure out new ways to torture the Chief, when the phone rang. It was RM1 Zamora in Main Comm, and he was frantic. They were minutes away from the start of an important communications drill when suddenly a whole bank of radio equipment failed! I was the junior ET3 of the group, so the shop supervisor told me to go see what was up.
With a screwdriver and a few spare fuses in my pocket, I took off. At the door on the ‘O6 I punched in the combination and entered…pandemonium. There were RMs and Zeros bustling about, teletype printers banging away and facsimile machines zipping their pens to and fro. This was normal of course, Main Comm was always pandemonium. I worked my way into the back and among the di-dah’s of Morse and the bleeps of Baudot I found RM1 Zamora.
Zamora spotted me and, without removing the telephone from his ear, pointed towards the wall of radio receivers and RTTY demodulators. "Fix it" he commanded. "OK" I said, and strolled over to the indicated equipment. Sure enough an entire column of equipment, floor to ceiling (oops, I mean deck to overhead), was dead. Well this was a no-brainer for a budding young rocket-scientist like me! I looked down at the air-filter panel on the bottom of the rack and noticed the master switch was turned off. Kicked off, I speculated, by a clumsy RM3.
I decided to have some fun, so I waited until I was sure Zamora was watching. I slowly walked up to the equipment, laid the palms of my hands gently on its face, leaned my head back, closed my eyes and loudly wailed,
And I kicked the damned main switch back on with my steel toe and…
the fans started blowing, panels lit up, lights started flashing, needles started swinging against their meter faces… and Zamora’s jaw dropped. He’d been had. He knew he’d been had, but he couldn’t see how. I quickly slipped out, an insufferably smug look on my face, before he could figure out what I did.
Later, I got the standard lecture from ET1 Candage, about how I should not intentionally embarrass first class petty officers. But I was too young to pay much heed.
Ahhhh… we mock the thing we are to be!
… When I read this I couldn’t help thinking of Morical… Nagel… or Carpenter pull’n this on RM1 Dunn back in the day on the ol’ Rainier!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

'Golden Urinal'

A young sailor comes to Quarters reeking of alcohol from the night before! He lurches through the ranks and is met by his scowling Chief, who is most definitely not happy.

"What the hell were you drink’n last night… you smell like a gauddamn brewery!”

"At this new bar!"

…he says…

"The Golden Saloon.  Everything there is golden. It's got huge golden doors, a golden floor and even the urinal's are gold!"

The Chief just doesn't believe his story, and the next day decides to check this place out! He looks in the phone book, finding a place across town called the Golden Saloon. He calls up the place to check the young sailor’s story.

"Is this the Golden Saloon?"

… the Chief asks when the bartender answers the phone.

"Yes it is,"

…bartender answers.

"Do you have huge golden doors?"

"Sure do."

"Do you have golden floors?"

"Most certainly do."

"What about golden urinals?"

There's a long pause… then the Chief hears the bartender yelling…

"Hey, Duke, I think I got a lead on the guy that pissed in your saxophone last night!"

Friday, March 7, 2014

Old Retired Sailor & Marine Hillbilly Types

There were two old retired servicemen living in the backwoods of the Ozarks... Redd, an old ol’ Gunny from the Marine Corp, and Clarence, a worn out ol’ Navy Chief Boatswain mate. They lived on opposite sides of the river, and they hated each other. Every morning, just after sun-up, Redd and Clarence would go down to their respective sides of the river and yell at each other…

"Redd!!" Clarence would shout. "You better thank yor lucky stars I cain't I'd swim this damned river and whoopp your ass!!" 

"Clarence!!!" Redd would holler back. "You better thank YOUR lucky stars that I cain't I'd swim this river and knock your head off!!!" 

This happened every morning for twenty years. One day the Army Corps of Engineers comes along and built a bridge. Still, every morning, every day for another five years this yelling across the river goes on, even with the bridge. 

Finally... Mrs. Redd had had enough. "Redd!" she squallers one day. "I cain't take no more!! Ever day for 25 years you've been threatenin' to whoop Clarence. Well, there's the bridge...have at it." 

Redd thought for a moment. Chewed his bottom lip for another moment…

 "Woman!" he declared, snapping his suspenders into place, "I'm gonna cross that thar bridge and I'm gonna whoop Clarence's butt!!!"

He walked out the door, down to the river, along the riverbank, came to the bridge, stepped up onto the bridge, walked about halfway over the bridge, looked up... 


"Redd!" cried to the misses. "I thought you wuz gonna whoop Clarence's butt!!!" 

"I was, woman, I was!!" he whispered. 

"Redd!" cried the misses. "What in tarnation is the matter?" 

"Well," muttered the terror-stricken Redd, " I went to the bridge... I stepped up on the bridge...walked halfway over the bridge... looked up..." 

"And?" asked Mrs. Redd, breathless with suspense. 

"And," continued Redd, "I saw a sign that said "Clearance, 13 feet, 6 inches" he ain't never looked that big from the other side of the river!!! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

'Batmans Deja 'Vu'

I have no idea if this is true...a handcrafted myth....fabricated artificial horse manure or what, but there’s an urban legend about a young Crackerjack soliciting a prostitute or bar room floozy when he goes to one of them rent by the hour roach motels and she somehow entices him to let her tie him up to the bed face down!  After stealing his clothes & wallet, a big black man, in reference to his 12-inch mamba, dressed in a cape & batman outfit jumps out the closet and butt rapes the poor fella… leaving him hopelessly nekkit and bleeding requiring some thirty bazillion stitches to the anus, in some versions… a bad case of the HIV!!!

I know… I know… how I would love to know the odds of that’d have to be astronomical… but I'd be lying if I said the idea didn't scare the living shit outta me!!!
Now somewhere in the early years of my first memories on the Chucky ‘V’ we were dry docked in Bremerton, WA and a few of us low level bottom feeders had been sequestered to give the ol’ Canoe Club a good name working volunteer stuff at the Seattle Seafair! While shacking up at the old Sand Point Naval Base we’d work hard putting up bleachers by day and head downtown Seattle to party at night!! One of the rapscallions I was hang’n with thought it a good idea to check out the Dejavu A-go-go near Pike Place Market!!

Now I gotta tell you…

I loved go-go bars… I mean I really loved them… so much I could probably write a book about lap dances all in one novel!! I’d patronized go-go bars that have since succumbed to the wrecking ball... I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Naval Institute of Pornographic Women Watchers! There was a time I could tell you the best strip joints from Vancouver BC to the southernmost tip of Baja Mexico!! It is a thankless, rarely appreciated job hang’n out in seedy titty bars!!!

With that being said, the strip club is an iniquitous collection of attractive women with big beautiful twin peaks!   This would lend credence to the large abundance of nudie magazines you’d find onboard one of them naval vessels!! Once a hefty cover charge was paid, we went inside as they showed us to a round booth where the ladies could drop their undies for an unspecified amount of cash, in advance… we’re talk’n about the potential to drop two or three weeks pay in five or six hours!! Since this joint did not serve alcohol they could do that sort’a thing and I remember being damned sober so it doesn’t escape my perceptual vision at all what so ever no sir…

And there she was… the dancer with the world class bust! Let me tell you, this naughty vixen had a pair on par with the Seven Wonders of the World!! Now there’s only five ‘cause the two she was carry’n around bumped off the other two!! No genuinely certified gal could possibly be built like that… sublimely fashioned & perfectly round & lifted… not without the surgical enhancement of a cosmetic surgeon!!!

She was one hell of a vision of loveliness with those Mobius Titanicus Tatas! Play’n motorboat with them buoys might of put you in the emergency room with a cardiac arrest!! As Christopher Walken would say…

“She’s about yay taaall… fairly easy… on the eyes!”

Now I’m here to tell you that mama didn’t raise no fool… and unless your wealthy, in a Rock-n-Roll Band, or a famous name in the motion picture business… there’s no way in the deepest levels of hell I was gonna get lucky with this gal… unless I had a rather large quantity of cocaine… but that was out of the question! But somehow we struck up a conversation and I got the story of how she just started as a dancer & she just broke up with her ex-boyfriend who was a marine and… ‘Walla’… that was my in!! Being a Crackerjack sailor… and marines just love to hate us sailor types… I figured I could use that as an angle and… it worked like a champ!!!

Before the night was over I got my ‘for a good time’ girl’s phone number written on one of them cocktail napkins and we were set for a date! Now being new to the area and living on enough dinero to barely scrape by, I didn’t own a car so she had to be my ride… how unfortunate… but she didn’t seem to mind as we rode up into somewhere known as the Capital Hill area!!

We headed into this joint she frequented and said I’d have fun in this here place… as we walked in she picked a couple stools at the bar and nothing seemed outta the ordinary at first… nothing to be too concerned about… other than the men’s head was so packed fellas were gett’n pressed up against the urinals… or the typical inconspicuous signs of male bonding…

“Wait a minute… why aren’t there any women in here?”

I started noticing how all the patrons were either alone or with another male friend… and I started to feel like I was having one of them ‘Blue Oyster Bar’ Police Academy moments!! I didn’t see any frolicking fairies in Speedos or any really light in the loafers type of fellas… but I just assumed that walking into a gay bar it’d be filled with a bunch’a Village People look alikes!!!

Then a big fella in a leather jacket with an earring in his nose sat next to me…

“Don’t sit next to me... Don’t sit next to me… Don’t sit next to me… OOOH shit he’s sitt’n next to me!!!”

Then I realized… this ain’t no biker dressed in leather and this ain’t no regular bar… it’s a sausage fest!! And in a Sudden and flustered voice…

“There's something wrong here...Wait a minute… Everyone in here's a dude! I think we're in a gay club!"

She looked at me with a smirk on her face…

“So… you got a problem with that?”

I think she got her kicks out of watching me squirm while figuring it out! I should’ve reckoned as much… most of these stripper gals could probably be institutionalized for their varying degrees of craziness! She’d already told me how she was sexually abused as a child and had a few bisexual flings!! She was a jaded beauty who probably got off on watching a domesticated animal such as myself get introduced to the wildlife she was accustomed too!! It just didn’t sit well being in a place where everybody knows your ‘flame’… and feeling at risk of turning up as a majorette in the Seattle Gay Pride Parade I pleaded with her  to get us the hell outta there!!!

She found the whole scenario pretty gauddamned amusing cracking on me all the way to her apartment when she stopped and asked if I’d like to come in for a nightcap!! All the sudden I had visions of the Batman scenario twisting around in my head!!

“Thought you were smart
Bought you a heart
Then came Batman through the dark
Instead of fucking that stupid slut
You got twelve Inches up your butt

Batman!  Batman!
Batman!  Batman!

Saw Batman the butt ripper
I’ll rip your butt like a can opener
Batman the butt ripper
I’ll use your butt like a can opener man!”

So I politely declined and told her how I had to get back to the base for a 0400 hours reveille! All be damned… you see what I just did there?!? I Cockblocked myself!! How many of you sons-a-bitches ever do that… because of an urban legend even?!? Imagine if I’d went in with her that night… that could’ve been  a story my Daddy would’ve been proud of!!!

Hell after my Lola Moment from another story I think I would’ve Gone into seclusion…  painting myself all up with radar absorption paint...and hiding out in a cave somewhere in Katmandu... always looking for love in all the wrong places!!  I would’ve hated to be sexually converted and end up the seventh member of the village people!! Ignorance is bliss when you’re Twenty-young years old!!!

Of course the boys back in the barracks got an earful of my sexcapades and how we did the horizontal mambo on her kitchen floor… what else was I gonna tell the trash talk’n world class pain in the ass sons-a-bitches who revile in giving you a hard time!! That’s when I realized I  needed to tighten my screws and learn the rudimentary elements of compliance in good morality and discipline… aaaaw shit, who am I kidd’n?!? Ya’ll know me better than that… shiiiiiaaattt!!!

And just to think… I almost named this lil’ yarn how not to Cockblock yourself!!!