In an earlier yarn I’d written the details how every division, department & ship had its own adornment known as the Shitbird! On the ‘Baglady’ of course we had our own!! There was a fella named Morrison who was 2nd Division’s own inclusion of flightless poultry!!
Now Morrison was one of a kind to say the least! To some he was referred to as the Pizza Boy as his face looked like a red moon pocked with craters!! He could have donated his face to science fiction… with his big coke bottle glasses larger than life!!!
Morrison took a lot of ribbing… once a shipmate woke him up just to tell him how ugly he was! But it never bothered him!! Only fella on board uglier than him was a Second Class Bos’n Mate who looked like Freddy Kruger… scar face and all!!!
But that was Morrison! He had a level of conscious immunity that made him impermeable to snake bite venom!! Perfectly content to look like a leper, he wasn’t going to apologize for his looks!! I got to give him kudos as he exuberated self-assurance for no gauddamned apparent reason at all!!!
But what made ol’ Morrison the ‘Divisional Shitbird’ was how chaos always seemed to follow not far behind! The young fella had just checked onboard and decided to ride his motorcycle alone down south to you guessed it, Tijuana!! His most prized possession, a most thunderous of motorized codpieces, obviously didn’t make it on his track back this side of the boarder!!!
I mean what could go wrong?!? How in all likelihood could he expect his bike to get vandalized or stolen??? Instead of reading the sign that said…
‘Stop Here, Do Not Proceed’
… all he saw was…
‘Hola Y Bienvenidos A Mexico!’
After returning from a three day weekend he was all butthurt! His big black bike had been hijacked!! He must be the only fella I know who could go to Tijuana on his V-Twin and not expect it to get ripped off!!!
Then he had to face the infernal and irremediable of new shipmates when he got back!
“What a Dumbass!”
“You’re lucky you didn’t get shanghaied or dragged in a dark alley and ass raped by a bunch of Mexican Banditos!”
What a first impression to the new clubhouse… hiking back broke with no transportation! He said he’d contacted the Mexican authorities… but neglected to tell them he was a US Navy Crackerjack!! I suppose he realized he was in no position as a lone gringo to ask too many probing questions that might get him locked up in the worst place imaginable, with Juan ‘The Revolver’ Reynaldo in the Mexican Slammer!!!
“I’m in the US Navy!”
“Okay... You know what? Sixteen days in jail, or One Hundred American Dineros!”
… yeah, he would’a been somebody’s bitch real quick like!!!
But Morrison didn’t care much for good advice as he’d been in the fleet well over a month sport’n his new-fangled photography camera… probably picked up from one of them two bit camera salesmen they warned us about in Great Mistakes! He was one of them ‘know-it-all types relentlessly reminding everyone within earshot just how smart he was!! He managed a quick fix during a gun shoot with, I kid you not, chewing gum foil to get us through a gun shoot if memory serves me proper!! Dumb kind of McGyver luck if you ask me, always a mixed bag of overconfidence and horse pucky!!!
Then there was his moment of dramatic flair during night flight ops while perched on top of the helo hangar with that newly fandangled camera of his! While the ship was busy positioning itself just right and the helo was coming in for a landing, the pilot delayed his touchdown and reported that someone was strobing the cockpit from atop the helo hangar!! The pilot stated they were temporarily blinded and disoriented as his helo bounced around in the air as they evacuated to regain good visual for landing!!!
“It was like a disco ball bouncing around inside the cabin!”
… I remember one of the aircrew saying…
“It was one of those situations where it was impossible to focus on the instrument panel in such a crucial moment of control with the glide scope indicator!”
And boy-O-boy was Morrison happier than a pig in shit before the Skipper found him… he thought he’d photo’d prize winning images for the next cruise book… but was he in for a shocker!!!
Needless to say he got quite the ass chewing up and down the ‘COC’ for that little fiasco! That’s the only time I’d ever heard a Skipper call someone a ‘Fucktard’!! I figure he just forgot where he was at and what he was doing… kind’a like walking into the lady’s room at the bar by accident… you didn’t mean anything by it… just weren’t pay’n attention I figure!!!
Yeah, I suppose he did ponder the unfairness of life, a phenomenon that always takes us by surprise as a young’n, but he didn’t stay down for long! When 2nd Division got called up to send the next available bastard down to the galley for Mess Crank duty, Morrison was the obvious choice!! Now realizing he had a face full of acne oozing oily red and angry… it didn’t take long for a silly ass medical waiver to cross Chief’s desk and force him to find someone else to take his place!
“We need you to send someone down with less volcanic lava weeping from their pores!”
The fella’s acne was like a red traffic light that never changed colors… just red, red, and redder! I swear if I had a dog as ugly as him I’d shave its butt and make it walk backwards!! And you guessed it… I got to go in his stead!! In hindsight it weren’t so bad… I only had to serve the rest of his sentence which amounted to three weeks off… but there was hell to pay mess crank’n in the PI and all that humidity, San Migoo & Pussy too!! Makes showing up at 0430 hours in the morn pretty gauddarned harsh!!!
Then there was that time I was downtown with Luke, Pat & Morrison! Luke worked in the ship’s office and Pat was the resident electrician onboard!! They were all in the ship’s band… Morrison was a pretty good Guitar player I have to admit!! We’d hangout together in different parts of town… Patrick’s, Billy Bones in Pacific Beach, The Kasbah down by the airport!!!
On this particular night we all met up at a place called Hot Rocks, a retro fifties bar across from Horton Plaza, while swapping sea stories and lies... or something that didn’t equal the truth! As it was I suppose it was just a part of life!! You see, reality and prison have one thing in common, those who can escape… often do!!!
So there we were acting the typical Crackerjack Sailor types we were making lewd comments to anyone who would listen and trying out all the cheesy pick-up lines! Then in walked a perfect group of cougar like MILFs!! Yeah, I don’t hear none of you reading these tales calling yourselves Squidly-Do-Right!! You know what a MILF is!!!
So there we were in our unremitting ooze of idiocy where everything that could go wrong did…
“Check her out! How’d you like to wake up next to that in the morning?”
“I’ll bet I can get one of those gals to take me home!”
“Yeah, in your dreams!”
… Luke shoots first, Strike One! I go next, Strike Two! Pat shouts out his best one liner, Out for the count!! Fortunately we Crackerjacks are never the jerks, dickheads, drunks, womanizers, or stupid bastards when dealing with the more elegant types!! Full of dangerous hormones the notion we evolved from monkeys and apes gains credibility… yet I’d expect it wasn’t a large leap forward for mankind!!!
“But hey, what about Morrison?”
“I got this fellas… no problem!”
“Yeah right, you’re as ugly as the top end of a buffalo… they ain’t gonna be interested in you!”
“Watch and learn…!”
Morrison couldn’t give a rats ass… he walked right up and laid it on the line! To this day I don’t know what sweet nothings he whispered in one of the ladies ears, I’m sure…
“I’m Horny how about you!”
… wasn’t what got her attention! Whatever it was she wasn’t opposed to him! And whatever it was it got our attention as he was the ugliest son-of-a-bitch in the bar, yet he had the most game!! He lit up a cigarette and continued to butter her muffin!! The next thing we knew, the kid was going home with the lady!!!
Apparently they drove to a motel and he came back the next day with one hell of a story to tell!
“Yep… she’s somewhat like a Westpac Widow but not really!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Her husband is a Commander who works at Balboa Hospital and he’s always gone and never gives her the attention she needs… so I’m her boy toy until we leave on deployment!”
"So you hooked yourself an Officer’s Wife… be careful of that shit!”
“Don’t worry, her husband will never find out!”
That son-of-a-bitch really did it… and he was so damned full of himself! Hell who could blame him… a real hottie who bent over the first night for him!! I have to admit I never thought he had it in him!!!
His little love affair went on all summer before we got underway! Finally just before leaving they gave their goodbyes!! But not before she left him with one hell of a going away present!!!
The son-of-a-bitch rolled up on the Quay wall with one hell of a nice shiny Harley Davidson Motorcycle! Obviously everyone wondered how a young Third Class Petty Officer could afford such a thing!!
"Things were looking up between her and her husband and this is how she said goodbye!”
Ain’t that some shit!?! One of the ugliest bastards on the planet and he gets the girl and the treasures to go with it!!!
Over the years we bumped into one another here and there and downed suds with many the same idiots, derelicts, and madmen… but Morrison was a story in his own right! I learned a valuable lesson through it all… you can’t always judge a book by its cover!! And I gained a whole new kind of respect for the ugly sumbitch realizing confidence trumps all else on the surface… with confidence you can just about conquer all!!!