The day a ravenous little ‘LBFM’ almost ate me alive in Subic was a hot and humid one with an unyielding sun hanging over sky just as it was ready to drop over the hills! It was 1989 and I'd squished up into a jeepney from Olongapo down the road!! A shipmate, I think he was a Monkey’s Mate or a Sparky of some sort, suggested we grab a cold one up the hill at a girly bar he knew!!!
Cold anything worked for me, though I only went to girly bars to read the articles! The brew and view, which was on a densely trafficked main vein through town! The place was a certifiable meat house that could have been USDA certified!! A purple jukebox played on in the corner about ‘Mommas not letting their Babies grow up to be Cowboys’ or how ‘All my Ex’s Live In Texas!!!’
The place was crawling with Jar Heads & Squids all in their best cowboy getups! They were a bunch of broad-shouldered, Stetson wearing Texan look’n sons-a-bitches up in there!! And they were all hoot’n & holler’n and swigg’n cold ones while shoot’n no-shitters at each other while telling lies!! Yeah, it was a typical Sailor hangout… your average Squid Row in the PI!!!
Pretty soon the Mama-san got on the stage, which was six inches high, and said that now the "internationally known exotic mistress" Arial would dance for our entertainment! I think that was her name, though I once knew a bar girl named Julip Rose… you can't be a bargirl in the PI with one of them weird Tagalog names!!!
Anyway, the music started and Arial came out on a broom stick with one of them fake horse heads on it… you know the kind you had as a kid with your lone ranger six shooter, bandit mask & silver badge! It looked like she was going to start some sort of circus act… I was waiting for the clowns and monkeys to show up but they never did!! She wore what appeared to be Saran Wrap for a skirt and one of the coco-nut bras you see in the tropical tourist shops!!!
She wasn't too pretty, but she was pretty near butt nekkit! She did have some appeal!! For a Filipina gal she was voluptuously built but kind of thick in the gut!! She was also on the wrong side of Twenty-five and the make-up didn't hide it!! She drooped where she should have perked, and she just looked tired... the audience didn't like it and the catcalls ensued!!!
What would you expect from a bunch of rowdy Squids & Jarheads!?! They were assholes but not really mean-spirited... just looking for better merchandise!! Thing was, they hadn't paid to see an enactment of the Middle Ages!!!
Yeah, they could have been more gentlemen like! But she was about five years past her prime!! Fact is, Arial seemed to be on the receding end of her career and hadn’t found a Joe to take her to America and buy her ‘Honda!!!’
She grinded and lunged and rubbed on that horse as the catcalls increased! She slunk up under it ramming the end of the stick up her nether region as you could see the pain in her face!! It couldn’t had been fun getting laughed at for her looks when looks were all she had!! On the other hand, there's something to be said for knowing when to quit!!!
She would grind and bounce and hollered things like "Yippy ki Yay Cow Patty" and “High-Ho Silver Away” while pulling cap pistols out and firing them in the air!!!
Suddenly Arial froze... I suppose she thought a Jar Head shot at her... but it was nothing but a light bulb falling from above the stage and exploding!!!
That was all she wrote for the night! She quit the dancing horse routine and called it a night! Ol' Trigger didn’t bring the crowd to their feet like it used too and she just walked off the stage looking all defeated!!!
And then she came back as quick as she left… this time with a cobra! It was about two gauddamned feet of cobra… Black with its hood all flared… cold black eyes that boded nothing good!! It wasn't a happy cobra!!!
There was nothing but a quick second of dead . . . silence! Nobody expected a cobra! Ganges’ Den she called it… I suppose a sign outside averted to the name, as the club we were in was something of that name, but I had not put two & two together and neither did the Squids & Jarheads in company!!!
Arial was suddenly a different woman… sort of goddess-like! She held that death-rope up and peered into its eyes, let it wrap around her neck, and peeled it off!! A confidence had come over her, as though she were somehow in her element!! Then she put the cobra on the stage. It set out toward the audience… apparently it had plans for us!!!
Thirty chairs scraped simultaneously backwards on the floor... Another second and someone in the crowd would have climbed the supporting poles to the roof and hung there like a banana tree! I planned to exit through the nearest wall!! Sure, I knew the beast had been defanged... so did the manly jarheads, probably, anyway!!!
Just before that length of black extinction left the stage, Arial put out her foot and gently pinned its tail…
"Anyone want to hold it?"
… she said softly ...
It was a challenge!
“My turn now!”
… She was saying!!!
Jarheads have their virtues, especially when it comes to liquid courage! One said…
"Sure, I’ll hold it!
You could tell he was going against his better judgment! Then others followed... and soon Arial was surrounded by masculine hunks who had decided she was quite a lady!! I thought somehow of Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence!!!
Turns out she was an act unto her own self! Soon she took the cobra backstage and returned with a boa constrictor! I won't tell you it was ‘Four Hundred’ feet long!! I'll tell you it looked ‘Four Hundred’ feet long!!!
The final act was a tarantula, big hairy ugly tarantula! It was like a black hairy pillow on stilts!! Did I want it to crawl up my arm?!?
But I did… it was a manhood issue! Pity what us young testosterone filled idiots would do in the name of manhood!! She put it on my arm… and poked it so it would crawl!! I knew it was going to bite me and carry me off to feed its young!!!
It could only happen in the Philippines… or maybe Thailand! I don't think it could have happened back home in the states!! Even though that’s where Arial wanted to be!! She wasn’t the prettiest little ‘LBFM’ in the jungle… but she was splendid I tell you!!!
Credit this story to Fred Reed, a retired Vietnam Vet and Journalist! I borrowed his story and retold it in a way only a Canoe Club 'Crackerjack' could tell it... and that ain't no shit!!!