Monday, April 17, 2017

'Sharing Yarns'

Sea Stories hold a special place in the chronicles of sea going vernacular unique to those who experienced voyaging the seven seas around the world! Some might call it a bunch of Bullshit but what needs to be realized is that Bullshit is the ‘Play Dough’ that Sea Stories are made of!! The telling of sea stories is a cultured skill created in places like back room bars and taverns as well as fantails and pier sides where Crackerjacks like to hangout and loiter!!!

Now, every so often someone sends me a no-shitter that really tickles my funny bone! Reading what you all have experienced can be just as fun as threading my own yarns!! These stories are a God given gift to old Crackerjacks to keep them smiling as their bellies get fat, their heads grow gray & bald and forgive me for saying it… when their tally whackers shrivel up and become useless!! The memories are a mental form of Viagra for their oxidized old souls!!!

Here’s one from a fella reminiscing about shore patrol in Naples Italy sometime in the early Seventies I believe…

I had a funny experience in Naples once when I was on Shore Patrol…

IIRC, they made the alleys above Via Roma off limits sometime around the mid-seventies! We had to patrol up in that area to make sure nobody was trying to go in there!! It was one of them places you don’t want to be caught messing around in if you know what I mean!!!

One night when I was on Shore Patrol, me and a First Class named Cook who had the nickname ‘Cookieman,’ who also happened to be my boss and probably twenty years my senior, got chased by an irate transvestite!  He kind of looked like Alice Cooper with a big black raincoat stumbling towards us shouting something in Italian brandishing a knife above his head!! The Tranny’s peter was hanging out of the black raincoat like an open pea-coat sleeve!! If it weren’t for the five-o’clock shadow and the peter hanging out I would’ve thought it purtier than a mess of fried catfish!!!

As I was standing there gaping at this sight, Cookieman turned and ran, so I turned and ran too! We ran for a block or two cracking up laughing along the way, then stopped to catch our breath! While we were standing there, ‘Cookieman’ was bent over with his hands on his knees, panting, and looking up at me with a big grin and said…

"She looked like Grandma but talked like Grandpa...!"

I laugh at that to this day...!

We sure can't send you on anymore good will trips in the Med, Cookie...!

Yep… Places in our Rolodex memory banks that we choose to never forget! Places where a Crackerjack can park his butt and share fellowship and sea stories with fellow practitioners of the nautical arts!! If you got a good one, share it… I’ll be happy to help write it!!!

1 comment:

  1. Same area of Naples , 1971 SS490 on the long concrete pier and liberty call. Was given SP with another decked out in crackerjack due to our pistol packin status. Things went well until the kids showed up. A mess of them. Just kind of thing around , walked with us. Then they started coming closer and we tried to get them to scram. Protecting the sidearm was our main concern. Little hands grabbing and pulling. Restrained ourselves from whacking them as we did not want an international incident. They eventually left and we returned to the boat. Later my partner noticed his watch was gone.
    Good times.