Gettin’ Some Strange Can Be Strange
By: David ‘Mac’ McAllister
We were preparing for yet another deployment to Westpac since our sister ship in Alameda was once again unable to sail. I was standing on the main deck of this AOE watching stores being loaded on a crisp overcast Bremerton day when it came aboard. I knew that it existed but hadn’t laid an eye on it until now. With slings under the tires it was being lifted off the pier and made the distance from the pier to the ship. A haze grey 1956 Ford Fairlane four door sedan complete with a black waterline painted around its lower quarter and the designator LV-1 placed on each front fender in white highlighted black letters/numerals. It belonged to my division officer.
CWO3 had received accompanied PCS orders to SRF Subic Bay. LV-1 was going to make the trip with us while his wife and HHG would be coming in the normal fashion.
Naturally, CWO3 had been overwhelmed with glee for the past several weeks since receiving these orders. Personally, I thought unaccompanied orders would have been much better since he was married to an ex-Navy Wave that was the model from which the term buffarilla had been coined. Being no prize himself, I always thought that the mating of the two must have resembled hippo wrestling without the benefit of cooling water to conceal it. Seems they had one of those open marriages long before the term was in vogue. He had an eye for anything that moved as long as it wasn’t her and she liked the young and the tender. Many a division get together had been graced with her charm only to culminate in her cutting out the youngest of the tender FA’s present and bulldogging them into a back room to have her way with them. They would always emerge from that experience ruined for life.
We finished up our load out at Bremerton, POL’d at Manchester finally loading ordinance at Bangor. Then on a misty foggy Pacific Northwestern morning we slipped our moors, slid down the Hood Canal into Puget Sound through the straights of Juan De Fuca and out into the raging blue waters of the Pacific. With our bows pointing westward the rugged coastline of the United States dropped off into voids of the eastern horizon. On a great circle route, we sailed ever westward chasing the Earth’s curvature towards what would be our first port call – Subic Bay, RPI. Here we would top off on Avgas and leave CWO3 and LV-1 behind before setting off for unrep ops in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin.
Underway one morning as CWO3 dropped into the reefer shop for his ritualistic morning update and cup of Black Gang, he sat there in stoic silence listening as I gave him the skinny. I could tell he was ruminating and about to pontificate by the slow and measured fluttering of his eyelids. He always did that when he was about to bless us with something he thought to be profound. Squirming his little fat ass around on the work bench he came to full height and said “Mac, I been thinking, there’s allot of strange (his common reference to Pussy gotten outside the limitations of marriage) there in Subic. Believe I’m going to hire a live in maid, you know to sort of help out the wife around the house with the cooking and cleaning. I could probably find one that would be willing to put a little strange on me, if you get my drift. This way I can have my strange at home and never have to be out of sight and cast suspicion upon myself. I mean, you know how nosey neighbors can be and all”. All I could do was look at him and think to myself ‘Right!’
Upon arrival LV-1, packed with all of CWO3’s worldly possessions, was off loaded. Presently CWO3 lumbered down the brow with one of those oh so familiar manila envelopes containing his records and orders, hoisted his mushroom shaped continence into LV-1 fired it up and in a cloud of blue smoke departed down the pier. That was the last I seen of him until we returned 60 days later.
After countless unreps and conreps of bullets, beans and black oil, we returned to Subic for maintenance and to replenish our inventories. Walking into shop 38 to check on a job’s status I ran smack dab into CWO3. He had to give me the skinny on all his latest strange; but most importantly was his acquisition of a so called “Regulation Three Hole’r” from the Barrio and her subsequent employment as a live in maid in his base housing abode. Said that he was expecting Mrs. CWO3 within the week; however, already had the maid in place, cooking, cleaning and providing some strange. Needless to say, he was overjoyed with how well things were working out thus far. We parted ways at the door to shop 38, he off to who knows where and me off to the Chuck Wagon for a beer and Cheese Burger.
After another five weeks out we found ourselves once again in Subic for a little R&R, maintenance and replenishment. Ashore one afternoon, I walked into the Hole in the Wall, a little go down joint just across the bridge over Shit River, and ordered a beer. Climbing onto a rickety bar stool, when the frosty beer arrived I checked the bottle, wiped the neck and popped the top with my finger. After a long pull of the near freezing contents, I looked around surveyed the place. To my surprise in the back at a table talkin’ shit to one of the girls was CWO3. Catching his eye, he motioned me over. Knowing then that nothing serious was going on, I eased on over for a chat. Naturally, I had to be updated on all his latest strange. When I asked how the maid deal was working out for him his only reply was “Bitches”. A couple more beers were ordered and after a couple of pulls on them through misty eyes he tells me the sad tale.
Seems Mrs. CWO3, after settling into her new home complete with live in maid, got her ear to the ground regarding the hot and cold version of the maid’s extracurricular activities, bringing it to a halt. Now then in retrospect, Mrs. CWO3 begins to take a shine to the maid and the maid to her and a sort of trusting bond forms. So, CWO3, thinking this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, sets out to renew his former relationship with the maid. On tiptoes late one night he steals into the maid’s darkened room to resume his clandestine nocturnal activities. He lifts the sheets and slides into her bed only to find his wife already there in the arms of the maid making mad passionate lesbian love. Not necessarily miffed by all this going on, old CWO3 decides to join in the festivities. Neither the maid nor Mrs.CWO3 were willing to share any of their new found fondness for each other with him and proceeded to inflict bodily injury upon his person to the tune of both eyes being blackened on either side of a severely disjointed nose. Said he had to practically run for his life out of his own house as the enraged lovers commenced to throw anything that wasn’t nailed down at him.
Well, I sat there bewildered and yet amused at the tale while trying my best to pretend to be both sympathetic and shocked through tears of suppressed laughter. CWO3 in a most sincere and depressed tone looks at me and says “Goddammit Mac, I do all the leg work, pay a permanent bar fine, get the mother fucker registered on the base, provide her a salary and now the fuckin’ old lady is getting my strange! But that ain’t what really pisses me off, what really chaps my ass is that when they aren’t diddlin’ one another their ridin’ all over the base in my LV-1 and I’m a foot!” To that I said “Well you still got the Barrio shipmate; let the pigs eat slop there are steak dinners waiting out there.” To this he smiled, bought another round of beer to go and we caught a jeepney for Subic City with Marilyn’s on our minds.
David “Mac” McAllister a native of California, now resides in the Ozark Mountains of Southwest Mo. Having served in Asia for the majority of his 24-year Navy career, he now divides his time as an over the road trucker, volunteer for local veteran repatriation events and as an Asia Sailor Westpac’rs Association board member and reunion coordinator. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about his experiences in Westpac and sharing them online with his Shipmates.