Reasons to Quit Drinking

Reasons to Quit Drinking

By Garland Davis

A lot of people are hanging up their cup these days. You know, turning away from alcoholic beverages. People have many reasons for taking this drastic action including my friend and shipmate that deck ape Marlin Spike Jones.

As an aside, I once asked him what prompted his parents to name him Marlin Spike. He told me that his Mama was a deck ape on a Mississippi steam tug. She told him his daddy was either a Boiler Monkey or what she thought was a Bigfoot that she hooked up with one night after a few drinks.  She named him Marlin Spike because she thought it would prevent him from becoming a Boiler Monkey.


Marlin phoned me last night to tell me of his plans to go dry. Budweiser will probably begin laying off brewers as soon as the news reaches them.

“How long have you been drinking Marlin Spike?” I asked him.

“Forty-five years in total, but only twenty-five years professionally,” He answered.

“What determines the difference between an amateur and professional drinker?”

A professional,” Marlin began, “drinks every night except paydays and New Year’s Eve. Those are amateur nights. I always take someone’s duty on those days and it adds to my funds for drinking.”

“What other things mark one as a pro drinker?” I continued.

“A professional will never drink anything with a cherry or an umbrella in it. A pro awakens about ten times a year in a strange town in bed with a woman he has no recollection of meeting and has no idea how he got there.”

For those of you considering giving up the booze, I asked Marlin what signs should you look for to determine whether one has stepped over the boozing line.

Marlin said, “The morning after will tell the tale. If you have to shave your tongue, then you drank too much the night before. Look for your money. If you don’t have any or just wadded up small bills and you find them in strange places like in your shoes or under your scrotum, then son, you did some serious drinking the night before.”

“What other signs should you look for?” I asked.


“Check to see if you have clothing on. If so, is it the same things you were wearing when you started drinking the previous evening.”

“You wake up on a cement deck wearing a pair of pink panties that are much too large for you.”

“If you are wearing one of those pussy little hats with the red Pom Pom that the French sailors wear, you were either drinking with French sailors or you are queer. If you are wearing a Marine Drill Instructors Cover you really had a big night.”

“And if the Marine’s platoon is standing at Parade Rest in your driveway, call AA immediately and see if they deliver, because you won’t be able to go anywhere in your condition.”

“There are a few other things to look for,” He continued.

· “Check for any credit card receipts you can find, if they are for Fredericks of Hollywood, Victoria’s Secret or an arms dealer you have a problem.”

· “Look at your checkbook. If checks are missing and you don’t remember writing them, call the bank and stop credit as soon as you are capable of operating a telephone.”

· “Check your body for any unexplained tattoos. If you find one with a heart and a strange girls name, make up your mind to stop drinking forever, but call your attorney as soon as possible.”



· “If you have pulled an overnighter at the Asia Sailors Reunion in Branson and had to be escorted to your room or ended up at breakfast yelling ‘You know what, Fuck You Garland,’ to a room of blue-haired church ladies.”

I thanked Marlin Spike for his help. I hope his hints have rendered a public service.

I gotta go right now. Marlin Spike and I are going to have a few beers before we quit drinking tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “Reasons to Quit Drinking

  1. Francis says:

    I remember being on Recruiting Duty at the Recruiting Station in NYc and processing a young elistee by the name o Marln Spike. That was in the early 60’s. Jiggs Franchi, YNCM(SW) (Ret.
    Retired off USS WORDEN in Pearl in ’88.


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