Down to Clown
By Daniel Joseph DeCampo
Today was a normal day in port at home in Yokosuka, a day after a duty night, nonetheless, which is one that drags on forever. Myself and the crew should be back out to sea soon and get our lives together once again…
Time in port, here in Yokosuka, is always great. The Sailors with families, get time with the family and the guys without, get time to clown.
“Clowning,” used as verb by myself and some of my closest Shipmates, quite a bit these days, is a term with a broad meaning in my opinion. Some examples of conversations I have had with other Sailors using this awesome term:
Sailor A: Would you like to run off base to get some Japanese curry for lunch?
Me: Curry isn’t my normally my thing but, I’m down to clown.
Sailor B: Hey, Bro, are you down with getting some chu-hi’s after work?
Me: For sure, the guys from Supply said they want to clown as well.
Sailor C: Oktoberfest is going is going on in Yokohama today, are you down to clown?
Me: Yes, Motherfucker, clowning is what I do best…
Oktoberfest in Yokohama is an experience like no other. It has been a fairly popular event for quite a while therefore, it brings out the “melting pot” aspect of this Tokyo area that I love so much. Folks from the entire area coming out to drink good beer, eat good food, just generally down to clown.
My first experience with this fabled Oktoberfest was this weekend. Myself and my slightly more salty Road Dawg, known as DV, trained it out to Yokohama and arrived there around 1pm on Sunday and the party was in full effect.
At the start we ran into a dance instructor, new to the area. She was originally from Baltimore but, has lived in Asia for the last few years, most recently Seoul, South Korea. She asked if she could join us, being unfamiliar with the dynamic that can be Yokohama. DV and I, naturally welcomed her along.
She and I had a connection, on some level. We went through the afternoon with copious amounts of beer, good conversations, and bullshitting with random people, as well as folks I know, along the way. DV was very busy running around, getting numbers, coordinating conga lines, exchanging political views, and making sure the band was going to start on time.
It seemed DV and I were officially separated around the time that darkness hit the drunk fest and I came to the decision it was time to take the dance instructor to dinner. A place called Dumbo’s Pizza near Yokohama Station has good pizza and good wings that are pricey but, they have some good wine that is fairly inexpensive. we ate the food, drank the wine. I asked, “Coming Back to Yokosuka with me?” she said yes, and that she wasn’t teaching a dance class until 3 the next afternoon. She came back with me, good things happened and the end of it all, she decided to start freaking out about her boyfriend that, she all the sudden is concerned about, after two hours in my bed.
If she mentioned a boyfriend earlier, I either didn’t hear it or chose to ignore it. She went home at that point and did text me when she got home.
The moral of the story is the Tokyo area, Oktoberfest being a tiny example, is truly a melting pot with people from all over. Since being here, I have drank with bankers from Singapore, businessmen from Lithuania, Russian Dancers, British musicians, Brazilian Factory Managers, and of course dance instructors from Baltimore…
This being a recent story, my mind continues to go crazy and that’s okay. The Navy continues to be good, as does life and I think that’s cool.
The work week will come to and it looks like DV and I will head to Oktoberfest for not all of the beer there, just the necessary amount for Round 2, I have no doubt that it will be something to write about..