Benjo Spider

Benjo Spider

By Garland Davis

Benjo Spider

Vesuvius was anchored in Sasebo. It was the early sixties and memory of the ammunition ship explosion at Port Chicago was still too fresh in Navy leadership’s mind to moor ammunition ships to the pier, consequently, these ships anchored out, usually in the remotest anchorage. One of my snipe buddies and I caught the 1900 liberty boat for the long ride to the Fleet Landing.

Besides long boat rides another detriment to liberty in those days was a thing called “Cinderella Liberty” which meant, if you didn’t catch the 2400 liberty boat from the Fleet Landing you turned into a pumpkin without a liberty card for a protracted period.

It was 2000 by the time we reached the pier giving us four hours to get drunk, laid, and back to the landing for the 2400 boat. We stopped by the club for a shot and a beer and to change our non-rate monetary pittances for Yen. With that accomplished, we were into an 80Y taxi and off to Sailor Town. A couple of large Kirin beers alongside a shot of Nikka Whisky (fine sippin’ whiskey for 50Y a shot) and we were ready for the girls.

My BT buddy goes into the head in one of the joints in which we were drinking. In the meantime, I am putting moves on one of the hostesses. This consists of showing her your dick alongside a thousand yen note. (And yes it was that cheap, back in the day.) Anyway, the BT comes back carrying the biggest goddamn spider I have ever seen in his hand. The Mama-san got a little pissed that he had caught her Benjo Spider. He ended up paying her a hundred yen for the spider. He paid another hundred for a box.

I didn’t get laid that night, but we had more fun with that fucking spider. Walk into a bar and place the box on the table. Pretty soon one of the girls would get curious and open the box. We thought it was funny as hell. Finally with the witching hour rapidly approaching, we caught an 80 yenner to the landing. He got out of the cab and tossed the box into the dumpster.

I said, ‘You should have turned the spider loose.”

He replied, “I did. I left it in that taxi.”

We laughed our asses off thinking about the passenger who discovered the spider.

We made our own fun, you know, back in the day.


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