Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all my readers! May you enjoy a safe and prosperous 2019.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to all my readers! May you enjoy a safe and prosperous 2019.
By Garland Davis
I have known Jerry longer than anyone here, with the possible exception of his brother. (Actually, his stepbrother, as you will learn) I will attempt to tell his story before the UFO Aliens or their Air Force caretakers come for me.
Jerry had a rude awakening. Really rude. He was sleeping in his alien sleeping thingamabob when his Mama crashed the UFO. She was usually a very careful, conservative driver, but not that fateful night that was to change the sleepy New Mexico town of Roswell forever.
See, his dad hadn’t come home, and his mom was half drunk on high-quality Piscean Rotgut and suspecting that her old man might be fooling around with that three tittied floozie from Aldebaran 4 she headed to Sol 3, known as Earth by its barely sentient occupants, the biggest hot sheet planet in the galaxy.
She entered the atmosphere too fast and the speed dampers couldn’t bleed enough of the momentum off before she slammed into the ground. She hit her head and was rendered unconscious. Jerry was evicted from the craft and crawled away into a pepper patch. Being hungry and the only thing he could find that resembled a nipple was a Jalapeno pepper. They were a poor substitute for the zestiness of Mama’s titties and barely managed to overcome his hunger. After eating he went back to sleep and missed all the lights and furor as the soldiers impounded the UFO and arrested his mom for driving drunk. (She still hasn’t sobered up and is in the drunk tank at Wright-Patterson (who the fuck was Patterson) Air Force Base. Meanwhile, his dad is carousing on the moon Barrio of a little-known planet called Subic in the Aldebaran system.
The following morning the pepper farmer found Jerry and thinking him a lost monkey from the circus, took him home and raised him with his own children. Jerry turned out to be a pretty normal boy. The biggest problem they had was toilet training him. He was so obstinate they had to do it at gunpoint.
Jerry blended in with humanity if you call being so big that he only fits comfortably in the largest Peterbilt trucks. But he developed the damndest affinity for chili peppers of all kinds. I think a psychologist would describe it as compensating for the early loss of his mama’s titties.
Y’all know the rest of his story. He joined the Navy because sailors provided the perfect cover for someone who doesn’t fit in any place in a civilized society. He is now using a Facebook group called Cranky Old Bastards for cover.
As a matter of fact, I am not sure if they all aren’t aliens.
Asia Sailor’s New Year’s Resolutions
By Garland Davis
It is the time of year when many of us reflect upon the year almost gone and previous years of our lives. We Monday Morning Quarterback the events of our lives and the outcomes of our actions that precipitated these events. That is when we resolve that things will be different in the new year, that we are turning over a new leaf. The new year will become the template for the remaining years of our existence.
There are a Normal Person’s (NP) New Year’s resolutions and then there is the Asia Sailors (AS) New Year’s resolutions.
Clothing and Dress
NP resolution – To dress more fashionably in the coming year by purchasing clothes recommended by men’s fashion magazines.
AS resolution – Learn to sew buttons so I don’t have to keep buying new dungaree shirts.
– Have Liberty Cuffs put on my Dress Blues in Hong Kong
Money and Finances
NP resolution – Start a savings program to accumulate enough money to visit…wherever.
– Become more conscious of values when shopping
AS resolution – Leave money on the books for Subic next month.
– Stop fooling my money away at the Ship’s Store buying soap and shit
– Stock up on enough Sea Stores to cover the yard period.
– The Yoko Exchange is selling perfume at a way reduced price because they are overstocked. It may come in handy in Subic.
– Stop drinking that expensive ass Suntory and stick with Nikka and Akadama. No reason to buy the expensive stuff. It all tastes the same when you puke it back up.
NP resolution – Join the Church group to meet acceptable young women.
– Make sure my breath is clean for a possible good night kiss.
AS resolution – Friday, take the train up to Yokohama. Hear that there is lots of Widow action at the Seaside and Zebra clubs as well as the local action in China Town.
– Rub some stick deodorant on my nuts in case I get a BJ. I want it to be a pleasant experience for her also.
– Jones will be TAD to school while we are in Subic. Make a run on his Steady.
Health and Fitness
NP resolution – Join a health club and try to lose five pounds.
AS resolution – Ain’t no reason to try to lose weight when all those gut robbers in the galley feed you is Creamed Shit on a Shingle for breakfast and fake Mashed Potatoes and fatty Roast Beef and lumpy fucking Gravy for the rest of the meals.
NP resolution – Add new resolutions or adjust resolutions as circumstances dictate.
AS resolution – Fuck a bunch of resolutions!
An Homage to Whiskey
By Jerry Collins
Much has been said and shared here about Whiskey. Brands rise and fall. Old standbys fall out of favor and an old remembered rotgut rises to the top. It’s kind of like old sailors. As we age and fall apart at the seams, our palette and interest in potables seem to sharpen. One may remember Ocean as no better than fortified seawater and another remembers Evan William’s as a poor sub for Jack Daniels.
Scotch was not a young man’s drink of choice, although I did have a taste for it and imbibed a bit in ports across the world. Brandy’s and Cognacs…. whiskey and scotch’s bastard french cousins…. don’t get better with age and, thus, do not imbue our palette with the same mystery as we taste a 10, 12, 16 or 25-year-old golden dram of Scots liquid heaven.
Then there are the bastardizations of the like, Drambuie and other herb-infused madnesses. Did I mention Rye? I should have! Rye and some Bourbons mix well with sodas… never juice! Maybe water… juice is for bar girls. Anyway, where was I going with this?
Whiskeys and Scotches and bourbons and Ryes, in old dusty bottles and chipped discolored oaken barrels are not much different than old wrinkled bent graying Sailors that share them with each other over a lie or two.
I wish all the readers of the nonsense I write here, wherever you may be around the world, a very Merry and Happy Christmas.
“The Sailor’s Christmas”
Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.
I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.
The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
Twas a United States Sailor I visit today.
This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.
I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors who stand so willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”
“Defending the seas every day of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.
After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.
The Sailor says to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.
The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.
I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”
By Ken Ritter
Just sitting here tonight, deep into the “sauce”, and reminiscing of other Christmases when I was a young Sailor… Some spent at sea, and others spent in the “Sailor Bars” and ”Pleasure Palaces” of various “Ports Of Call” throughout Asia. Many of us, I’m sure, have spent Christmas in some of these more infamous dens of iniquity…
Marilyn’s in Subic City
Whisper Alley in Okinawa
Tanpopo’s In Yokosuka
4 1/2 Street in Yokohama
plus others to numerous to mention… and have stories to tell of the various “weird and wonderful” places we’ve been, things we’ve done, and “presents” we’ve received on Christmases when we were young, that only another Asia Sailor will understand, or even believe… Hell, I’m not Catholic, but one Christmas I even went to Mass with a little College girl in Angeles that I was particularly fond of at the time, but as they say, that’s a whole ‘nother story… I will say there were a lot of young girls there, many were undoubtedly Bar Girls, and I spent the entire time watching them and the Priest, and trying to imagine what it would be like sitting there hearing the confessions of these Ladies…
Anyway, it was a great life, and I’m sure every one of us would do it again in a heartbeat… Ahh… to be a young Asia Sailor again, in the Navy and Asia as we knew it… but as the Chris LeDoux song goes… “…son, it was great, but it ended too soon
Now I’m just an old man with nothin’ but memories…”
MERRY CHRISTMAS SHIPMATES, hoping Santa is good to you and brings you sweet dreams of your more memorable Christmases past…
Boy Howdy, Mess Crank Extraordinaire
By Garland Davis
BM1 Halberstam was the Mess Deck Master at Arms. This did not make him happy. He had been Deck Division Leading Petty Officer until BM1 (Pappy) Jones reported aboard. Pappy was older than dirt and senior to every BM1 in the whole Navy. It was Deck Department’s turn to provide the MDMAA. He ran the mess cooks and the Mess Decks with an iron fist. He was known to take a sailor jacking his jaws in the chow line, slowing it down and bounce him off a bulkhead a couple of times or grabbing a sailor by the ass of his pants and the collar of his shirt and scrub the deck with him for walking on his wet deck when the Mess Decks were secured.
Boy Jenkins went to his station in the Mess Decks. That was his name. His Mama passed away shortly after he and his twin sister were born. She hadn’t named them, and a county clerk entered “Boy” and “Girl” on their birth certificates. His Company Commander had started calling him Boy Howdy and it just stuck.
“Hey Boy, what did BM1 Halberstam have to say about you not emptying the Garbage cans last night. He was really pissed when he found out you went on the beach without doing it.” From his fellow mess cook.
Boy replied, “Yeah tell me about it. I tried to explain that the garbage barge hadn’t come, and the liberty boat was getting ready to leave. I told him I intended to dump the cans at midnight after liberty but when I went to do it somebody had already emptied them.”
“So, what did he do?”
“Chewed my ass out and ate my fuckin’ liberty card.” Boy said.
The other mess cook asked, “What, ate your liberty card?”
“He pulled my liberty card out of his pocket and asked if I knew what it was. I told him yes, it’s my liberty card. Then he fuckin’ ate it and told me if I wanted liberty for the next week, I could dig through his shit for the card.
BM1 came around the corner and said, “Knock off shootin’ the shit. Let’s get that mess gear put away and those pans back to the galley.”
Boy asked. “BM1, what time is sick call? I think I got the crabs.”
“You been using that after head? The snipes head?” Halberstam asked.
“Yeah, it’s the closest and half the time that passageway forward is secured.” Boy replied.
“Probably where you caught ‘em. The snipes on this ship either have the crabs, are getting over the crabs, or catching the fuckin crabs. I won’t even walk through their compartment let alone use their head. You either caught them from the snipes or some crabbed up skank on the beach. Well, you got a week to get over them before you get a chance to spread them around the Honch. Get that shit put away and back to the galley then go see the Dick Smith, go down and get creamed up, an’ be back here in an hour, I’ve got some shitcans that need scrubbing and they got your name on ‘em.”
Boy went up to sickbay and fell into the line waiting to see the Doc. From the talk of the others, it seemed they were here either for the clap or the crabs. The BM2 Hanson who slept in the rack above Boy came by and said, “You turned Sick Bay Commando since you went crankin’ Boy? Got the clap, huh?”
“No, I got the fuckin’ crabs.” Boy sheepishly replied.
“You been using the snipes head?”
Why hasn’t anyone ever told me this shit?”
The Corpsman checked Boy and verified that he was crabbed up, gave him a tube of Kwell Kream and instructed him in its use. Doc said, “You have a light case of the bugs. I had a Fireman in here that had one hanging on every hair.”
As he was leaving Sickbay the Doc said, “And watch that snipe’s head.”
“Why do I not know this shit?” Boy exclaimed.
Boy went to his berthing and lotioned his privates like Doc had instructed and headed back to scrub BM1’s shitcans. As he passed the entrance to the galley, BM2 Hanson was coming out carrying some of the metal disks that were cut from the ends of the large cans used by the cooks.
BM1 kept Boy busy all afternoon and made sure he emptied and cleaned out the shitcans after supper. He finally knocked Boy off about an hour later than usual. Boy was paying for not doing his job yesterday. Boy dropped down into berthing. He was going to shower, put some more of that Crab-Off cream on and hit his rack.
When he reached his rack, he saw something new. It looked as if someone had made miniature rat guards and put them on his bunk chains. “What’s this shit.” He asked to the compartment in general.
BM2 Hanson leaned out of his rack and said they are Crab Guards. “I made them from can lids. Since you are crabbed up, I don’t want to take any chances.”
Boy went off to the showers shaking his head.
Boy Howdy and “Special Bug Juice”
By Garland Davis
Seaman Boy Jenkins was hanging around the door of the Bake Shop about 1900, shooting the shit with CSSN Davy and CS3 Ike hoping to purloin some sweet rolls before going on watch at 2000. Yeah, Boy Jenkins was his name. His Mama neglected to name him and his twin sister before she died a few days after their birth. The county clerk had just entered “Boy” and “Girl” on their birth certificates.
Davy was busy getting some pans of pies out of the oven while Boy and Ike were discussing the merits of Japanese and Philippine beer. Their consensus was the best beer was the one in your hand.
Ike asked Boy, “Boy Howdy you’re from the South. Do you know anything about making wine?”
Boy replied, “My brother, who I lived with growing up used to make moonshine. I know about making the mash. I guess you could drink that, it has alcohol in it.”
Ike asked, “Did you ever make any Apple Jack. I heard you mix apple juice and raisins with sugar and yeast and let it ferment a few days then strain it. It is supposed to be pretty good. This old First Class told me all about it, but I never have seen it made. Me ‘n’ Davy can get all the stuff. We should give it a try. Hey, Davy, you want to make some hooch?”
Davy said, ‘I don’t know. How do you do it?”
Ike laid out the procedures. “We get one of them stainless five-gallon milk cans they use to mix powdered milk in, fill it almost full of Apple juice and Grape Juice, dump in a number ten can of raisins, a couple pounds of sugar, and a handful of yeast. We hide it someplace where it is warm and let it work ‘til, I guess, it stops bubbling, then we strain it out and drink it. I think behind your ovens would be a good place. That should be warm enough.
Davy and Ike decided to get all the ingredients and after Boy got off watch, they would mix it and put it to work. Davy cleaned out the corner behind the ovens, got one of the milk cans and had the midrats mess cooks run it through the scullery and took it to the Bakeshop. He opened a can of raisins and set them to soak in warm water, otherwise, they would be a big clump. He had also dissolved two pounds of sugar in a half gallon of hot water and left it to cool.
As Night Baker, Davy also served midrats. He was secured from that by 0030 and went to the Bakery to find Boy and Ike waiting. Ike pulled a Church Key from his pocket and started opening cans of apple and grape juice. They poured the juice and the sugar water into the milk can along with the raisins. Davy put a cup of warm water into a pitcher and threw a hand full of yeast in it to bloom. In the meantime, Ike was looking in cans to see if there was more stuff that could go in the brew. He came up with a number-ten can of prunes, almost full.
Ike said, “these will work” and scooped them into the concoction. Boy dumped the yeast in and stirred it with a long handles spoon. Davy covered it with the lid that he had punched a couple of holes in. That way the gas from fermentation could escape.
The milk can was ensconced behind the ovens and the wait began.
The next day the three culprits came together in the Bake Shop to check the concoction. Davy, being the only one small enough to fit behind the ovens, slid back there and opened the can. The surface of the Applejack was covered with bubbles and smelled something like yeast dough fermenting.
By the second day, the smell was strong in the Bake Shop and Davy was forced to keep a yeast dough working to blame for the strong smell.
They checked it each day and by the sixth day, the fermentation seemed to be about finished. That night they mustered in the Bake Shop at 0030 and strained the liquid through a strainer and cheesecloth into a fresh can. Davy made room in the Bake Shop reefer for the can. Plans were made to do some drinking the following night.
Boy Howdy got off watch at 2000 and they met in the shop at 2030. Three Mess Deck cups were filled with the glorious elixir and it was sampled and pronounced good. After the second and third cups, Boy Howdy said, “Damn, guys we make some pretty good stuff, better than fuckin’ bug juice.” And thus, it came to be called “Special Bug Juice.”
After Midrats, they laughingly broke up the party and set a time for the next night and went off to their racks.
About 0300, Boy came wide awake with an overwhelming urge to take a crap. He bailed out of his rack and rushed into the head to find Ike and Davy taking up two of the shitters. Davy said to Ike, “And you had to put them mother fuckin’ prunes in the Special Bug Juice.
That didn’t stop them drinking it and they eventually became immune to the laxative effect of Special Bug Juice just as one does with that same aspect of San Miguel Beer.
They never made Special Bug Juice again but Boy Howdy would occasionally bum cans of juice from the cooks and frequently the Jack of the Dust would come up short a case or two of apple and grape juice during stores onloads.
A motley crew of Deck Apes was often found hanging around the paint Locker drinking coffee during the second Dog Watch.
Boy Howdy and Little Sister
By Garland Davis
♪♫I used to pull down on your pigtails
Hey girl, and pinch your turned up nose
Oh, but baby you been growin’
And lately it’s been showin’
From your head down to your toes
Little sister don’t you, little sister don’t you
Little sister don’t you kiss me once or twice
Tell me that it’s nice and then you run
Yeah, little sister don’t do what your big sister done♪♫
Two years ago, the asshole detailer had shanghaied Boy’s ass to Charleston, South Carolina. Boy had offered everything short of performing indecent sex to stay on the West Coast or even better, a tour in Subic or Yokosuka. But South Carolina it was. The detailer acted as if he was doing Boy a favor stationing him near his home in Arkansas or Alabama (I can never remember which, I know it was one of the states with only A’s as vowels.) His Mama had died six days after his twin sister and he were born. She never named them, and some county clerk had entered Boy Jenkins and Girl Jenkins on their birth certificates. Two of their older brothers had taken them to raise.
Boy went to the Navy after graduating high school and Girl was the bride at a “shotgun wedding” shortly after her sixteenth birthday. He really didn’t know them and had no desire to visit. He worked his way through two years running line handling parties and the Boatswains Locker at the Charleston Naval Station. Boy had advanced to BM2 shortly after arriving in South Carolina.
A new detailer was more sympathetic. He didn’t have anything available homeported in Japan but offered the USS Chicago, a Light Guided Missile Cruiser. The Chicago was making a WestPac soon. Boy left Charleston for San Diego to catch the Cruiser. It took three days on the train. Boy was hoping he reached the ship before it left for WestPac.
Boy called an old shipmate who was stationed in San Diego from L.A. and asked him to pick Boy up at the station and take him to the Thirty-Second Street Naval station. It was about 2000 when the train got into San Diego His friend was waiting at the station. After shaking hands and saying their hellos. Boy told him that he had orders to Chicago at 32nd Street.
His old shipmate said, “The fucking Chicago is at the foot of Broadway. She was there for the open house yesterday. I can drop you there and save the trip to 32nd St,”
“These fucking orders say, ‘Report to Naval Station, San Diego for further transfer to USS Chicago.’ I guess I better do that or the assholes at 32nd St will have me U.A.”
They drove around the block and passed the Chicago sitting at the Broadway Pier and headed out to the Naval Station.
It was almost 2100 when they arrived at the gate. The Marine sentry directed them to the personnel building, telling him to check in there. After searching, they finally found the building. They figured that after the Naval Station stamped his orders, they would hit a couple of beer joints and he could check aboard shortly before midnight.
They entered the building and went to the lighted area where a PNSN was sitting at a desk reading a comic book. Boy presented his orders and said, how about stamp my orders so I can go report aboard.”
The SN read the orders, opened a drawer, pulled a sheath of messages from it and proceeded to thumb through them. He finally replaced them in the drawer and said, “Boatswains Mate, the Chicago left for WestPac this morning. You’ll have to check in to the transient barracks and come back tomorrow and we will arrange for transportation to their next port.”
Boy, incredulously said, “The Chicago is moored at the foot of Broadway. We just drove past there.”
“You are wrong Boatswain’s Mate. I’ve got a message that says she left this morning for WestPac.’ The PN said in a loud irritated voice as if he were speaking to an infant.
Boy said, as loudly, “Look, there is a fuckin’ Cruiser at Broadway with a big ass eleven painted on the bow. If that ain’t the Chicago, I’ll kiss your ass.”
A Master Chief PN came from an inner office and asked, “What’s all the commotion about?”
The SN said. “He has orders to the Chicago,” as he pulled the messages from the drawer to show the Chief.
The Chief looked over the orders and the message turned to Boy and said, “Petty Officer Jenkins. The Chicago left this morning.”
“Bullshit,” said Boy, “We just drove past the mother fucker.”
The Master Chief said, “God Damnit Boatswains Mate the subject is closed. One more word out of you and I’ll have you on the next flight out of the states for Subic Bay. You can sit on your ass there at the Transient Barracks and wait for the Chicago.”
Boy looked at him and said, “Throw me in that fuckin briar patch, Master Chief.”
The PNCM says, Oh, you think I am joking?”
He told the SN cut a set of orders and get the travel vouchers for the Boatswain’s Mate for an early flight to San Francisco, a bus to Travis and a flight to Clark in the Philippines.
Four days later Boy arrived at Cubi Point Naval Air Station. He had hitched a helicopter ride from Clark to Cubi. He reported to the base to learn that the Chicago was in Pearl and it would be at least thirty days before she arrived in Subic. They directed him to the Transient Barracks.
Boy checked in to Transient. As the PO3 was getting him checked in and assigning a bunk, Boy’s old Chief from his last destroyer walked in. He looked at Boy and said, “Well fuck me, BM2 Boy Howdy. The Boatswain’s Mate rate is going to hell. It’s almost time for knock-off, let me change clothes and we’ll go out to Magsaysay and have a couple of beers and shoot the shit.”
As it turned out, the Chief oversaw the Transient Barracks. He told Boy to check in every third day and to enjoy his return to Subic. They had a couple and the Chief left for home. His Filipino wife got pissed if the Bamboo Telegraph reported he was out in the bars without her.
After Chief left, Boy decided to go down to The Bar. It didn’t have a name that he knew. The sign just said The Bar. Perhaps his old girlfriend Mila still worked there. He had one more beer and then started down Magsaysay. The girls at the door to the bars called for him to come in. “I’m so lonely.” “I’m so horny.” “Come in, I love you long time.” Boy laughed, it was so fuckin’ good to be back in Subic and he had thirty days to enjoy it before Chicago arrived.
He turned left down the small dirt side street and saw The Bar on the left. He paused for a minute, lit a cigarette and pulled the door open. He was blind going from the bright sunlight to the dimly lighted bar. He stopped for a minute for his eyes to adjust. Someone took him by the arm and led him to a table. She asked, “You wan San Miguel, Boy Howdy?
“Yeah, do I know you?”
She walked to the bar for his beer. Pretty. Well, he wouldn’t be too disappointed if Mila wasn’t here. But why did she know his name? She walked back with his beer as he looked around the joint.
“You are looking for Mila, Boy Howdy?”
“Yeah, does she still work here?”
“Mila is in San Diego. She married Gunners Mate two years ago. Why? You no like me?”
“Why do you know my name? I don’t remember you.
“I am Mila’s little sister Maria. You remember. You used to buy me and my brother ice cream. I am growing up now. Can I be your girlfriend.?
For some reason, the lyrics of the Elvis song, “Little Sister” were running through Boy’s head.
He was back in WestPac, life was good and little Sister was going to make it an enjoyable wait for the Chicago!