Maraschino Cherries

Maraschino Cherries

BY Reno Ol Sun

I wonder if the Brits are all hung up in this PC bullcrap?? they are steeped in tradition in their military as well as their pomp and circumstance… with that in mind, how many have ever played the time-honored game of Sing, Sing or Show Your Ring with the Brits… did that the first time in Hong Kong, many moons ago… and in 67, we did some recon off of Vietnam (USS Razorback SS-394), and operated with Spinax (SS489) (my first submarine) as we proceeded down to Singapore.

The Brit submariners club was one helluva liberty call.. I used to get a pint of 180 proof to clean the contacts and stuff on my gear in Radio… I used about a thimble full since I am conservative. So, being creative, we used to get a jar or two of maraschino cherries– empty out that nasty, sugary liquid, poke a hole or two in each cherry and put the rest of the alcohol to better use… of flavoring the cherries… if you had a couple of them bad bad boys, you could hardly hit yourself in the ass with a banjo… I took a bottle of them to the submariners club in Singapore..

A Brit warrant got all pissy about sailors eating cherries.. until he had a couple.. when it was his turn, he jumped up on the table and he was at least 3 sheets in the wind.. and was jumping up and down, arms thrashing around.. until he got whacked by an overhead fan… blood was running down his arm.. he took out his handkerchief, put it on the wound, finished his story.. jumped off the table- came over to me and said something like: Damnit mate, think that deserves another cherry or so dontcha think?

We had gotten some toothpicks.. and I gave him two, he sat down and chewed them slowly… what a great day… they had Tiger 33 beer- not one soul liked the taste of it… so the barkeep would fill the pint about 3/4 of the way with the draft, then add gin to kill the taste of the beer… let me tell you, after a few of them, DO NOT go off of the 3-meter board in uniform.. you could almost drown trying breath water… I know cuz I tried it… sigh…

Next day, we were to go to the fantail of HMS Forth (sub tender) to have pix taken… I showed up about an hour and a half late… wasn’t sure I was ever gonna walk again…

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