Friday, August 19, 2011

Bus Baby and the Bucket of Steam

Back in the late seventies, and early 80's, while i was in high school, i worked at a restaurant on the gulf.  Shell point restaurant.  Great place! Unfortunately, time and progress occured and it is no longer there.  Many of us "Beach kids" had our jobs there while going to school.  live band and parties every friday and saturday nights.  so Kewl.  Mr G. our boss, Gernard is his name, was known to have an ill temper.  he opened the restaurant at 4:30 a.m. for the fisherman, and sometimes we closed at 2:00 a.m. the next morning ( on weekends).  Now in between breakfast and lunch, gernanrd would go home for a few hour nap, while we kept the restaurant going, cooking, serving, washing, etc, duing the lunchtime hours.  Now almost all us beach kids, had picked up nick names from various screw-ups, or talents, etc.  Sir John, Bolish (me), creepin chris, honey wagon, etc.  i'm sure you get my drift.  I had a good friend that wanted to work at the Rest., but was not exactly "our" sort of guy that we hung with (we were beach brats), but i put in a word for him, and he picked up a job.  Now all us "cool beach kids" worked in the kitchen.  it was the place to be.  and my friend Bus baby, got a job bussin tables.   we teased him so much about "wearing a skirt to bus tables, with the rest of the women, that after about his 8th day on the job, he broke down in tears.  EUREKA!!!! Bus Baby Was Born.  After a while, he finally got moved to the kitchen, washing dishes.  still didn't quite fit in, but we put up with him, after all we needed someone to pull our pranks on.  after a while you know em all, and don't get caught in them. LOL.  When Gernard would go home for his naps, he would always assign a list of chores to get done, beside the regular prep and serving.  On this particular day, Bus Baby got assigned, cleaning the vents abover the fryers, and grills.  (Nasty Job).  Now Gernard, me, sir John, and Honey Wagon all had this worked out the day before.  Shell point consisted of a cool beach, restaurant, marina, motel, and effeciency apartments.  all owners and workers were like a family.  Bus baby worked real hard, on those vents, and us guys kept saying, "Bus i don't think they are clean enough"......... after 3 hours of sweating and toiling, on the "clean" vents, lol.  he was convinced they were clean.  Well 3:00 arrives, and Gernard comes in.. in a bad mood as always, but remembering what we had set up.  he walks around the kitchen looking at all the things that were on the list.......shaking his head in approval at each one.... while we in the kitchen were all business. doing our usual thing.  Until he gets to the vents...... at literally the top of his lungs, he yells!  who in the hell tried to clean these GD vents???? they look like shit, i'm firing the SOB who did this half ass job.   Bus baby froze with the deer in the headlights look.

Bus baby exclaims, i worked 3 hours on it, i thought they were clean.!!!  Gernard, reaches around, grabs an open top 5 gallon buckets, throws it across the kitchen toward Bus Baby, and says get yer ass down to the marina, and get some steam.  these damn things have to be steam cleaned you idiot!!!  Bus grabs the open top 5 gallon bucket runs out the back door, towards the marina, at a full gallop.  about 5 minutes later Gernards wife Joan, came back to the kitchen to find us all crying with tears of laughter.  says Wright at the Marina wants to know, what the hell that boy wants?? said he keeps asking for steam???  Gernard laughed, said, tell wright, to tell Bus baby, he is out of steam, until 6:00, that when his shipment comes in...  so she did.  the whole kitchen crew, the waitresses, and the reigning Bus Girl, waited around the corner of the back double doors.  when he was close enough, walking ever so slowly, dreading to tell Gernard he couldn't get the steam, carrying that empty 5 gallon bucket... gets close enough.. we swung open the back doors, and EVERYBODY  starts clapping......  Bus Baby's face turned 5 shades of gray and red, (No he wasn't going to get fired, but he had been royally had!).  and just sat down on the ground, not sure to laugh or cry....  oh how i miss the good old days....  and the best damn restaurant, and crew, that ever served fresh gulf seafood, in the state of Florida.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


i'll start where it all began so to speak.  as a senior in high school, i decided to enlist in the early enlistment program.  i.e.  you enlist, when you graduate, uncle Sam already owns you.  kind of takes the guess work out of what to do after you graduate, and cannot afford college.  So while a senior in high school, the recruiter takes me and several other boys to Ft. Benning Ga. (Home of the Infantry) where i would complete Basic Training, AIT, and then Airborne.  He showed us a nice apartment looking barracks complex know has Sand Hill, or (Sand Hilton).  I thought yeah this modern Army is for me.  Now when i arrived approximately 4 months Later and arrived at Harmony Church (old WWII barracks) i was sure they had delivered me to the WRONG PLACE!  Now my drill instructor explained <Grin> that i was indeed in the right place.  I found there was a hell, and it was located in Georgia.  anyway, soon three of us recruits all headed for the Ranger Battalion, became close friends.  insomuch that any time one was in trouble or did something stupid, the other two ended up doing pushups as well as the offender.  After a while we were the most "in shape" recruits in the platoon.  Me, Riordan, and Torres.  life was never, EVER dull with us three.  always some kind of crap going on. (more on that later, today we are talking about being Airborne.  Well the three of us, graduated Basic, and AIT. and went on to Airborne school, also at Ft Benning Ga.  Zero week, ground week, tower week, and finally we get to try our skills out at 3000 feet. woo hooo yeah HARD CORE!  well there we are in the back of a C130 transport, all chuted up, waiting to arrive somewhere above the drop zone.  all the hard core troops, are as silent as church mice........  Finally the Jump Master leans out the door and gives us the commands to stand up, Hook up, Face the door, Equipment check, and ready to roll.  (now here i have ommited a  most important portion of this story). good story tellers sometimes do this.  But 20 minutes back, while sitting in this plane, rocking all over the place, the plane sounding like its gonna stop flying at any moment. Torres look at me and Riordan, and as quietly as could be and still be heard, "I AINT JUMPING!" me and riordan said WHAT???  he said the Army screws everything up.  these chutes probably won't open.  and folks, at 3000 feet, you don't want to have to guess .. was it a sgt, or a PVT that packed my chute... so fast foward, there we are standing and now moving foward to the door, the troops already jumping one by one.   Torres, the one in front of the line of the three of us, starts screaming and shouting  , NO NO NIOOOOOO i ain't going..My heart just about dropped to my knees.  The jump master unhooks him throws him up against the bulkhead, starts screaming at him, cussing him, calling him a GD Commie, and all sorts of names that question your manhood.  He looked at me, and screamed what the hell you waitin on get the hell off my aircraft.  Before i had a chance to think what was worse, the jump master, or hitting the ground without my chute opening. .... i jumped!  and that is how i became AIRBORNE.  Not from bravery, but being more scared of the jumpmaster, than the ground below..  Riordan, and i made it through Jump school, and the Rangers, and torres had to do the walk of shame, and failed jump school.  i never saw Torres again.  so heres to you buddy.  I hope your life, and heart has been full! <cheers>.
Airborne School - 82d Airborne

Monday, August 15, 2011

2nd Louie, and the bud patch....

Ok, so the year is 1984, the place is somewhere overseas....  We had just gotten a brand spanking new 2nd Louie.  (2nd LT.), still had the new Louie smell..  He was assigned to our platoon, the the new platoon leader.  Now the old joke in the Army was, what is the difference between a 2nd Louie, and a PFC?? the PFC has been promoted twice.  2nd LT = book knowledge, no real time experience.  Anyway, our platoon SGT was an E-7 SFC, ex-Vietnam Vet.  Tons of experience.   The Lt wanted to take his (NEW) platoon on a long range recon, and assured the SFC that "he had this!!"  and he wanted to lead the platoon...  ok is anyone seeing a potential problem starting to arise?   So here we go, after about 5 hours, the SFC stops the patrol, and decided to have a word with the 2nd LT.  we were a "bit" off course.  The LT told the Sarge, that we were making better time by going this route.. The SGT tried to explain, that not "all" the landscape is safe to traverse.  To this the LT responded, that "his" troops, were tested airborne infantry, and could handle any terrain, and to let him lead the patrol!  with a sly grin the SGT followed orders from a (superior ranking, and inferior intelligence officer).  a little while later as we are trudging along, there comes this very distinct odor.....  and anyone that has ever been within 20 feet of a small plastic baggie containing "buds" know what i am describing here.  Hemp, tijuana tomatoe plants, mary Jane, so many colorful names.  The shiny new LT has no idea what this is, doesn't even notice that we are in the smack dab middle of an extremely well cultivated crop, of approximately 8-9 foot plants.  The smell was overwhelming.  Finally the SFC comes foward, (he had been following the patrol from the rear) (probably to keep from strangling the LT), and pulled the LT aside and explained to him where we were, and what the "Unique Flora" that we were all standing in was..... So the LT had no idea what to do... The SFC took over and got us the hell out of "Columbian" territory, and a safe distance away.  The SFC got us all in a proper formation, with all our gear.  He said he "understood" how trampling through that stuff, it could "possibly" stick to clothes, pockets, and gear.  He an the LT were going to go over the little ridge for about 15 minutes, when they got back we were having a full blown field inspection, all gear unloaded, and laid out for inspection on poncho's, and all troops would be in their skivvies only for this inspection..   All you could see for the first five minutes was thos pretty leaves and buds hitting the ground, behind the formation.  when it was all said and done, and the inspection completed, i would guess at perhaps 20-25 pounds of it lay in a heap, behind the formation, (so as not to incriminate) anyone....  that stuff is so sticky.. you would never have guessed that much would "stick" to clothing, and work it's way inside ruck sacks.   after we were all cleared, the SFC honor reclaimed, the LT proving that he was the idiot we all expected.... we continued on with the objective... The SFC in the lead.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Great Diet... Maybe?


Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Jake, the Wonder Dog and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant? So because I'm Bored and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in
the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.  I told her no, I stepped off a curb to sniff a poodle's ass and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Costco won't let me shop there anymore.  Better watch what you ask bored people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our (Wants) do certainly change as we get older.

A guy is 86 years old and loves to fish.
He was sitting in his boat the other day when he heard a voice say,
"Pick me up."
He looked around and couldn't see any one. He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say again,
"Pick me up." He looked in the water and there, floating on the top was a frog.
The man said, "Are you talking to me?"
The frog said, "Yes, I'm talking to you. Pick me up.
Then, kiss me and I'll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen.
I'll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous because you will have me as your bride."
The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully, and placed it in his front breast pocket.
Then the frog said, "What, are you nuts? Didn't you hear what I said?
I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride."
He opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said,
"Nah, at my age I'd rather have a talking frog.

Blogging starting to look like a do-able thing.

Ok, now that i've figured out how to make comments, and not have to ignore people when they are kind enough to make comments on my blog.  i'm beginning to think this thing is do-able.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who has a soul? us or our pets?

I remember back when i was in elementary school.  I had a dog. nothing special, just a mutt, but man how i loved that dog.  He would wait every morning with me for the school bus, and somehow always knew when the bus was coming in the evenings after school, and was always waiting on me to get off the bus.  We would play, run, when i rode my bike down to the gulf, there he was running beside me.  One evening the dog had done something bad.  though i cannot remember exactly what it was, it wasn't real bad, like maybe getting into garbage, or digging in the garden.      My daddy shot the dog........ and he ran off.  i looked for him but couldn't find him.  The next morning when i went out to wait for the bus, there he was.  blood all over him.. in so much pain.  He somehow manage to make it to where his little master would soon be coming, to see him.  I saw all the blood, and i was too scared to touch him.  i loved him, but i was scared from all the blood, and all he could do was lay there and wimper.  the bus came, i got on and i left for school. I never saw him again. all he wanted was love from his master, and i was too afraid to give it.  He manage to make it to my bus stop, live through the night, and i couldn't even touch him.  I'm a kinda borderline old man now, and so much has gone under this old bridge.  But even now i am saddened thinking of my dog....... and the question.  Who has the soul.. us or our pets?

Remember NEO i didn't say it would be easy, only that it was the truth.

Not all of my stories are rated G. Though i will try my best to keep them as close to that as possible.  So we were in Panama, Central America, at the jungle operations training center (Jungle Ops School).  We have been in the boonies about 5 days straight.  We stop by a slow moving stream, to cool off, reload canteens with water and iodine tablets. (kills mosquito larvae), and cool off in the small stream.  now every unit has one, and ours was no different. (brown nose).  and as usual, for the purposes of this blog, we will not use his last name.  But his name was Jim.  Jim had a bad habbit of not making runs, falling out on long range recons, etc.  However, anytime the LT, or Squad leder stopped, there was JIM!  up their behind.  Well several of us told Jim to cool off reload canteen etc, cause we were not humpin his sorry behind out of the boonies.  But NOPE Jime knew best, sitting near the sgt/lt was where he needed to be.  the rest of us guys, cooled off, had full canteens tasting of fresh iodine. Gosh i can almost still taste that stuff......  anyway after a good 30 minute of this we all began to relieve ourself in "said Stream" slightly upstream from where we had originally stopped.  And folks relief comes in two forms, and eating cRats, and MRE's, can make the latter rather ugly.  Well after all the relief was had, we relaxed by the riverbank, (On the side where we did not have to cross the stream, in order to continue with the mission) (get my meaning)?  well Now that we are getting ready to go..... Jim Comes to the stream, fills both canteens, Iodine and all, and splashes water all over his face to cool off now. (down stream) of previous described relief.....  we just about pissed ourselves laughing.  Jim used to being the brunt of the jokes paid us no mind, didn't ask why we were laughing, and none of us offered the answer.  about 6 hours later he was medivacd from the jungle in a jeep.  severe stomach cramps, and both types of relief coming for him, in rather liquid versions of it's former form.  See there are many stories about ole Jim, and perhaps we can revisit him again in a later post.

Memories do fail us.

Now i want it understood, that i do not have dementia, lol.  I was just thinking about the fact that i have not posted again in a while.  Sort of wondering if i should post the old war stories, and such on here.  Then i started thinking again.  (dangerous i know).  Anyway i had an uncle, that i was named after, that was in WWII.  My dad did two tours of duty in Korea, during the Korean war of course, and one of my older brothers, was in Viet Nam.  I did my combat during the Grenada Invasion, (Don't believe the clint eastwood movie, about heartbreak ridge).  Us Rangers, as well as the Marines both know who landed first.  Anyway, my dad used to tell me his stories of Korea, and i would think, yeah, i've heard it a thousand times.  My father passed away some years ago, and now i cannot seem to remember any of them... This saddens me so greatly.  These stories of his were really a part of our history, a single man view of course, but part of an amazing history non the less.  I now miss my dads stories, though not nearly as much as i miss him.  When my kids were growing up, i told them so many funny stories from my younger life, and they always laughed, (yea i know) i've heard it a thousand times, lol..... oh well. i am writing this for my own reasons, i hope some others find it, and find the stories to (come),  entertaining, but i also write this for my Dad, and my kids.  I am truly sorry, i don't remember your stories.... but Memories do Fail Us.  So i will begin posting more often, and i hope any who read, enjoy.  perhaps your Memory is better than mine....