Friday, April 7, 2017

Independence Day, 2006

So the other day, over at koobecaF, this happened...
Here's that link mentioned above. (If you leave a comment there and it doesn't show up, it's because it's a post older than a week. Comments on old posts get moderated so siding salesmen from the subcontinent won't leave random comments. How they figure that increases sales is beyond me. What's more, I don't care. But I had to moderate comments on older posts. Sigh...)

I draw your attention to the comment The WSO (aka LUSH) made regarding the Fourth of July party held in the backyard at Chez Sarge when The WSO and her classmates were all newly minted ensigns in our Nation's Naval Service. Now bear in mind, as Lex might have said, it's my story though she might remember it differently. So, without further ado, here we go...

So, there I was...*

It was the Fourth of July, 2006, scarcely two months after The WSO and the Holy Cross NROTC class of 2006 had taken the Oath and pinned on their shiny new gold bars. Now The WSO was currently assigned duties out at T.F. Green (the local air patch) while awaiting a slot at NFO school down in Pensacola, or P-Cola, as it's sometimes called by the more raffish elements of society.

Anyhoo, the Navy had her flying about in a Cessna learning proper radio procedure from those who know such things. She'd talk on the radio, the pilot would fly the aircraft and tell her the right way versus the wrong way. (One of the wrong ways was intentionally mispronouncing Hyannis, as, you guessed it, "Hi Anus." One of the controllers there found it amusing, some of the others, not so much.)

As she was "working" nearby, she was assigned quarters at Chez Sarge (and no you will not charge your daughter rent). So it was good to have her at home (even if it was for free). At some point in the late spring or early summer, The WSO discovered that her college roommate's ship would be in Little Rhody for the Independence Day celebration. The ladies thought it would be just ducky to get the old gang back together for the Big Parade in Bristol. Perhaps The Missus Herself might cook her famous Korean BBQ and Yours Truly might spring for a selection of adult beverages.

I was in, as was The Missus Herself. The day of the parade things got a little dicey, when The WSO and I were spotted hauling an old door from the basement and laying it across a couple of saw horses.

"Um, what's that for?" the lady of the house inquired.

"Beer pong Mom. We're going to play beer pong." said The WSO.

"We are?" said Your Humble Scribe while displaying his trademark SEG.

"Oh no..." said the love of my life as she returned to the house.

So, the morning of the celebration of Our Nation's Independence, there were a number of newly minted ensigns on hand for the parade, Korean BBQ, and adult beverages. There was Megan, Danielle, Kyle, Chris, and a civilian classmate yclept Frigs (I think he was there, maybe not), The WSO, Yours Truly, and (of course) The Missus Herself. There might have been others, I can't recall. It was a long time ago. Relatively speaking.

Now I have friends who live on the parade route, hauling the young naval officers (and one civilian) down towards the main part of town, I realized that we had marched right past my friend's place. Surrounded by a gathering throng we had to "swim upstream" as it were. Most people were headed south, towards downtown, we had to backtrack north. Eventually we made it.

One of the young ensigns opined that perhaps we should have brought along some adult beverages as many were thirsty. I nodded and said, "Yes, that would have been a good idea. Stand by a moment..."


When the car alarms had all subsided, my friend Rebecca said that they were well stocked with adult beverages and the young'uns could help themselves. As could Your Humble Scribe. We watched the parade but eventually the call of beer pong was too strong. Into the street we went and again fought our way upstream.

Let me tell you something, I had never played beer pong before but I was killing it! The wily old Air Force Master Sergeant was showing the newly minted officers just how it was done. The young'uns were amazed and somewhat baffled that the fat old codger was slaughtering them at beer pong.

Well the point of beer pong is to land one's ping pong ball (beer pong ball?) into a beer filled Solo cup at the opponent's end of the table, forcing them to quaff said cup, and the more shots you sink, the more inebriated the opponent gets. Theoretically, after a while, all of their sensors will refuse to hold lock and hand-eye coordination deteriorates to the point where if they can even throw the ball in the general direction of the other end, they are doing quite well.

The playing field. (Source)
All the while however, Yours Truly is drinking what I liked to call "non-game beer." While I had to empty a Solo every now and then, I would have been fine except for the non-game beer. In other words, I was probably downing as much (if not more) then the kids at the other end of the table.

At one point I made some rather witty (and cutting) remark to one of my opponents and The WSO, who was sitting next to the table in one of those plastic lawn chairs (much like those in the opening photo) started to giggle. Her chair was adjacent to own of her mother's rose beds (of which there are many and by July the thorns are rather pronounced) and she then started laughing so hard that she inadvertently ejected herself from the field of play, into the rose bed, narrowly missing being ripped asunder by the thorns. All the while laughing like a loon. I too was laughing like a loon and discovered that I was quite inebriated now and none of my sensors would hold lock.

So the young'uns managed to make a valiant comeback and beat the wily old codger at beer pong. But at that point the Korean BBQ was ready. To the grill we went and fell on the results of The Missus Herself's cookery like hyenas on a gazelle carcass. There was much snarling and barking and posturing before she told us all to grab a dish, wait our turn, and shut the heck up. (She was rather like a lioness, driving off the scavengers! Though letting them back in once they stopped acting like hyenas.)

The food was excellent. Young Chris (who went on to serve in submarines and actually did a stint at the White House) decided, after dinner, that cigars would be just the thing. So, off he went to the tobacconist to purchase cigars.

Cheap cigars.

Never let an ensign buy cigars. Ever. This I have learned...

Well, I sat out front to smoke my cigar whilst quaffing another ale. I was feeling mighty fine, until dinner decided to reappear...

I swore The WSO to silence and indicated that I would be out in the morning to hose down the deck, so to speak.

Laughing maniacally she went to collect Megan, whose liberty expired at midnight, so we could deliver her to the pier to catch the last boat back to her frigate, anchored out in the Bay.

I had a heart to heart with the Senior Chief "welcoming" the sailors back from an evening on the town and would he please, please, please, get my ensign back to her rack all safe and sound like?

"Wow Sarge, she's blasted isn't she?" said the Senior Chief.

"Why yes, yes she is. As am I. I just hold it better." said I.

"Yeah Sarge, you're the very picture of sobriety."

With that we poured Megan into her ride and she rode the boat back to the ship, and I'm sure many recall Lex's tales of that last boat to the ship after a night on the town. Not that I know anything about that kind of thing.

The next morning, bright and early, head throbbing in the morning sunlight, awake before The Missus Herself, I was hosing down the front walk. Doing very nicely, all on the down-low without a soul being wise as to my task. Until the front door opened and the love of my life asked...

"Why are you watering the front walk?"

Before I could answer, The WSO, with an evil laugh, yelled down from upstairs...

"He's cleaning his puke off the walk!"

So much for keeping secrets.



  1. Ahh, the memories. Priceless, could not be bought. Your grandkids will be hearing that tale Sarge.

    1. With proper embellishment brought on by years (I mean YEARS!) of contemplation and analysis. So just like any war story, eh?

    2. Contemplation and analysis is what makes a good war story.

      And look at me, preaching to the choir.


    3. Yes, well....I was raised by a fighter pilot and spent my formative years in the company, the choir is very well trained.

  2. Never send an ensign to buy any celebratory supplies.
    They may be capable of retrieving something for which an order has already been placed.

    Did I ever tell about the time I fell off my lawn?

    1. As to your first - good advice, wish I'd had my wits about me at the time.

      As to your second - I don't recall that story, sounds like a good one.

    2. Well, they say a Fighter Pilot (of which LUSH is one, as is our host) is never drunk as long as he can hold on to a blade of grass to avoid falling off the face of the earth.

    3. I like this "they" you speak of, far better than some of the other "they-sayers" I've heard of.

      But, what happens if one has had a few too many where there is no grass?

    4. As with all "old sayings", there are gray areas that are best left unexplored.

  3. Drinking stories make for some of the best sea stories!

  4. "The very picture" indeed! :)


  5. Fun story, and the OAFS hurled a no hitter on 4 JUL 06. Bunch of MAC guys threatened my well being after I offered them my lawn pizza one evening at Lajes AFB. regards, Alemaster

    1. Lawn pizza. Nice.

      Pshaw, MAC guys. Trash haulers. But they do tend to roam in packs...

  6. A tale worthy of Homer. The acronym page is a classy touch to a lawn barf story.

  7. Number one story, Chris.

    By the by, looks as though I'll be off line until late next week. Looking forward to catching up on the doings here at that time.

    Paul L. Quandt


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