Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Navy Shore Tales

It's easy for a sailor to become the victim of his own folly while seeking fun on the beach. Like a friend of mine on board the West Virginia who we called Pappy because he was so old. He was in his late 30's or early 40's when he went ashore one day seeking some companionship with one of the opposite sex. He found a willing one and rented a hotel for the night.
During the early morning he woke up to find her gone as well as his trousers and his billfold. Without any money for cab fare he walked all the way back to the ship with only a short raincoat for privacy. When he walked back up the gangplank, undignified, he was showing very white, hairy legs from his kneecaps to his ankle. The Officer on Deck had a hard time keeping from laughing but all Pappy's buddies gave him a bad time for quite awhile for that episode.
Or there were the two Irish shipmates who were from Chicago. They were a real Mutt and Jeff. The one was quite small and very mouthy. The other was a big, burly guy who often had to fight his mouthy friend's battles for him. One night in San Francisco the two were in a bar and the little guy had found a friendly girl to sit by him at the bar. He bought a drink for himself and her and when she finished hers, he said, "O.k., you've drank enough of my booze, now let's go to bed." She backhanded him right off the bar stool and a real brawl ensued. The big guy had to fight for his buddy again. I wonder if they are still friends to this day--or even alive!

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