Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's An Adventure

  Al here (well, who did you expect?).
  If you're not on the East Coast of the United States, please excuse the following well wishes for a region normally beset by blizzards, urban sprawl, and the cast of The Jersey Shore.  If you'd like, you can move on to the below continuation of my Navy saga.  Or you can stay and feel superior to those of us who are flooded, out of power, and still live next to New Jersey.  Just don't ask for any sympathy from us the next time you have mudslides, wildfires, Kate Winslet, or Al Qaeda decides it's high time for you to go.  You've been warned.
  Anyway, I hope everybody did okay with Hurricane Irene.  We made out pretty well here at Penwasser Place.    Even though we had torrential rain, high winds, and volcano eruptions, our power never went out.  On that note, I'd like to thank the neighbors down the street for letting us sacrifice their virgin child (Luckily, their son was into Dungeons and Dragons) to Power God in Sky for sparing us from spoiled food and no flushing toilets.  Whew!  Unlike Osama Bin Laden, we dodged that bullet.
  Frankly, I think hurricanes blow (NOTE:  that is the last time I use that hideous hurricane joke.  I promise).

We continue.....

You should have seen my beard

1980- Asked to leave the USS America for not buttoning my shirt and refusing to shave that cheesy moustache.

April, 1980- I total my car in an ill-advised late night run to North Carolina to drink on the beach
with my shipmates (hmm, you know, now that I write that, it sounds kinda gay).  I reenlist for four years for a $12,000 bonus.  Yes, the two events are related.
1981- I go on shore duty.  Suffering severe emotional distress at having to button my shirt, I marry Mrs. Penwasser I (aka "Bug-Eyed Ugly Woman").  We are married in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens (should never have picked the "Poison Plants of North America" gazebo) and honeymoon in-no kidding-Disney World (I knew she was frikkin' goofy).  Let's never speak of this again.

"Can I stop sucking in my gut now?"
Oh, yeah, baby, still sportin' the stash.
1981-1984- Navy instructor at the Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. This was great shore duty.  I learned to play golf (well, actually, I learned I sucked at playing golf), was captain of the bowling team (beer and those cool shirts....what's not to love?), broke my ankle playing softball (resulting in being voted "Most Valuable Player" by my teammates),  set personal record in the Missile Command video game at the pizza parlor, decided to shave my mustache after watching a Flock of Seagulls video (because I was wondering if other people thought I was "effed up" looking, too).  Oh, yeah, I taught electronics to sailors and Marines (I let the Marines use coloring books).
NOTE: Not me. Inserted mainly for effect
1984-  Giving up the good life, I get out of the Navy.  I join the Navy Reserves because I liked the clothes.  But, much to my surprise, I had to get regular haircuts.  Crap!

April, 1985-  Mrs. Penwasser I tells me she "isn't happy" at our 4th anniversary dinner.  When I told her she could have had the fish instead, she insists that wasn't what she meant.  Bitch didn't get dessert.

June, 1985- I meet who will eventually become Mrs. Penwasser II.  In addition to being smokin' hot, she has a cool car.  Saw no downside there.  To show her I was a sexy "keeper" (and to pay my ever-mounting bills),  I take a position as an "Italian Food Transportation Representative."  At Dominos.

1986-Divorce Mrs. Penwasser I, marry Mrs. Penwasser II (NOTE:  I didn't want to wait.  I had a huge load of laundry)  (NOTE ADDENDUM:  Please excuse the previous sexist comment.  I meant to say I was tired of eating cold cuts and Chunky Soup out of the can).

1986- Eerily similar to my "not having any money left" problem from ten years earlier, I reenlist in the Navy.  By this time, Mrs. Penwasser II thrilled to have me out of the house.

To be continued...

Next:  We finish the 1980s (I'm tired and you're probably sick of reading, anyway), break dance into the 1990s, and I'll tell you where I was on 9/11.  Then I retire.


  1. Was it Missile Command with the control ball? Also on that black and white picture of you in uniform your expression is one of a man holding in a fart.

  2. "Bitch didn't get desert"... hahah

  3. @Tony: That roller ball thingie rocked! As far as my expression, the power went out at the photo lab so they needed to take my picture outside where I was facing a very bright sun. Which probably caused the expression. Plus, I did have to fart. Which, as I recall, I did.
    @Sub-Radar-Make: God as my witness, those were her exact words and my reply (although I may have have said 'steak.' I can't remember).

  4. I never knew people were using the "I'm not happy" line in 1985. I thought Larry David invented that 20 years later. I hope she received a frugal divorce settlement.

  5. She got the bed. And nothing else!
    I kept my self-respect. And the couch.

  6. i'd be willing to sign up for just about anything right now for $12,000. maybe i shouldn't say that out loud.
    and i like your new title for the pizza delivery job. sounds way classier. and i know how you're all about class.

  7. So glad the bitch didn't get dessert. Great line, Al.

  8. Why are the big decisions made on anniversaries over dinner. My 1st husband said he wanted a divorce on our 10th anniversary over dinner. That spoiled my appetite. Ha

  9. @Sherilin: $9,600 after taxes. What a great summer. Too bad I spent it all on Bug Eyes.
    @Robyn: And I made her leave the tip.
    @Manzanita: But did he get dessert?
    @Damin: Thanks!

  10. I love "Italian Food Transportation Representative." lol

  11. I hope you hadn't given her her anniversary gift yet. Wow, that's harsh.

  12. So were you on board the USS America when she came to MY Portsmouth - musta been around 1980 - I remember it very well because the ship had to moor out in the solent as too big for our dock. Me and a few friends took a tour (we had to get a little boat out to it), that thing was fucking massive.

    ...was that you ?

  13. Glad to hear you made it out of the hurricane alive and well.

    I don't know what more you could expect from a bug-eyed ugly woman...they should come with warnings, really.

  14. Whatever's going on in the photo, I think you pretty darn good in it! :o)

  15. @Eva: It sounded so much more professional than "Zooming Around Your Neighborhood While Getting Your Frikkin' Pizza In 30 Minutes Or Less Or It's Free, Douchebag" delivery driver.
    @Ruth: Actually, I hadn't. But, she gave me a car brush. Yep, nothing says love like a rotating car brush doodad that you can put on the end of the garden hose. I guess I shoulda seen it coming.
    @dirtycowgirl: Sadly, no. She left the shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia towards the end of summer, 1980. One of her first at-sea periods was to Portsmouth, England. (BTW, of all the ports we visited, we had to anchor out with the exception of Marseilles and Norfolk, Virginia, of course). I was very very disappointed not to have gone. I always wanted to go to England. I finally went with my family in 2004 to London. What a GREAT time! You lot are all so friendly.
    @Mama: When it happened, my family told me that none of them liked Bug. They love Mrs. Penwasser II, though.
    @Deborah: The picture was taken of me when I was the night shift supervisor while we were at sea. Good thing nothing much happened.