|Oh, crap! They left without me!|
Even though I politely pointed out to the kind gentleman at the military processing facility that the airplane was invented in 1903, I was told, "Shut yer f*****g pie hole, dinglef**k. We coulda put yer f*****g a** on a f*****g mule. Now, get on the f*****g train, s***bird!"
Golly, my recruiter never acted that way. F**ker.
Anyway, as the train slowly pulled from the station, I began to wonder if I'd made the right decision. After all, the next four years seemed like an eternity. Maybe going to that junior college to major in lawn darts (beer pong hadn't been invented yet) wouldn't have been such a bad idea, after all.
But, since I had spent my last dollar earned at Dino's Seafood and Cockfight Emporium, I figured I had to do something to put gas in my car, go drinking with my friends (the drinking age was 18 in 1976. It wasn't until my generation screwed it up that it was raised to 21. Ooops, sorry, our bad), and take my girlfriend out to the drive-in theater (where we heard a lot of movies...wink, wink).
Of course, it never occurred to me that I would be leaving my car, friends, and girlfriend for the next several months. Didn't put a whole lot of thought into that decision. It's probably obvious that I wasn't going into Naval Intelligence.
Surprisingly, I survived the next four years (can't say the same for the relationship with my girlfriend). In fact, I pretty much survived the next 29 years (I was actually in active service for 27. The two years I spent as a Naval Reservist in the mid-80s is a whole 'nother story).
Rather than bore you with a grossly overlong tale of "I Was There", I thought it better to give you a brief summary of an adventure begun with a foul-mouthed petty officer at a train station.
|NOTE: No lenses in the frames. |
And my hair has grown back.
1976- Joined the Navy to learn how to repair aviation electronics. Along the way, I learned how to fold my underwear.
1977- During my first port visit to Rio while embarked on my first ship, the USS America, I thought I was doing real good with the first ladies I met. Until they asked for money up front. Ohhhhhh....
1978- 'Saturday Night Fever' comes out, Vietnam attacks Cambodia, my girlfriend breaks up with me. Coincidence? I think not.
Oh yeah. I'm promoted to Petty Officer Third Class. Now I can at the "Big Boy" Swearing Table.
1979- John Wayne dies, there's a fuel shortage, we visit Alexandria, Egypt (man, that place is old), my ship enters the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth (as opposed to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Those Navy guys with their wacky names!).
Then, after the hostages are taken in Tehran, Ayatollah Khomeini protests, "You think I'm nuts?? Wait till you meet that Ahmadinejad guy!"
Sure, the statue behind me is way cool and all. But, check out my wicked cool velour shirt and corduroy pants. Speaking of....velour and corduroy???.....it's frikkin' hot out here!!
Petty Officer Al Penwasser rockin' that cool 70's Porn Star Stash and those hip sideburns!
|1979: The Very First "Tying My Shoe" picture-Rome, Italy|
To be continued.....
Next: The 1980s-Shore Duty, Marriage, Divorce, Marriage, and A Flock of Seagulls.