|Commodore John Paul Jones.|
Or Al Penwasser.
In any case, it beats the hell out of Ken Lynch.
With that in mind, I decided to repost a repost to:
a. Explain the origins of “Al Penwasser” for those of you who are new tenants of Penwasser Place.
b. Give me a chance to post some old crap. This, of course, spares me from having to write something original (gotta save my creative juices-such as they are-for the A-Z Challenge in April. Tell Jenny I said hello).
I actually wrote the post below several years ago when I was a “freelance stringer for Navy Times, a subsidiary publication of the Army Times Publishing Company” (if that sounds like a line from a resumé, it is). I updated it the first time I listed it on Blogger. I then updated it a second time when I reposted it on Blogger. I then re-updated it for this time on Blogger. This thing has had more makeovers than Joan Rivers.
|"Okay, so I look like Frankenstein. |
But, I still make wayyyyy more money than you, Mr. Funny Man Penwasser, Lynch.
Whoever the frik you are!"
Oh, before you start, I must caution my overseas (please excuse the fact that I refer to non-Americans as “overseas”; I fully understand that, to you, the United States is overseas. Maybe even to my Canadian friends, too) followers. Since this was originally written when I was working for Navy Times, it goes a little heavy on jingoistic Cold War verbiage and “gee ain’t we frikkin’ cool?” symbolism.
|You're laughing right now, aren't you? |
A congressman for over 12 years, a punchline forever.
If you doubt that, have a look at The Jersey Shore one night.
|"No, seriously, I'm frikkin' hysterical! |
What, you'd rather I put Conan O'Brien on?"
The “Evil Empire” was still in business and few people did a better job of caging the bear than the U.S. military. Our influence was felt throughout the world and it could be argued that, like the Union Jack before it, the sun never set on the Stars and Stripes.
|"You want me at that barber shop, |
you need me at that barber shop!!"
The Lajes Naval Air Facility in the Portuguese Azores was just such a place.
Perched nine hundred miles off the European coast, Lajes was a major stopping off point for forces crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The roar of aircraft pausing to refuel there was as common as flag burnings in Tehran.
|"Hey, can you ask if they have |
a nice, clean rest room?"
It was also where Al Penwasser was born.
Petty Officer Penwasser was an enlisted aircrewman attached to Patrol Squadron Eleven during its deployment to Lajes in the final days of the Cold War.
Not many people actually saw him, but I knew he existed from the day I reported to VP-11 in 1987. Many folks warned me to be on the lookout for this cocky individual who always seemed to be on “assignment.”
Even though I never laid eyes on him, I did see his service record, training folder, and the volumes of mail he received on a regular basis.
I never questioned why his picture board photograph always came up missing or why “Classified-Secret” was pasted across his face when it wasn’t.
It certainly drove the Commanding Officer nuts that Penwasser never checked in with him.
|I meant spork! Damn Google.|
After the Cold War, he realized his lifelong dream of becoming a member of the Special Forces. Exactly WHOSE Special Forces we didn’t know; all we knew is he volunteered for only the most dangerous of missions. Ya know, like hunting with Dick Cheney or designated driver for Charlie Sheen.
He stayed in touch, though. We routinely got postcards from places as exotic as the Orient, the Gulf, or Daytona Beach at Spring Break. A sentimental rake, he always signed them, “Love, Al.”
|No, not that kind of manure spreader|
After that, he dropped out of sight. We sometimes saw his name in guest registers at places like the Pantheon, the Dubai Seamen’s Center, assorted Mayan ruins, or bowling alley bathroom walls, but that was about it.
|Except now, he's probably asking, |
"Would you like fries, fries, baby?"
I never found out where he went or what he did, but his spirit lives on in this blog and elsewhere. No matter whether the subject is Old Man Toe, Columbus Day, or Heel Piss Cream, I’m proud that Al has once more found a home for his wry take on life.
Oh, and as for that name. Comes from Portuguese bottled water:
EPILOGUE: If you haven’t figured it out by now (sheesh, were you even reading this!?), I took the pseudonym of Al Penwasser when writing, first for Navy Times and then, for Blogger. However, I won’t be changing the name of this blog because a) “Lynch’s Place” doesn’t have near the alliterative zing! of “Penwasser Place” and b) I still have a lot of Penwasser tee shirts to sell. Fact is, I’ve grown fond of Al and will continue to call on him whenever I’m feeling especially schizophrenic. Now, this post has gone on far too long. So, let's get out there and buy your copy of Shag Carpet Toilet!
While there's still thousands left!