Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Pump Fake

April 26th, 2007 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

In my travels around the world, I have seen and probably eaten some pretty wild stuff. Somehow, when I tell a story, there seems to be a recurrent theme threaded throughout each adventure. A person might even suspect I have an obsession with the fury little rats with tails, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. They just seem to always be there.

It all started as a kid in Virginia Beach, on a school trip to the zoo there. My buddies all headed over to see “George”, the five hundred pound Gorilla. He sat there, munching on some celery, staring out beyond his bars as these little nine year olds jumped up and down to get his attention. Ole George just chewed away, his eyes had a sort of glazed over look to them, ignoring all attempts to get a reaction out of him. One of my friends decided he knew how to make friends with this large black beast, so he pulled out some pennies and fired off one through the bars. It bounced off of George’s head, who just sat there, not even phased as these pennies hit his chest and head. We laughed at this, wondering if this was a real Gorilla or what. Finally we got a reaction from George as his head turned to look at the offending penny thrower. His right arm slowly moved behind his back. Faster then you could blink your eyes, George’s arm whipped around from behind his back in an arching motion, slinging a hand full of Gorilla crap through the bars squarely hitting my friend on the chest. The force and sudden speed of this counter attack from George knocked my buddy onto his butt causing him to break out in a wail of tears as we all laughed pointing at his soiled, stinky tee-shirt.

The teacher hauled him off to the bathroom after we claimed no knowledge as to why peaceful George would attack Billy. Leaving the three of us staring at George with a new found respect. We decided to all flick pennies at George and when he counter attacked, we, being smarter, would jump out of the way, thus avoiding a trip to the bathroom and a stinky tee-shirt. Again, George took the pennies with indifference and finally he slowly reached behind his back for the second time. Being prepared, we all tensed for his attack. George’s arm jerked and we all jumped to the left, only he didn’t toss anything, he paused for a mere second before unleashing both arms resulting in victim/harasser number two hitting the deck, covered in Gorilla poop. Can you believe we were “Pump faked” by a Gorilla?

Once again, we claimed our innocence to the teacher as to why George would attack us as she hauled dash two off for cleanup. With just the two of us left, we figured we needed to move on down road and visit Zebra’s.

Fast forward to 1992, we were flying out of the Subic Bay in the Philippines. Hot, muggy and still a ton of ash from the volcano that erupted the year prior. Walking out of the billeting office to our van, the Gunny, who was smoking a cigarette at the back of the van, asked me “Sir, did you ever play baseball as a kid?”

“Of course I did. Outfield why?” He pointed a big fat monkey sitting on the closed half of a split top dumpster. “I’ll bet you a beer that you can’t hit that monkey with a rock from here.” I looked at the distance, a mere twenty five yards or so and thought I could win this bet. Reaching down, I selected the best round medium size white painted stone I could find. Taking aim, I let that sucker fly at the peaceful monkey who was sitting there, a nice target. The rock hit just left of him, skimming his leg and making all sorts of noise as it ricocheted off the blue metal lid. What I didn’t notice was the Gunny sneaking off and climbing back into the van, followed by all the doors being locked.

I was amazed at how many monkey’s were actually inside of the dumpster as they all came climbing out, teeth bared, a horrible screeching ensued followed by the counter attack. At least ten monkeys came running towards me throwing rocks at the cyclic rate. They were accurate and it hurt!! I turned to the backdoor of the van to let myself in, but found the door locked. The van started to move down the road with me screaming for him to stop and open the door with a squad of “Stone Monkeys” in hot pursuit. I soon found out lesson number one in the P.I., never throw stones at the monkeys, because they will throw back in a team effort. Once again, the fury, funny monkeys became my nemeses. Ahhhh, the mysteries of the Pacific region unfold to newbie’s gullible enough to listen to his Gunny engineer.

All I can say is that they taste like chicken when grilled with some teriyaki sauce. I’ll send some updates from our great Asian tour this month and I hope all of you that are attending the MilBlog conference have a blast!!
Semper Fi,
PS, I’ll be in hawaii this sat, Oki by Wed With Gunny John from the Firing line and out of pocket for the next three weeks in Transit. Take care and stand by for my next post.