Blue Lion

That blue critter above is a lion rampant. That’s one of the things I learned in England. It’s heraldry My favorite haunt in England was the Blue Lion pub, right down the road from RAF N. Pickenham . I was stunned to realize it is still open. I was on the darts team and became quite good, good enough to come in 7th in the Houston open some years later. I won the first 3, got two bye’s then got my ass wiped by someone who had two perfect games. I blame them not allowing beer in the convention center. The Blue Lion was a friendly, warm place, not at all like the honkey tonks you see in the states.

English girls wear knickers, kind of a loose fitting nylon thingie. Except for WRNS (wrens) Womens Royal Enlisted Navy. They wore black panty hose which they called “passion Poopers” HMS Dauntless was near the base, a training camp. You had to check them out, leaving your ID card as a security deposit. If not cheked back in by 12:01 the card was turned over to the AP’s. I had an Austin A40, kind of like a mini station wagon. One of the wrens showed me how to flip a lever and turn the seats into a bed. I had that car for two years and didn’t know it could do that. The movie land girls brings back memories. It was only 12 years after WWII ended. The part of England I was in looked very much like this. About a year ago I was connected with a service call. I recognized the accent. After 50 years, isn’t that odd? “Are you from Norfolk?” I asked “Great Yarmouth” she answered, about 20 miles from where I was stationed.

NAAFI ran canteens whereever british soldiers were stationed. Kind of like a government sponsored USO. Snacks, sandwitches, tea, rubbers, cigarettes, etc. I still have a cigarette lighter I got there.

Norfolk has windmills like holland to take advantage of the North Sea winds. Very bucolic area. Lovely, in a comfortable sort of way. Gt. Yarmouth is a resort town, very nice then, The glass palace was impressive. But alas Its Golden Mile is now a Saturday night zero-tolerance zone, its glass palace may totter into the sea, and there’s a travellers’ colony (trailor park) up in the shadow of the pleasure beach. Sad. Back to the blue lion, the British Empire was collapsing, and ex-pats were returning, stuffy old farts with meersham pipes, tweed hunting jackets with the leather shoulder patch and walrus mustaches. I heard perhaps the best joke I ever heard here. The Brits are fond of lymrics.

There was once a young lady named Fay,
Who was put in the family way,
By Samual McGreggor
An illerate beggar,
Who always spelled cunt with a K.

I so miss the civilized approach the brits have to life.

Most Brits can’t drive, the public transportation is excellent. There are little commuter trains that will stop if you flag them down. and there are long boats which travel in canals. You can rent a long boat like you would a camper here, but they’re mostly used for shipping.

One weekend I was on munitions duty. I liked that, I went to London. I got a call and went to where they were building the green belt. They had dug up a 2000kg unexploded german bomb. The steam (real) shovel was still running with the bomb in the shovel. The foreman approached me and said sotto voce “Can you keep this quiet, mate, just defuse it and don’t say anything” I considered his request for half a second or so, went over to the bobbie standing nearby and said “we’re going to have to evacuate for about 6 blocks around” defuse it shit, I’m going to blow it up. Kiss the steam shovel goodbye.

On a trip to Germany I bought a Mannlicher-Schoenauer rifle. Beautiful gun. I got it for the engraving. It was 9.5mm designed as an elephant gun. $21 bucks for ten cartridges. Shell was about 6 inches long. So I go traipsing out to camp Bisley to fire this sucker. (American military can use british facilities) So I go to the 500 yd range and load this sucker. It’s like an artillary piece, hell of a throw. Took aim and pulled the trigger. Whooom! not a sharp bang like a 30/30 but a rolling explosion. I’m sitting in the mud, a brit comes over, gives me a hand up and says “what you got there yank?” He picks up the gun out of the mud and wipes it off. “can I try this?” “sure, go ahead, I’m through for the day” Whooom! So now I give him a hand up. I return to the US with 8 shells. Sold the gun to my uncle who took it hunting and shot a deer. He said it knocked him on his ass and the deer exploded. Seven shells left. When my uncle died, my nephew got the gun, he asked me about it, took it out hunting and told me “damn that thing kicks” as far as I know it’s still in the closet with 6 cartridges. I think the problem was the gun was too light, no bigger than a 30/30.

I got to go to SAS training, like special forces. Learned to blow up things, and assasinate people. Learned offensive driving. For instance in running a road block you use the car as a weapon, aim the frame of the car at the axle of the blocking car, push it out of the way and disble it at the same time. I began having second thoughts, when the instructor put his foot on top of mine on the accelerator and pushed it to the floor. Bigger than shit I pushed two lorries out of the way with just a “thump” went back and looked. It took out the front axles of both. Wow! Reversing direction full speed is also easier than it looks. Pull on the emergency brake ONLY and release it when you’re heading in the opposite direction. The picture at the left is from the WTC 9/11 disaster. I learned how to do that too. That’s how you make a building come straight down. Does anyone really think a plane crashing 80 floors above did that? But by far the most fun was blowing things up. What a rush. Please sarge, Can I do it again? Please?

London, perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in the world. From my base in Berkshire it was about 45 min by tube to Picadilly Circus. (traffic circle) Probably the center for fun in london. The Windmill Theatre was nearby. By law, nudity was allowed onstage, but not if they were moving. One girl remarked “everybody’s naked, that’s why we wear clothes” One night, I noticed a crowd of eclectic people waiting in line at the ticket booth. The show was “Rocky Horror Picture Show” They were wearing underwear, Elizebethan gowns, leather studded dominitrix rigs etc. Looks like fun. Got a seat in the front row. Later learned the front row was reserved for suckers. It was later turned into a movie. The scene to the right is from the movie. At the windmill however the crowd was downright obnoxious, things flying through the air, squirt guns shooting everyone. For instance, in this scene, the guy at the table half rose and everyone in the theatre made the fart sound. In another scene, lurch, (the butler) looked out the window at a torential downpour. “It looks like it might rain” “No fucking shit” screamed the audience in unison, and the water started. The entire cast picked up buckets and flung water into the audience. Most of the audience protected themselves with plastic sheeting or unbrellas. Later the fish and chips vender commented to me “been to see the show, eh, mate?” Maybe it was because I was soaking wet. It has since become a cult film. They were still showing it at five points in Raleigh when I left. That’s a 50 year run. Replay captures it pretty well. Replay HorrorNights The brits can bring class to any endevour. England swings

Damn, I miss these people.


2 Responses to “Blue Lion”

  1. This is great reading. You got more of it buried in the memory vaults? Save enough of ’em and you got a book to pass on to that nephew that still has that rifle somewhere with six rounds left over.


    michael j

  2. ellocogringo Says:

    Oh yeah, like I emntioned, I’ve been around 28 years overseas. Singapore, Germany, Bolivia, Australia, NZ all over the far east. I’ve seen the Andes from the back side, (up the amazon) and some places where I’m not sure where I was. I just found out one that I didn’t know, irian jaya, bunch of little naked guys running around with pointy sticks. One of the reasons my ex brother thinks I’m crazy, he thinks I’m making it up. If he’d have asked first, I could have shown him my passport and avoided all this shit.

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