I want to Thank Scott from BIE for the link and as a special salute to him – I present my Marine story in three parts.
Let me first start by saying that the Marines have always fascinated me. Among their many skills and talents one stands out for me. That is their discipline. The ability not only to force themselves to do what they are supposed to when they are supposed to. but also to do it without question. More on that later.
In the early 80’s I was living in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington DC. Just blocks away from the 8th and I barracks of the USMC.
These barracks were not the typical USMC stations. They housed two special units. The USMC Band and the Presidential Honor Guard. The Band had more than their share of the artistic, creative marines. The Honor guard was a whole different world. These are the Men, and I suppose women, who appear at the White House and special State events. The requirements included being over 6’2″, telegenic and built.
Their images are flashed around the world are that the US fighting men are massive giants. They were also drop dead gorgeous. No matter your “type” these men would transcended it. I am not sure how they wrote that part into the regs.
That also meant that they were always exercising. Packs of them running through the neighborhood in, size-to-small, nylon shorts. I think I have a pair or two left as souvenirs of that period. At one time I counted ten different pair, each with a different names etched on the front. Living in an English basement apartment at that time, my big bay window in the apartment could only afford me a view from the waist down. I assumed that since the shorts were so tight, they did not have room to also wear a jockstrap. It amazed me how much nylon could stretch.
For me, there were three places to initiate contact with the Marines. One was Mickie’s Pub, One was the Mall. and the last was my stoop.
Mickie’s Pub was a great neighborhood bar. A seedy Cheers if you will. Located just blocks from the US Capitol, it was a total dive atmosphere in a sea of yuppie scum. Two pool tables and a jukebox that played both country and western music that the Marines claimed as their rec-room. It became my home away too. Sure there were a number of gay bars in the area, but I really enjoyed the sport of the hunt, chase and capture. From my bar stool I could monitor the pool table and the men’s room with the trough toilet. After identifying prey, watching who had been drinking, I waited until it appeared that they were heading the head and I was able to actually get their first so it did not appear that I followed them in but that they had followed me in. It was actually quite easy since 9 times out of ten they would bellow their intentions as part or their rituals before heading over. With the obligatory small talk and glances out of the way I was free to begin the real hunting ritual. Back in the pool table room an occasional “nice shoot” or so close comment opened the door to being invite to join the next game as partners.
At first I would wave off indicating that I was not very good. The encouragement of my new “partner” would be a barometer of chase. Usually my protest were met with encouragement. If they said that they were not any good either I would know I was on my way but with a more ground work ahead. A response of “Don’t worry, We’ll help” meant the only thing left was how to figure a subtle exit with my trophy so as not to raise suspicions with their buddies. “We’ll help” inevitably meant my partner bending me over the table, leaning on/over me, to line up a shot. The pressure felt on my gluts would be a time clock indication. The greater the pressure the less time in the bar. Extremely “hard” pressure, score. Nothing left but the bagging of the catch. Some how I don’t remember seeing this as an episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.