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All About Larry

Mike’s recent line of Air Force stories has inspired me to document the stories of our friend Larry.  Larry is ten years older than us, and spent time in the army.  Some of these stories are from him time in the military, while others are simply centered around the continual chaos cloud that lives around Larry.  These events are in rough chronological order.  While my recollection of the stories I was not present for may not be entirely accurate, I hold my versions are better due to Chris’s proclamation, after hearing Larry tell one of these tales himself, “Aaron’s version was better!”

Many of these stories have lasting one-liners, sometimes that is the only remarkable aspect of the story.

Real Ninja’s Don’t Die
Set back when Larry was still in him home town, he and his friends used to walk home near a construction site.  To reach this they crossed a bridge that was above a stream.  They would tempt fate by balancing on the edge, precariously above the stream, ready to drop to at least a broken arm.  Being young and stupid Larry had the bright idea to sneak into the construction site and balance across the steel, frame five stories up.  Brushing off the fear of his friends Larry proclaimed, “Real Ninja’s don’t die!” and promptly make like Spider-Man.  The events of this story are not particularly interesting, just punks being punks, but the quote is everlasting.

We now move forward to Larry’s time in the U.S. Army (motor pool).  Larry was a notorious troublemaker in his home town, and got away with a few more activities only because the town authorities knew he was leaving for good in a short time.

The Mad Shitter
Someone in Larry’s barracks would leave a shit in the toilet that emerged out of the bowl like a great tower.  Soldiers were shocked.  No one knew who it was, and over the course of basic training they could never find out who it was.  The brown tower appeared every week, without fail.  There was a period of several weeks when no construct was found, and the barracks thought they were rid of the “Mad Shitter”, but just as they felt safe it appeared again.  Some think it was a soldier fomr another barracks.  We will never know.

The New Roy
It was the last day of basic training.  The next morning they would all be shipped out to their respective assignments.  What else you gonna do, but party?  Larry’s entire barracks (two-stories) was turned into a beach house.  Lounge chairs, Hawaiian lays, even sand on the floor.  The party was in full swing.  The barracks had a central hallway down the length, with rooms off to each side.  Larry and some other hooligans where drinking in one of the second-story rooms.  Suddenly his buddy stands up, turns, yells “I can make it!  I am the new Roy!”, and runs out the room, across the hallway, into the room across the hall, and out the window!  Everyone rushes to the window.  They see and imprint in the snow (I forgot to mention that) of a spread-eagle body.  Ten feet from that imprint, and a bit skewed, they see another body imprint.  They watch “The New Roy” stand up, walk in a staggered fashion, then collapse in a snow pile.

No one ever knew who Roy was until many years after the incident, when the story was told for the millionth time.  The listener of the story stated, “Roy is the first name of Evel Knieval.”

Fast forward to Larry’s stint in Germany.  Who says you don’t see the world?

The Russian Judge Game Him a 9
Larry’s squad was packing a tank (amazing right).  They pack them in these giant pieces of hard foam.  In the middle of this process a piece of this foam, that was to go under a tank, was positioned on the grounds in from of Larry’s barracks.  Larry was struck by a brilliant? idea.  “Private Sims, I never heard that.”  Larry climbed up to the roof of the barracks.  He climbed to the edge of the roof and entered a driver’s position, complete with folded hands.  He played to the crowd a bit with some bobbing and hesitation.  Everyone on base within view was staring up at him, including at least one Captain.  Larry jumped off the roof of the two-story building only the GIANT foam, 6 foot tall.  He would have been entirely safe, except he somehow managed to miss anywhere near the middle, and hit his body on the edge.  The foam compressed and his body was fine, but his head danged off the foam, so when the foam compressed it bounced off the pavement.  Thanks to another chaos miracle he was OK.  More proof that Larry will some day die in a remarkably mundane manner.

Mr. Jack
Larry and his buddies left base for a night of drinking.  I should mention Larry’s drink of choice is Jack Daniels, something that I often find myself drinking at events.  Larry returned to base past curfew.  The base gates were closed and guarded.  He was going to be in big trouble if he returned now, especially in his inebriated state.  Pondering what to do he turned to his buddies, “Men, Mr. Jack said we’re going over the wall!”  Larry then moved down the fence line, away from the gate, in a relatively secluded section.  He gathered all his concentration and began to scale the 15ft fence.  A challenge for a drunken man by itself, but nothing compared to reaching the summit only to face the barbed wire.  Using his “drunken toughness” he somehow traversed over the barbed wire without cutting himself to ribbons (even when something crazy happens to Larry he often manages to pull off an impressive feat). The hard part over, or so he thought, as upon starting his decent he found his coat inescapably tangled in the barbed wire.  A final grasp by the defense had landed.  In a sobering moment he realized base patrol would be passing at any minute.  Larry was not about to find out how much trouble he would be in when they found a drunken soldier hanging from the fence.  Mr. Jack, as he is want to do, said, “You are on your own son.”  Larry’s solution was to spin, twist, and kick until his coat ripped free.  Success!  The wire released it’s grip, and Larry fell 10ft into some bushes, where he passed out until 5 minutes before morning formation.  The nearby gate guard ran to investigate, but never thought to dig through the bushes.  BTW, his buddies used the distraction to scamper through the gate and sneak back ot their barracks.  I don’t think they ever formally thanks Larry.

I’m a Professional
Larry’s squad was clearing the area and positioning multi-ton blocks for a foundation.  They had already successfully positioned three of the four blocks.  They positioned the last, but due to a bout of idiocy it was several feet off.  This does not sound like much, but it was a huge deal, and given the “their just a bunch of screw ups” reputation they had, harsh punishment would fall to them if this was not fixed pronto.  The problem was the crane used to position the blocks was long gone.  They were screwed!  Larry had a plan, and the CO on site was left with no choice but to let him try.  “Private Sims I never heard this.”  With quiet permission, the CO was probably just as curious to see the outcome as anyone, Larry got behind the wheel of the massively heavy military truck (dusen?).  He carefully backed her up, then slammed on the petal, heading at full speed headlong into the misplaced block!  So much for Larry.  Just as he was about to end his life in once of those Darwin Award winning moments he stood on the brakes and twisted the wheel.  The truck spun around and slammed sideways into the block, hitting with a tremendous crash!  The CO taking a measurement found the force of the collision had moved the block the few inches into perfect position.  Larry was now a professional.

Sometimes a Picture is Worth More than a Thousand Words
Larry was no Paul, but he did have a period where he carried around a camera.  In a very Paul-like moment, he thought it would be incredibly artistic to take a picture of someone pissing down a chimney.  Larry gathered up to comrades who had nothing better to do than indulge him.  They climb onto the roof of a three story building and Larry straddled the apex while one guy peed down the chimney.  What the third guy was doing just hanging out on the roof, who know.  As the peer zips up and the acrobatic trio begins decent the two peers slip and slide down the roof!  They managed to knock each other further along until they both grabbed the last pipe protruding from the roof.  Larry stood over the apex and laughed.  Destinic karma punched him in the face as he too fell and slid rapidly towards the edge, a three story plunge, and certain brig time.  He failed to grab anything to stop himself, including the outstretched arm of his buddy, not tha the drunk coudl hold Larry – he could barely hold himself.  Larry finally succeeded in grabbing the edge of the roof, his last chance.  Luckily Germany houses do not have flimsy aluminum gutters.  The three managed ot pll themselves up and climb down to ground level without further incident. The inhabitants of the home must have been dead, drunk, or gone.  The camera fell off the roof in the slide down the roof.

German Fourth of July
It was the German Fourth of July equivalent.  Fireworks were all over the place.  Larry, drunk as you might expect by now, lit an explosive, stuck it in his jacket pocket and ran screaming down the road.  Moments later it exploded, as explosives are want to do, sending Larry flying head-long into a street water fountain.  After recovering, a newly sober Larry inspected his jacket.  Luckily it was winter, for he had four layers on, and the firework had blown a large hole through all of them, leaving a large red circle.  If he had been wearing only three layers, or even two, he may be dead.  Another point on the side for his forthcoming extremely mundane death.

That is enough “Larry in the army” stories.  Now fast forward to his time as a game store owner.  These next stories took place at or near “The Black Store”.  It was called so because it was opposite “The White Store”.  The White Store was in a very nice neighborhood were people had money – very clean, and the Black Store was in a far less affluent part of town – dirty.  Hence the crew of employees came up with the names.

The reoccurring theme to the Black Store was the halfway house at the corner.  We would hang out at the Black Store for hours at the time, which lead to the inevitable trips to Wilson Farms a block away for supplies.  This meant running the gauntlet of the halfway house druggies who always wanted a handout or the more hard-working ones would try to sell you some piece of crap from the dumpster, which they tried to pass off as some relic escaped from a museum.

The back room of the store had a giant table, made of a piece of plywood. Some argument ensued, as it often did, about something weird.  This time, could you shovel with no thumbs.  Larry was adamant that he coudl do it.  He grabbed a snow shovel and help it with only his fingers on each hand.  As proof to the table he categorically held it out to the table.  With his un-muscled pinky finger Louis barely touched the edge of the shovel blade, sending it spinning.

Louis, “You forgot about torque.”

The following stories highlight a few of the more unusual people who appeared regularly at The Black Store.

Baby Paw was the most pleasant of the corner’s half-way home residents.  While the others flat out begged for money, he would always offer to do some pathetically trivial job for some cash.  Free the sidewalk in front of the store for snow or leaves, which took all of two seconds, was one of his common offers.  This was refreshing at first, but as the other half-men “graduated” the home and left, we were always left with Baby Paw.  Sometimes he offered to clear the already cleared sidewalk several times in the same day.

What the hell kind fo name is “Baby Paw”?  The guy had thick speech, and not one understood more than 30% of what he said, except when he wanted money, in which case he was as eliquent and clear as ever a Human has been.  Baby Paw was some common phrase he used.

“Break me off a piece of that Baby Paw.”

As best we can tell, it means “Please, can you spare me some cash kind sirs.”

Baby Paw was seen a few times walking past the store, then walking back again later.  On his return pass he was seen with a TV under his arm, “as if he owned it.”

A rare treat was when he entered the store to barter.  Once he entered with a rusty metal box that contained ribbon and an open condom.  He explained it was some valuable Chinese treasure, but he would part with it for $5 US.  His only successful transaction of this kind was “The Artifact”.  It was a giant yarn-woven pattern.  Larry was in a generous mood that day, and still has “The Artifact” hanging the wall of his pool room.  “The Artifact” played a biut part  in a previous post about Larry’s parties.

James was a guy who hung around the store constantly and sponged his was into everything we did.  Other than being exceptionally weird he was harmless, and mostly in the background.  He did forever ingrain a place in our memories by licking the dirty, metal pole in the store.  No reason or prodding for this, he just did it.

Rico the Blood Letter obtained infamy for two reasons.  One, he was in the paper for going to a BAD part of town, stripping himself almost naked, and walking down the street just so he could be beat up and experience the blood, which turned him on.  He got his wish.  The second reason was he would tell anyone who entered the store of his pierced penis.  Why?!  Either he was pierced, and therefore a waste of oxygen, or he was making it up for attention.  Either way he was clearly a folder, and not long for this world.

Erin was an attractive girl, who was not too bright, not Sue the Boot dumb, but not a lot better.  She liked Larry, so hung around the store frequently, generally interjecting a dose of estrogen.  Initially a pleasant change of pace, her discussion of feelings and continual talking about her problems, only to ignore any suggested solutions drew ire quickly.  None of this is surprising.  What was of interest was the fact that she changed her name from “Erin” to “Aryn” because she felt “Erin” was a fat girl’s name.  She was by no means fat, in fact she was rather skinny, but she was not starving for lack of crazy.

These last few stories are in the modern era (2000+).

Larry is a BIG Fan
When Larry falls asleep it is like a bear who passed out on his back, spread eagle.  Often one hand would be draped over his face.  Larry was also prone to placing large fans very close by.  Can you see where this is going?  You would think a fan is not a problem because they all have a housing to protect any clumsy passer-by, however Larry is want to last out sometimes, sending his fist anywhere out to meet anything within range.  Many times I was sitting across the table from Larry when a snide comment sent his fist out on another mission, but since I was out of range he hit the guy next to him.  Most of the time his fist missions resulted in nothing, but if there was a fan nearby he was sure to hit it – breaking the fan guard.  The end story is that Larry would fall asleep, and in mid-slumber his hand would seek out and find the fan, either breaking the fan guard, or jetting himself awake as his fleshy appendage found the spinning blades.  Lucky he never had a metal fan.

Kissing Death
Our final tale involved Larry and myself.  It was a Thanksgiving even, and Larry volunteered to teach me to sky.  We piled into my car and he led me to Kissing Bridge.  The entire dirve was slow.  The wind was kicking up snow across the windshield, leaving visibility low.  I was having doubts.  Was my first ski trip also my last?  Bah, we pressed on.  Nearing our destination, or so I was assured, we wound our way up a hill.  Up and up, and up a little more.  As we finally reached the top, and began to wind down the other side we reached a fork.

“Go left.”, a confident Larry stated

About 50 feet down the left fork we discovered this was assuredly NOT the correct path.  We had discovered a dark dead end.  I stop, and put it in reverse.  As we rolled backwards something was amiss.  What was it?  We were instead slowly rolling forward!  After a few heart heart-palpitating moments the car stopped rolling down the hit.  We got out to assess.  The front of the car was aat the exact edge of the cliff by the road!  In fact, my front, drivers tire was hanging off the edge.  Thank god Larry was on the passenger side (for he is much heaver than I).  We both looked at the situation, then looked at each other.

Larry: “Dude, we almost died.”
Aaron: “We still might.  Be careful.”

I got back in the car and Larry carefully pushed where he could until the car went in reverse reverse.  I breathed a heavy sigh of relief when we got to the main road.  After this skiing was easy.  What?  Break a leg?  Better than plunding over a cliff to my death, or better yet to survive the fall and slowly freeze to death in the dark.  Likely with Larry falling on top of me.

Just to finish the story, when we arrived he went down the bunny hill with me twice, then ditched me for some girl who was trying to learn, but her boyfriend lacked the patience to stay, so he headed off to the real hills.  By the time Larry was done with his failed courting there was just enough time for us to reach the top of a real hill.  I did pretty well if I do say so myself, considering I fell on ever turn until I was 3/4 down the hill and noticed I should my lef when turning lest my skis cross and force a fall.  Larry never filled me in on this important detail.  This only lengthened the last run of the night, aggravating the Ski Patrol who was following us down the hill.  Certainly not a fate anywhere near death.


13 Responses

  1. Not too bad… but how did the tractor trailer full of death get left out? Also, Larry once put his HEAD into the fan.

  2. Also, that thing about Roy being Evel Knieval’s real name… someone told me that and we believed it ruined the mystery of what the “new Roy” meant. However through the Internet I have discovered that explanation was complete BS, therefore no one knows to this day what “the new Roy” means, since the jumper’s name was NOT Roy.

  3. I never knew about the fan.

    As far as the trailer of death story, here goes. Larry, Ernie, and Don (?) were driving out to Kissing Bridge for some skiing. On the rad to KB they passed a tractor trailer. A bit later they pulled into a convenient store. While in the store the trailer they passed ran off the road, and smack into the convenient store. Larry was OK. After he made sure he was not dead he pulled the unconscious store clerk out of the building. Dan was OK. Where was Ernie? Larry re-entered the store wreak and hear a muffled “Help Help” coming from Ernie, as he was trapped on his back, under a display of sugary treats. In the end everyone was OK. Once outside they found the tractor was buried half-way into the building. Larry discovered the front of the tractor stopped a few feet from where he fell on impact. There HAD been a few cars in the parking lot. Now they where all wreaked. Except one. The car our heroes had driven. It was surrounded by wreckage. The only effect of the crash was a single cinder block sitting on the middle of the hood. They lifted it off and the car was unscratched.

    I never heard this story first-hand, so I have no doubt I have at least a few facts seriously wrong. Correcting my mistakes is left as an exercise for the reader.

  4. Good post! Please keep them coming!

  5. Don’t worry. I have a new one in the works about my freshman year.

  6. Oh, and only because you brought it up first, let me remind you of your recent comment to ‘Roomate Woes’,

    “2. If you used a modern browser, like Firefox, you would have a spell checker all the time, but may choose not to use the many red underlines.”

    16 spelling errors alone in this post! Your modern trendy crunchy granola west coast hippy browser failed! That or you lack the frontal lobe capacity to make use of it. Kneel before the mighty bastard Microsoft, for verily, they shalt buy your ass before the year is up.

    Oh, and I look forward to the upcoming story, especially if it tells how you came to be called ‘Scooter’! I always assumed it was due to your canine style carpet wiping habits, but could be wrong.

  7. Hey man. Let’s all sit in a parallelogram and be one with the wiifi. Harmony and organic peaches will bring you inner peace man. Nature tells me we all need to just get together and direct copious amounts of anger at Dan for not posting “The anguished 12 Hours”!

  8. Re: “Someone in Larry’s barracks would leave a shit in the toilet that emerged out of the bowl like a great tower. Soldiers were shocked. ” HAHAHAHA, “soldiers were shocked.” I’m picturing some hard-core Full Metal Jacket types, standing around in a circle over the cursed toilet bowl, with looks of utter dismay on their faces as they gaze into another dimension, another time, in….the Crapper Zone — hahaha this is priceless!!!

  9. Any military unit that would have Larry is far more likely to resemble the ‘Stripes’ crowd than ‘Full Metal Jacket’, which my Air Force crowd totally resembled.

  10. Indeed, it was so Stripes like that our other friend Dave was heard to say that they must not even have served in the same Army. Nevertheless Aaron has left out some of the other details of Larry’s mad shitter, such as the fact that the offender began to leave the towers of power on the stairwell, in the hall (complete with a bare human footprint in it and tracks), and also hand-wrote “HELTER SKELTER” with the brown goo. Soldiers were indeed shocked at both the 13×3 inch turds. As with Mike’s previous story, it was generally believed that the perp must have been a homosexual.

  11. Come on! Seriously? No WAY – he left them on the stairwell and then stepped on them to leave his human footprint??! Obviously this guy had anal retentive issues going back to early childhood. Something went awry with his potty training.

  12. No, if you read carefully you will note that the alleged stairwell turd was different from the one with the bare human footprint, which was in a hallway. There was definitely word afoot of a sack job if the offender was caught, but the Phantom Shitter escaped justice.

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