A Few Bad Ideas

            I have no doubt that a loyal reader looking at this title might wonder if this is going to be a rehash of things past told as nearly every post is filled with ideas ranging from the realm of ill conceived to down right deplorable. Unfortunately I must report that no shortage of these gems exists and that I have but siphoned off the mere surface of the well of them. Should any reader who stumbled across this be starting to worry that I might be dredging up dangerous things best forgotten that may impact life and career, fear not, for after the Ken incident last year I understand that for some reason people actually read this drivel and take stock in it. That said, take comfort that all mentioned, the author included, can be considered three time losers for the largess of poor planning.

            To begin this collection, I’ll take another shot at AF management and recount a bad idea that was not mine, nor my friends, but the eager young Lieutenant for the squadron. His name escapes me but his actions caused no shortage of heartbreak and financial cost to me and mine. It was my second winter at Langley and tensions were high as Clinton and Saddam thumbed their noses at each other regarding the presence of weapons inspectors. Given that he had none and what came to follow under the next administration, kicking them out was as stupid a move as our invasion based on the sketchy reporting of a known ne’er-do-well. In any case, the holidays were approaching with Saddam threatening to kick them out and Clinton was countering with the threat of a stern airstrike spanking. In the midst of this, I and others were granted leave to go home for Christmas.

            It was 3 days before Christmas and both sides decided to make good their promises. Not something I was all too concerned with as we had forward deployed planes in both Saudi and Turkey and the smoke had cleared within a few hours. We were just sitting down to eat the glorious repast my mother prepared when the phone rang. “Airman Wolf?” Crap. Being called by rank at home could never be considered to be a good thing. “This is Lt Douchebag. In light of recent events, all leaves are cancelled. Report back to base immediately.” More disheartening words mere inches from my most favorite of holidays had ever been spoken.

            Dinner was like ashes in my mouth and I couldn’t choke down desert. The price gouging airline attempted to charge me $800 to change my flight, but I successfully used my military recall status to get them down to $300. Still a monumental expense on an airman’s salary. The next morning my disheartened family drove me through the blustering snow to the airport and watched me board with the knowledge that a very real possibility existed that I would be spending Christmas in the sand. It was, however, what I signed up for when I enlisted and was determined to be in best spirits about it.

            I arrived back in Virginia where the rain was coming down in sheets. Rocky Vance picked me up from the airport and took me back to my apartment, where I changed into uniform and made my way into work where I spent 9 hours repairing band 3 amplifiers rather than drinking beer with Knaus or having my picture taken on Santa’s lap as I had planned. Oh miserable day! I did all I could to take it stoically; a man of duty and self sacrifice. The shop chief called me into his office.

            “Wolfie, I can’t tell you how sorry I am. This really sucks and I’m impressed with how well you are taking it.” I mumbled something about how it was my job, yadda yadda. “Yeah, it’s too bad how the Lt. jumped the gun and started calling people back on his own before the Colonel stopped him.” Wait, what? Yes, as it turned out, this butter bar fuck nut eager beaver saw the news reporting, overheard someone wonder aloud if there would be a recall, and took it upon himself to go erasing people’s leaves to look like a go getter. A truly bad idea from my point of view.

            This news did not do much to improve my mood, especially after I found that while they weren’t cancelling leaves, they were not yet approving new ones, which I what I could have to apply for to get back home. I spent the next two days pleading my case to all who would hear, and at the 0 hour was approved to go back home on Christmas leave. While it was the Christmas that almost wasn’t, all was good in the end although my family and I ended up a good $800 more in the hole that was naturally non-reimbursable. I’m sad to say, however, that the eager Lt. was shortly thereafter promoted up to his further level of incompetence.

            As I had mentioned in earlier posts, I was known for slipping out the back way of establishments and walking back home when I felt I had enough and wasn’t in the mood to debate the matter. In the beginning they launched unsuccessful manhunts for me, but after a spell understood ‘that is just Wolf’ and let me be. While my famous 5 mile treks home where in and of themselves not bad ideas (well perhaps they were but nothing bad happened to me because of them), they inspired one that surely was. I will decline to mention the name of the poor unfortunate, but this should spark a memory or two for the parties actually involved.

            It was a Friday night and one of the legendary party night’s at John McCauley’s apartment in Newport News, about 30 miles away from me. My roommate and I arrived early and the three of us enjoyed one of the payday lobster boils we liked to have now and then and began the beer drinking early. My contribution was a 30 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, chosen carefully as I knew that even if I didn’t return for a month, every last can would still be present in the fridge, unlike the favored Icehouse which would disappear less than an hour after my departure. My roommate was sucking them fast that night and it didn’t help that John was doing everything possible to irritate the crap out of him.

            At one point we were playing a board game and John took to slapping my roommates hand each time he went to move a piece. After several warnings went unheeded, he launched himself at John and popped him in the face, setting the tone for a violent evening. It didn’t help matters that the place filled up with many partiers and a tournament of drinking games began. I was in the usual practice of sitting the majority of these out, but my roommate was in a more competitive nature that night, though without skills to match and he was soon roaring drunk.

            Despite our best advice to the contrary, John continued to needle him. No match for John’s enormous size, he got it into his head to storm out and drive home. While ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ was a phase often ignored, it was clear that my roommate would not make it to the end of the block before killing himself. A few of us ran out the door, caught him in a flying tackle and wrestled his keys away. He did not take this well, though after a time we convinced him to take a nap in the spare room. In no shape to drive myself, I rode the couch that night and decided to make my way home in the morning.

            The next day John noted that the spare room was now empty but my roommates truck was still parked outside. Very curious. John also still had possession of the keys. “Well, he’s bound to turn up somewhere”, we figured. I made my way home and expected to see him at the apartment. The place was empty when I arrived, although there were several very garbled messages on the machine from him. No matter, I figured, if someone is holding him for ransom a note and perhaps a severed ear would probably follow and the lads and I could organize a bake sale or something.

            I settled in for a morning nap when the phone rang to my dismay. It was my missing roommate, evidently still alive, though imprisoned. As it turned out, he was embittered by his treatment at our hands and decided to take a page from my book and hoof it out of there on his own. In his advanced inebriated state, he did not consider the fact that we were 30 miles away and not 5. He realized this a few blocks into it and made a judgment call of seeking to shorten the journey by any means necessary rather than slinking back in defeat. His inspired method was to cut though people’s backyards, as if this would be easier than using the sidewalk for some reason. Most of the locals had picket fences and he sought to remove these barriers by kicking them down, which is what he was doing when the police cruiser pulled up and arrested him for drunken disorderly and other misdemeanors. By a minor miracle, he escaped with just a fine and the Air Force never the wiser, for truly, they would have smote him fierce. All good chillun’s know, imitating the Wolf can come to no good.

            Speaking of misused substances, some of the most monumentally bad ideas I heard while in the AF involved them. The first occurred to a foursome in the dorms at the time I lived there. I’m happy to say I did not know any of the individuals involved, at least this time, but their pictures can probably be found in the dictionary under ‘fool’. Though it was gravely verboten, it was not wholly uncommon that military members partook of illicit substances on an at risk basis once in a while. Such action was inherently risky as the AF held and used the power to select any member at any time for a random pee test; a sword of Damocles if you will for the young hippies amongst us. Such tests came at blind moments; one would be working away and then approached by someone in charge who would escort them right there and then to the medical building and then watch intently as the chosen , fully exposed, would pee into the provided container and then immediately take possession. There was no way around the system. If you were too shy to go, you would stand there hanging out till you could. In any case, some foolhardy members would choose to take the gamble that their number was far down in the queue. If you popped positive though, you were gone.

            The four fools in question evidently felt they had the numbers on their side. A poor bet for obvious reasons. To further increase their likely consideration for a Darwin award, they chose to enjoy their odiferous repast right there in the dorms that regularly had security forces patrol by. What really made them special and worthy of mention though, was that after getting the substance induced munchies, they called for a pizza. Not a terrible move; what did this civilian delivery monkey care? Normally not at all, except they thought it would be a hoot to tip the guy a single penny, then shut the door laughing. On his way out the gate, he happily blew them in and within moments law enforcement descended on them in force like the hammer of God. As I understand it, they were not only dishonorably discharged by brought up on criminal charges as well.

            Now what also made these retarded baboons even the more so was the well known or at least suspected presence of special investigators on long term assignment infiltrating the dorms. I took advantage of this bit of knowledge while I lived there and started a rumor that I might be one in order to eliminate the continuous requests to buy beer for under 21 airmen; a move that would be ridiculously stupid in its own right as the buyer usually received a far worse penalty than the underage imbiber. Be that as it may, the presence should have been a strong deterrent from engaging in illegal activities.

            Sometime in my last year at Langley, long after my dorm departure, scandal erupted and even spilled into my shop. A cabal of young airmen from our squadron came up with the brilliant plot to start an ecstasy ring right there in the dorms to earn some extra spending cash. Now, starting such a thing in the civilian world is considered dumb by anyone’s standards due to the harsh penalties for drug related crimes, intent to distribute, and conspiracy. Then consider doing such a thing in a well scrutinized environment where 21 Jumpstreet style infiltration was well known, and in an organization that busted someone a full rank and confined them for a month for riding a bus without permission. I can’t imagine what these idiots were thinking. To highlight the Idiocracy even further, they actually managed to recruit one of the undercover agents into the organization! Usually news of such thing is kept very hush (OSI prefers infiltration remain a rumor and not a cold fact) but it so happened that I was friends with the Reporting Official of one of the busted; a brand new airman who had only been in the shop for a week before getting tangled in the scheme. I don’t believe that a one of them has yet seen the light of day again now close to 10 years after.

            As it is my philosophy and method that while I freely bust the chops of all who fall under the wheels of my pen, I am obligated to put my own person under the same harsh light of my recounting. One of my own bad ideas I will share started on one of the legendary Friday mornings spent drinking with Tiff in her kitchen. Tiff had been dieting and working out for some time following her breakup with Harley in the hopes of netting herself a quality man. Despite much throat clearing and eyebrow lifting on my side of the table, I somehow mentally never feel into that category for her, but by then I had already partially accepted that or at least sufficiently fooled myself into believing that I only wanted to be friends anyway and that my slavish following of her was typical buddy stuff. The example I’m about to share illustrates this beautifully.

            It started with Tiff being very proud of her flat belly and suddenly wishing for some manner in which to adorn it. Fortunately the permanence of a tattoo seemed too extravagant as well as too expensive, so in sounding out other ideas she settled on a nice belly button ring that I confirmed would be very cute if she couldn’t just leave well enough alone. Tiff was not one for patience in such matters and insisted I drive her to the piercing place right that very second, and never one to say no, I did. In the little waiting area (piercings were popular that day), she began to get nervous; no pain junky by any stretch of the imagination. She turned to me and said, “I need moral support to do this. So…what are you going to get pierced?” Now, I had gone there with no intention whatsoever of having my person violated by a pin the size of telephone pole and adorned with something that would cause endless embarrassment at airports.

            The better part of me wanted to laugh and tell her to fuck off, but that part hardly ever won. Somehow I found myself sitting shirtless in an uncomfortable chair while a gothic looking girl with a whole lot of shit in her face dabbed alcohol on my left nipple before plunging a medieval knights lance through it followed by a gleaming steel ring. Fortunately my pain tolerance is very high as the experience is such to inspire one to scream like a little girl; something Tiff did not long after having been fooled into thinking it painless from my stoic reaction. It was my little way of giving back in this case.

            It was my intention that the invasion would remain a closely guarded secret to be removed as soon as it was not so incredibly painful to touch. To my regret, I somehow neglected to convey this clearly enough to Tiff and for a solid month my receding hairline took a big backseat to what was said to be through my nipple. The other airmen took great fun in slapping my breast for the pained reaction, though I am proud to say I was crafty enough to “confirm” it was indeed my right one that was affected and saved myself a bit of agony if not sexual harassment. Such foolishness to impress a disinterested gal ranks among my most ill conceived notions.

            Tiffany somehow was at the root of many of my bad ideas in the AF, whether I came to them on my own, or they were innocently suggested. Most don’t warrant a full telling, but I’ll share a few more instances of my humiliation. The piercing was not the only cosmetic change I made to my chagrin. I also let myself get talked into a tanning salon membership one spring and managed to cook myself a nice dark brown over a period of months and probably introduced the seed of a nice lingering melanoma years on down the road. An additional personal appearance change I decided to make after she suggested that smooth was infinitely better than hirsute. No Superman symbol with Nair this time though; it was the Steve Carrel special all the way with Tiff doing the honors of applying hot wax and pulling clump after clump of chest hair off. Somehow personal appearance “improvements” necessitated a great deal of pain.

            I will end this embarrassing tale with a parting shot at someone else for a change. Travis, my Virginia Dan, was a big fan of my chili and begged me to make it on a regular basis. His only persistent complaint, however, was that it was never hot enough for his liking. Finally having enough of his kvetching, I took the latest batch and divided it in two. The one pot I left alone, but to the second I added copious amounts of both Dave’s Insanity sauce as well as about 20 fresh habenero peppers which I cooked until they dissolved in the mix. The amount of airborne capsicum from the cooking action alone burned the eyes and caused no small amount of coughing. I tried the tiniest bite of the finished result and after pouring a gallon of milk down my gullet concluded that this would shut him up good.

            Through tearing bloodshot eyes and near constant coughing, Travis miraculously choked down a whole bowl of the stuff and asked for container to take home. The next day he revealed he dipped into the doggie bag though this time ended up throwing the whole thing up. The final shoe dropped the next morning, however, when Travis discovered the effects of that much capsicum entering and exiting the colon through a new meaning to the ring of fire.

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2 Responses

  1. I never knew of anyone who WANTED to imitate the Wolf, but this is what I expected if anyone did.

    I could imagine the debacle if you had been being part of the 21 Jump Street crew, and I don’t mean you would become the next Johnny Depp.

    Where is your nipple ring now? I assume it has since been removed.

    I assume the tanning and body waxing were both Tiff’s idea? Did she also have these procedures? Did you get to rip hair off her body also?

  2. I have already surpassed the great Johnny Depp. In both weight and hair loss.

    Ah, the final fate of the nipple ring is a story for the ages.

    Yes, these were indeed Tiff’s ideas. You witnessed my self grooming capabilities first hand and know they were akin to that of a chimpanzee. I owe Tiff much for teaching me how to clean up.

    No, I had no such opportunity to return the favor. She was blessed with a lack of back or chest hair and we were not on such intimate turns where I would be helping with the old Brazilian.

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