My Husband "Subvet" says that when our first son "Sonshine" was born the sun rose on our world, when our second son "Gator" was born the sun laughed and when our daughter "Sugars" was born all the flowers bloomed. That says it all.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Anonymous

Your mind is the garden, your
thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds. — William
Wordsworth

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

One Night in Toulon

OK, this is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of all Subvet's Seastories!!

On the last boat I was assigned to, the USS Archerfish (SSN 678), we made a run to the Mediterranean. The nice thing about a fast attack sub versus a boomer is you'll get to see more in the way of liberty ports. Your fast attack is a submarine along the philosophical lines of a WWII U-boat. It's a torpedo carrying wolf of the sea. A boomer is a submerged launch platform for ICBM missiles, think of the movie "Hunt For Red October". The Red October was a boomer. Fast attacks are more politically correct, have a lower security classification and don't need to stay on station in the event the world goes to war and we want to nuke some country. So the liberty runs are better.

Anyway, while the A-fish was on this Med run we stopped in Toulon, France. The military base we tied up at was adjacent to an area known as "The Gut". Most naval bases are near something like this, Pearl Harbor had Hotel Street, New London had Bank Street, Charleston had Spruill Street. They're all loaded with bars, houses of ill repute, vice dens, etc. None of the shops normally sport a Better Business Beareau decal in the window.

So we were tied up and one of our electricians and a few junior officers were out having a toddy for the body one evening. On the way back, while crossing a street, a Renault bumped the electrician in the leg. Being drunk and wanting to be somebody our man immediately let out a roar, grabbed the front bumper and ripped it off the car (Renaults are built like crap, this guy wasn't the Hulk no matter what he believed then). He then turned his wrath towards the two occupants who were hastily exiting the vehicle. His fury was awesome, teeth like daggers and eyes bulging, the cords of his neck jumped out in stark relief to his double chin (he was pretty fat) while his hands clutched in spasmadic anticipation of his victims. As he took his first step towards the sure annhilation of his foes several things became apparent;

1) The car's occupants weren't trying to leave. They were clearing the vehicle for a better field of fire as they,

2) brought out their semiautomatic weapons as well as,

3) every bum, rag picker, prostitute and wino in view who dragged out their firearms, everyone aiming at our intrepid steely eyed killer of the deep who

4) belatedly realized he had walked into the middle of a major police sting and

5) French cops don't have much in the way of a sense of humor. At least these didn't.

6) Book 'im Danno (or Pierre, whatever).

The next day at the arraignment the electrician stood nursing his hangover between our boat's Executive Officer and the Chief of The Boat (COB). None of the three spoke French but as the baliff read the charges they realized our hero wasn't considered too threatening because a) the judge was laughing, b) the baliff was laughing, c) all the cops in the court were laughing and d) all the other criminals were laughing including one little madamesiellle who evidently yelled she'd have to go to the bathroom before she peed all over herself. Alas, too late cherie. Excuse moi.

The judge let him off with a five hundred dollar fine (or whatever that translated to in francs). Probably knocked it down in recognition of the entertainment.

3 comments:

Penless Thoughts said...

Drop over to my blog and see who won the Blogiversary book give away.
Susan

jennifer said...

Oh how funny!! I love this story and it is so cute!(not to the guy of course!)

Thanks for the e-mail about the senior moment...I rolled.

Oh and hip hip hurray for the blogiversary surprise!
Jennifer

PEA said...

LOL oh my, that is a funny story!! Talk about being in the wrong place at the right time! lol I can just imagine the look on his face, drunk or not, when he realized what was going on! hehe Love it!