At ITR (June 1960), we got our first off-base liberty. One of my friends knew some girls that had moved from East Chicago (his hometown) to Hollywood. Five of us Marines got a taxi from San Onofre to Hollywood on a Saturday morning. 

The girls lived on North Berendo, a street lined on both sides with apartment buildings of 4–8 units each. We met the girls and they agreed that we could stay over 'til Sunday afternoon. Later Saturday a girl from across the street came over to visit and somehow I ended up going out with her that night, and later crapped out on her couch. The girl had had polio as a child and walked with a pronounced limp, which wasn't at all uncommon in those days. Everything was fine the next morning. I was a bit foggy, but we somehow got back to Pendleton OK.

We were in F Company. One of the troop handlers, Acting-Corporal W. —probably a DI-school evictee with a change-for-a-dollar  GCT— delighted in making life hell for the troops. One of my buddies (never found out who) from the Hollywood trip told A-Cpl W. an embellished version of my adventures the previous weekend.

One day we were in company formation and A-Cpl W. calls me forward and—I'll skip the learning process—informed me that henceforth I would be "Lover" and that whenever any of the troop handlers called "Lover," the following dialogue would occur, SHOUTED at maximum decibel level:

"LOVER!"

"HERE, SIR!"

"WHAT DO YOU DO ON WEEKENDS, LOVER?"

"RAPE LAME WOMEN, SIR."

"WHY, LOVER?"

"'CAUSE I'M A BAD-ASS MARINE, SIR."

"DEADLY." *

"GRRRRRRRRR!" *

*Whenever we heard the word "DEADLY,"
    we were to respond by growling.

This little game went on a number of times every day at various (public) locations for a couple of weeks. I played along (it relieved everybody's boredom) 'til one morning dipshit A-Cpl W. tries it in front of the PX, where a number of dependents and kids were milling about. I refused to play his game, so that he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of the dependents. A-Cpl W. went non-linear and threatened me with all sorts of dire mutilations, etc. I suggested that he and I repair to the backside of Goat Hill, where we could play 'til one of us got tired.

I was never again addressed as the "Lover of Foxtrot Company."

Epilogue—No, I didn't  rape a lame woman; didn't even try to get to first base. She and I were friends for a few years, 'til she married and moved to another part of California.
*     *     * 
Author: Active duty 1960–64. Served in TLC (Thai/Laos/Cambodia) theater as Avionics Chief attached to CAT (Civil Air Transport).
Today he is a high-tech engineering manager.  RIP: 8 Mar 2015

>>>  Memoir Page
>>>  Poetry Page
by Ed Butsch
17 May 99