by Don Ennis ETCS(ss) USN(ret), USS Stonewall Jackson SSBN-634
I wasn’t there to witness this sea story and I can’t remember where nor when I first heard it. Perhaps it was at Larry Anderson”s and Dewey Frahm’s house in Kailua. I seem to recall that there was a descriptive name the single sailors used when saying things like there’s a party a Dewey and Andy’s ______ tonight that describes more than the house, but the word eludes me. Perhaps because Numby Hayes was the quintessential single sailor I make the connection between him and that house. This story has nothing to do with that house even though if houses could talk that one would probably talk volumes. I’ll leave that to Andy and Dewy. Numbsy didn’t live there anyway. He lived in a place Stonewall Jackson sailors referred to as the “Jungle” In no way associated with Upton Sinclair’s novel, this “Jungle” was as the locals describe somewhere “ Eva Waikaki, Diamond Head Ala Moana”. I hope you can recall enough pidgin Hawaiian to figure this out, because I really don’t know where the “Jungle” was or is. Names like Hotel street and the Hukela Bar come to mind with no concrete clarity. I know where the Queen’s Surf restaurant is though.
Famous for it’s Sunday morning brunch, the Queen’s Surf was the kind of place that attracted passed middle age, Midwest farm wives wearing new mumus and accompanied by graying men more accustomed to bib overalls than the flowered luau shirts their wives made them wear. It was Hawaii ala Hollywood where people who toiled at tractors and insurance desks lined up wearing flowered leis; their mumus and shirts themselves queuing a long straight colored garland in front of a smorgasbord. It was a place to eat fresh pineapple and enjoy the aroma of fruit, flowers and soft Polynesian sea breezes. There should be a sign out front that reads: “Warning. At infrequent intervals, submariners, returning from arduous patrols in the western pacific eat here.”
Numbsy Hayes and company emerged from the Jungle after a week’s hard drinking to wash away the memory of their last patrol. “Head of the line privileges. Make a hole. Submariner coming through”
Barehanded, Numbsy piled food on his tray concentrating on chicken cooked in soy sauce and pineapple juice.. No plate. Too drunk to use serving utensils. He wove his way to a table, dropped the tray, spilling poultry body parts and crashed himself into a wicker chair. He stared at the carnage before him and explicated an epitaph and then passed out face down into the mound of juicy flesh and bone before him.
His friends, hungrier and more sober finished their fare before each of them took a limp arm or leg and hauled Numbsy from the scene. He briefly regained partial consciousness as they passed the flowered garland now accented with pairs of wide eyes and gapped mouths. He struggled to focus on a face supported by a shroud of colored cloth and advised: “Lady, don’t eat the ----ing chicken!
|Want to submit a story? Email it our way (please include your name, boat and rate as applicable).|