Running Screaming Naked Through the Streets...

Added: Friday, June 14th 2013 at 12:55pm by bigfatdaddy
In the middle 1970s we were stationed at Fort Ord, California (one of my favorite places on the whole earth) getting resettled into Army life after a three-year break in service.  After I spent  a couple of years as an instructor at the truck driving school there, they closed the school all the instructors were sent to support units in the 7th Infantry Division.  I ricocheted around for a bit and then wound up in the truck company of the supply and transport battalion.  I was a buck sergeant and a squad leader, and pretty darned happy about it all.

We had made a number of friends there;  some remained life-long types, and others more the kind of friends-of-opportunity that the military life creates.  One couple we were fond of was Karen and George.  They were about our age and we did the young couple things together, along with other families.  Monterey has a whole bunch of things young families can do that don't require much money:  Dennis the Menace Park and the adjacent Lagoon where you can rent paddle boats or canoes,  Fisherman's wharf, Cannery Row, the state park out on 67 that has the tube slide down the hillside, and beaches (not the swimming kind - the rip tide takes kids and grownups alike, then leaves 'em floating face down in the surf miles south).  Just south of Carmel is Point Lobos, an unbelievably beautiful place;  but you knew that, whether you realized it or not, because seascapes and cliffscapes and pounding surf pictures of Point Lobos' coastline have gracedcalendars and advertising and post cards the world over...you have seen it.

Anyway...George and Karen.  She was a Panamanian woman who was the epitome of the fiery latina. She was very pretty and wildly funny...imagine a younger, darker, prettier Charo and you get kind of a picture of Karen.  George was ill-equipped to deal with that much woman...I think the base root of their problems was that fact that she embarassed George with her gregarious behavior.  So he started keeping company with other women....women who weren't so outgoing.

The first time Karen found out he was cheating, she ran from the house and dashed through the housing area (we all lived on Fort Ord) screaming in despair.  The MPs would probably not have arrested her for that;  they are used to troubled couples acting out...military life breeds that sort of thing.  But they just couldn't overlook the fact that she was as naked as a jaybird.  Somehow we (MC and I) got involved with springing her from jail and getting her home (and dressed).  

They had a period of reconciliation...which I guess meant that Karen would calm down and stay dressed and not throw things at George for a while and George, for his part, would be more discreet with his dalliances.  That worked well for a couple of days.  Karen thought he was still cheating with that...well...she didn't have anything nice to say about that other woman.  There were a couple more episodes of leaving the house in tears and wailing...but she kept her jammies or robe or something on.  

One night Karen called MC and she was ready  to blow again so we went over there to see if we could calm her down.  We pulled up in front of their house just as she was storming out the door.  She apparently had been naked but thought she better cover up so she threw on a totally transparent negligee.  She had also stopped by the kitchen to pick up a huge butcher knife.  I caught her as she was about to run by and we started talking her down.  She was proud of herself for remembering to "get dressed" before she lit out to find George and cut off his offending member.  She wailed and snuffled down...then started wailing again.  We got her back indoors and MC got her to cover up a little better (it really didn't bother me but MC felt it would more appropriate).  Karen  talked for awhile and decided that George was never going to change and she had just better leave him and find a decent man while she still had the attributes toattract one (I can testify that she definitely had the attributes).  They eventually did separate and she left.   We heard through the grapevine that they eventually got back together;  I don't know for sure about that.  But that ain't the end of it.

There is a legacy.  A few months later, when some detail of our life was being difficult and there didn't seem to be any solution that didn't leave a field of bloody corpses lying around...I asked MC what the heck we were gonna do.  She told me:  "I don't know about you, but I'm gonna run creaming naked through the streets!"  We laughed our heads off and immediately felt better and forever since, that has been the symbol in our family of that kind of situation that defies logic and leaves you with no reasonable solution.  

I haven't thought about the origin of our little saying in awhile.  Today I told Okie that it was our evac plan if the fires got close and when I re-read it, I had this image of Karen blazing down our street in her filmy negligee and her butcher knife screaming bloody murder

on Jun 19, 2013

I can well imagine MamaCharlie making Karen more presentable.  And I do not imagine I would have minded either.  Until my wife slapped me.

on Jun 20, 2013

MC is very understanding in the heat of battle...but when the shooting stops it is definitely time to get proper