Thanks, Doc...

... I was talking to my Doctor yesterday afternoon, and the subject of Scotland came up.... my Doc knows that I go there every year, and he asked me about my upcoming trip... when I told him that I was going in November, he nodded his approval, and said something to the effect of... "you think you'll get much golfing in on this trip?".... good, Lord... golf??... here was an obviously educated man, and he had no understanding of geography at all... I just looked at him and said, "the last thing I'll be doing in Scotland in November is playing golf.. the climate in the Grampians and Cairngorms is comparable to the Arctic, and you won't want to be wandering across a damn golf course... you'll freeze your nads off"... he gave me another all-knowing nod, and handed my prescription to me....

... anyway, as I was leaving his office, I started thinking about Scottish Novembers.... one in particular, leaped to mind.... once upon a time, I spent Thanksgiving Day on top of Ben Nevis... it was late November 1992.... myself and 6 other US Marines had been chosen to participate in Arctic/Mountain Training with 45 Commando (Royal Marines)... I'd only just arrived in Scotland a few months prior... and, the powers that be must have decided that, since I'd just come from being in Alaska for 2 years, I wouldn't mind doing some cold weather training with our brother service... so, off we went.... and, children, it was rough...

... the first two weeks were spent training at the Commando HQ... affectionately known as "RM Condor"... those days mainly consisted of formation runs, forced marches, calisthenics, land navigation, classroom work, and familiarizing us Jarheads with the SA-80.... the second two weeks were spent in the field in an around Fort William... remember, kiddies, this was the last two weeks in November... the weather was horrible... it only stopped raining sideways to start snowing sideways... and, eternally it seemed, vice versa.... a more miserable two weeks I have never experienced.... cold, wet, and tired... but, looking back now, it was a lot of fun.... I managed to get 1/2 a squad of Royal Marines sicker than dogs by letting them have a dip of Copenhagen during one of our day marches.... that, among other things, was a classic moment... just a tiny bit of payback on those torturous bastards...

... at the end of our field training, we ended up walking down a section of the Cairngorms known as "The Devil's Staircase".... after two weeks of going up and over mountains, this 2 mile descent down the final hill succeeded in crushing our thighs and calves... going downhill with a ruck on is a LOT worse than going uphill, people... just take my word for it.... your knees will never forgive you... but, in the end, salvation was waiting for us at the trail end.... a military bus, and a 55 gallon drum of chicken noodle soup.... as we shuffled past the drum, our canteen cups were filled with hot soup... we were handed a dry towel just as we entered the bus.... and, after finishing our meal and toweling off, we turned to cleaning weapons.....

... about two months before heading off to the mountains, I had met my Girl.... we'd met in a pub in Montrose... I don't think she was too impressed at first... but, after a while, I wore her down.... she agreed to go out with me.... children, I was smitten at first sight... we had only been on a few dates, but she was all I could think of.... and, the whole time we were slogging through the snow up in the mountains, she was on my mind.... it seemed that everywhere I looked, I could see her.... the pink, purple, brown, and blue of the Scottish Heather reminded me of the colors of her... her blue eyes.... her brown curly hair... her creamy complexion.... the pink of her cheek.... even in the sky, I could see her... the gray clouds often reflected the same shade of blue that was in her eyes.... dark, swirling colors sometimes... the dark branches of the heather... the rich, peat colored streams that ran all around me, reminded me of her dark hair.... she embodied Scotland to me... it was as if the land itself had been scooped up, and molded by the hand of God to create her... using nothing but the natural ingredients of her homeland.... I have never seen anything like it before, or since....

... I remember sitting on that bus as it creaked around the curvy roads near Fort William... with a belly full of hot chicken soup... my body covered in slowly drying soggy clothes and Danner boots.... with a disassembled SA-80 in my lap... and, all I could think of was my Lass...

... driving home from my appointment yesterday, I remembered all of this.... strange how the mind works, isn't it?... all it took was one little question to set off a chain reaction of memories.... thanks, Doc.... I hadn't thought of that bus ride in a very long time.... hell, remembering that was well worth the price of the co pay charge.... you know, those old song lyrics are true... where we've been really isn't as important as the getting there.... the fun of our life is in the journey, not the arrival, people.... I hope that as long as I live, I will always be a traveler... and, again, thanks Doc...

by Eric on August 31, 2004 | Bullshit (8) | SWG Stories
Bullshit So Far

I had a chain reaction like that today. I was wondering why my parents didn't name me something normal like Jack. I then thought of the Robin Williams movie Jack. Then I thought of Danny de Vito in Jack the Bear. Then I thought of Danny de Vito in Cuckoo's Nest. Then I thought of the guy who played Cheswick in Cuckoo's Nest. Then I remembered that guy played a sister raper in the horrible movie The Unseen, in which Stephen "Flounder" Furst played a killer byproduct of sister rape. Would be the worst movie ever except Barbara Bach crawled around in crawlspace mud, which was exciting. The my mind kind of fused out...

Bullshitted by Velociman on August 31, 2004 06:19 PM

..damn, Velociman.. you feeling ok?... you should probably have a large Scotch, and kick back for a bit...

Bullshitted by Eric on August 31, 2004 06:36 PM

Damn, I'm going to miss Helen. Looking into the clone deal.

Bullshitted by Sam on August 31, 2004 07:11 PM

YOU PUSSY!!!! Go play golf. You're supposed to be a got-dam ex-Marine, so FUCKING ACT LIKE ONE!!! You scared of freezing your 'nads off?? YOU PUSSY!!!

That's just MY humble opinion.

Bullshitted by Acidman on August 31, 2004 08:09 PM

..Acidman, my nads are very important to me.... we shall discuss this in greater depth in Helen, my Man....

Bullshitted by Eric on August 31, 2004 08:41 PM

Lucky you...
Scotland is the number one place I want to visit someday. I'm fascinated by her history and my maiden name just happens to be McRae. *grin*

Bullshitted by Donna on September 1, 2004 12:41 AM

tiz a nuther fine bit o'ritin, sir. felt almos lack i wuz thar, only i dint half to git wet! me n miz bd is plannin a trip to scotland fer late may, early june, sos we kin attend the islay malt festivull. thankee fer the glimpse of ben nevis.

Bullshitted by buddy don on September 1, 2004 07:54 AM

What a nice story...especially about your "girl." Very sweet...I didn't know you had it in you. :)

Anyhoo, Scotland is on the life "To Do" list for me. I wouldn't do it your way, but yeah...mos def want to go to Scotland.

Bullshitted by Shasta MacNasty on September 1, 2004 09:28 AM