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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Engineering as it used to be. (The drink and debauchery bit)

I opened the door and entered the bar………………………..

What met my eye was immaculately laid tables serviced by waiters in Tuxedos, and waitresses in long flowing dresses, serving an elite clientele.


What met my eye was a dark and dingy room with a haphazard arrangement of crudely made tables, populated by, to my naive  mind, denizens of the underworld with two heads. Eventually when my eyesight became accustomed to the gloom, I realised that these weren’t two headed creatures, they were just two people of the opposite sex sharing one lap.

I then sidled over to an empty table and sat down, not knowing what the etiquette was in places such as this. Seconds passed before a young lady swooped down on me and said “ You want to drink, big boy”. All I could do was gulp and ask for a beer. (Tiger if you’re interested).

In a flash this vision of delight (If you’ve spent months at sea, a female hippopotamus looks like miss world), produced a pint with the words “50 cents, and you buy me drink”. (I didn’t put a question mark after the last sentence as it appeared to be an order). I didn’t dare refuse. The oriental maiden returned with her rather suspicious looking drink (coloured water) and without a bye your leave, plonked her derriere onto my lap. Imagine what that does to an eighteen year old who’s been away at sea for a while. I can’t understand why she wriggled for so long to get comfortable?

After  a while of discoursing about Plato’s theory of the republic and einstein’s  theory of relativity she asked me a question that I didn’t know how to answer. Was I a cherry boy?  After months in the sun my skin was quite brown, and certainly not cherry  coloured, so I just avoided the question.

In the meantime  I’d realised that I was having difficulty hearing.Looking through the gloom I suddenly realised that I wasn’t suffering from some sort of ear disease, it was a local group wailing at the end of the bar.

I could go on, but needless to say, after far too many drinks that night, my sensible head took over and I left, never to return. (Till the next night).

Do you want to hear about bands, urine, stairs, and Ladyboys? If so you’ll have to wait a while.


  1. Disgraceful!! - And of course I don't want to hear about "bands, urine, stairs, and Ladyboys"

    But I imagine you will tell us anyway...

  2. Southend-on-Sea has actually deteriorated since your visit.

  3. Captain Haddock17 June 2011 at 18:35

    Ahhh .. a moment down memory lane .. and a recall of those never to be forgotten words .. "I ruv you, Commando .. No shit" ! ... ;)

  4. Ah the joys of the "Run Ashore" inspecting sits of historical and social significance... Ensuring good relationships with the natives... thinking up a good excuse for "Interview without Coffee" in the morning!

  5. The 'nadir' or even the 'pinnacle' of my runs ashore was in Lourenco Marques in Mozambique.

    I had to stop behind the others whilst wrestling with a recalcitrant winch controller, so the Lads had a head start by the time I got showered and changed on that ship so many years ago.

    I reached the bar where we all had agreed to meet up, grabbed the first bottle and laid it down empty. I was then faced with the largest, blackest, biggest woman you can pull up from your nightmares; she was huge, well over six foot tall, with a beam to match, and a voice that would curdle cheese. She said, in comparatively good English, "Hello d'ere, little white boy; youse comin with me!" No ifs, ands, buts, she was big enough to chop me up in small sections, and I am a reasonable height; but I knew instinctively that I was no match for her.

    I spotted all the other traitorous members of the Engineering clan, grinning all over their treacherous faces, and realised I had been set up as a Cherry Boy! So, by stint of fast talking and even faster drinking, managed to persuade her that I had lost it years ago.

    I often wondered what actually happened to the unsuspecting cadet off a Blue Funnel job who we aimed her at about half-an-hour later, but this is, fortunately, enveloped in the mists of time!


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