Spanish Omlete

In 1968, I was in Vietnam and after a long six months there, I finally was able to fly to Hawaii and meet Barb for five nights and four days. (Or five days and four nights, I forget). It was a wonderful time and had nothing to do with the story only to set up why I was flying.

When we left Cameron Bay, Vietnam, we were served a horrible Spanish Omelet. It was a rubbery egg concoction filled with ham, onions and cheese. The only reason anyone ate it was that after a long period of C-rations it seemed like a good idea. To say most of us had almost terminal heartburn is an understatement. I'm sure that the meal had been cooked at least 12 hours earlier and had been reheated to bring out the delicate taste and texture. (Liquid heat on vulcanized rubber)

Upon arrival in Guam, the co-pilot came on the intercom. He told us that the local base had a meal ready but it was again the dreaded Spanish Omelet. The only way we could get a different meal was to wait about 4 hours for the next meal in the rotation. Let's see, delay 4 hours of the time we were scheduled to be with our wives or eat omelets. Bring on the Tums, we'll eat anything.

As we traveled to Hawaii, we began to filter through the toilet for our ablutions. Shave, shine and change clothes. I'm sure that some of the guys tried to wash at least their pits but that water was cold and I'm sure that it was a little blue. My seatmate was a Captain and he had the looks of a ribbon rack in the PX. He cleaned up great and looked like a uniform poster. His Khaki's looked so good on him that they must have been tailored by one of the Korean Tailors.

As he sat down on the aisle seat back there in the rear of the plane, the stewardess began to serve those dreaded omelet's. She was walking up the aisle with a tray of them and we hit an air pocket. She did her best to not wind up on the ceiling and it looked like something right out of a silent movie. The tray actually did not leave her hand but she did not have control of where that hand went. The sound was kind of like "PLOP", or "SPLAT" as a tray of six of those Spanish omelet's landed on the front of the Captain's uniform.

He immediately turned into a food fight survivor from the poster boy for the Army Uniform. I won't begin to relay the words he said but I will tell you that his mother would have used an entire bar of soap rinsing his mouth out. Simply there was nothing anyone could do but for him to return to the toilette and put back on his wrinkled smelly khaki's. He was mad, mad, mad but in the whole scheme of things, I'll bet his wife really didn't notice. I'll bet he was out of that uniform in a New York Minute.

Just as a post script to this adventure in wearing food, I brought one suitcase back to Vietnam with me. It contained a shirt and a pair of shorts that I had worn the last day in Hawaii. I didn't have time or care enough to have it washed, so I just threw it in the suitcase. When I got ready to leave Vietnam, an entire footlocker I had stored my other stuff in was gone. The only thing I could find to take with me was one pair of Khaki's, the underwear I had on and that suitcase.

When I got to Seattle, we went through Customs. They guy opened that suitcase and the smell hit him. He closed it and yelled "Next". I could have brought home an automatic weapon in there and he wouldn't have touched the contents of that suitcase. Oh well, Until next time.


1 comment:

  1. MUD: Laughing myself silly! Aaaaahhhh...never went through it myself, but the way you describe it makes me feel like I was there.

    As you know by now, I've got a couple of boys (one fairly well acquainted with military life now...and another just getting his feet wet) that are on a grand adventure.

    Funny, man...really funny.