Back to my story. This gives an insight of the British Squaddie in Germany and his sense of humor. They really were good times. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until we don’t have it anymore. Life has its ups and downs, it is how you handle the ‘downs’ that counts. Enjoy the next installment and remember, comments always welcome. Lets start off with a ‘Scouse/Liverpudlian’ joke.
Why does the River Mersey run through Liverpool?
If it walked it would get mugged.
I heard a car horn tooting downstairs and looked out of the window to see our little white Datsun parked there. It should have been renamed ‘the little car that could’. It had been driven back and forth between Germany and England several times, at one point with a washing machine in the back. It was a very small, very popular in the eighties though, it was called a 120y. It was sporty looking little car with a ‘go faster stripe’ down the side. Anyone who had a car in the eighties knew what one of those was. We loved that car, which I am sure we paid over the odds for, from a car dealership in Blandford, Dorset. He looked like a crook, and probably was, but we just had to have that car.I ran downstairs and jumped in the passenger seat, and gave Les a big sloppy kiss on the cheek, which he immediately rubbed off, not being the affectionate type. He looked bleary eyed and grumpy after his overnight guard duty, so it was a quiet ride to work. Happy Monday World! I hoped he was going to get a couple of hours sleep before he went back in or it wouldn’t be a very enjoyable evening. Oh well, it was what it was. The Monday morning traffic was awful, which made Les’s mood even darker. By the time we got to the Barracks where I worked, his mouth was tightly closed and I couldn’t even get a ‘Goodbye’ out of him. I got out of the car and walked across the cobbles to work. My good spirits had gone and I felt quite sad. It was funny how the only person in your life who made you happy, was also the only one who could bring you down, even without speaking. The kitchen at the YM was a hive of activity. I was preparing food and drinks for my ‘NAAFI Wagon’ run and the rest of the staff were preparing food to serve at breakfast and lunch for those hungry solders that stayed on camp to eat. Because of its convenience, this little canteen was popular, and over the lunch period, filled with laughing chattering Squaddies.
I worked with a great bunch of girls who all came from different backgrounds with one thing in common. They were married to someone in the British Army. We were a melting pot of Scots, Welsh, Liverpudlian, even the odd German (and believe me the German’s were pretty odd). We all laughed and joked while we worked.
I loaded up my big yellow van with sandwiches, coffee and tea urns, and the latest magazines, and off I went on my daily route around the different barracks selling tea, coffee, and sharing stories and jokes. The guys used to give me a hard time, just because they could, nothing too bad, but always jokes at my expense. I remember one particular day, when the two doors at the back of my van opened and a guy jumped in and appeared to be ‘flashing’ his unmentionables. I screamed of course, and threw something at him. I looked behind him to see all of his friends laughing, some sitting on the parade ground, tears running down their cheeks. The ‘unmentionables’ were fake, made from rubber, but looked so real at first glance. I laughed too, it still makes me smile when I think about it.
Remembering this lifted my mood a little, and by my very last stop of the morning, I was starting to feel a little more cheerful. I parked my van and opened the hatch, while my customers wandered across to me, I shook the two urns to make sure I still had tea and coffee left, I did! I straightened up the magazines and turned around to greet my first customer.
It was that funny American guy, who always asked for a fat pill, or a jelly doughnut. He made me laugh once I got used to him, and realized both a fat pill and a jelly doughnut were his interpretation of a jam doughnut. I hadn’t met many Americans, who knew I would end up being one.