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Do you Like Beer?
This story is 100% true and happened just as I'm
about to describe.
I was flying a VOLANT Silver mission (Vice Presidential Support) for the then Vice President George Bush. It was August 1983 and we had a fantastic mission schedule and were eagerly looking forward to this mission. This mission was the advance team for a to-be-later scheduled state visit by the VP. We all flew in civilian clothes, only 16 people on the plane the whole trip and we were configured for DVs with sleeping bunks, bar pallet, and conference tables. It was a sweet set up. The first stop was Morocco where we spent our first night in Rabat in a 5-star hotel. We ate, drank and rested very well and our next day's mission was an easy flight to Fez, Morocco and then on to Marrakech for another night of crew rest. We parked and shut down and the DVs departed for their coordination meetings within the city with State Department, CIA, National Security Agency and various other cronies in tow. By the way these guys were all great on the plane, had a good time with them.
The other loadmaster and I decided we needed to empty the latrine because it was reeking badly and had been sitting in the hot Moroccan sun for two days. The comfort pallet was doing OK but the latrine was bad. I ask one of the "Rockin Moroccan" flight line workers (I called him Skippy) if they had a latrine servicing cart and sure enough they had one. It was a civilian version and it was very low profile made to be used with commercial jets and gravity fed to drain their tanks. Of course, we Starlifter guys were used to the Turd Hearse using its suck and blow method to service the latrine, but I figured hey this guy knows what he's doing let him have at it. WRONG!
He attached the hose and everything seemed fine but we were not getting any flow and the tank was not emptying. We quickly realized the "contents" was backed up in the hose and because the cart was essentially on even keel with tank opening it was never going to drain. So, "Skippy" the Moroccan gets up near the connection to the airplane and starts maneuvering the hose to try and create motion so the "contents" would begin to drain. Well it started to work slowly but surely and he picked up speed in his manipulation of the hose and suddenly the hose broke completely free from the aircraft connection and poor "Skippy" was covered in "contents" from the latrine. Well, it was all I could do to contain my laughter as he jumped up and turned toward me to run away. He looked normal on the left and a "smurf-like" blue color on the right side of his body with bits and pieces of "who knows what" in his hair and all over his clothes. But the bad part for us was the "contents" started to pool around the crew entrance ladder and the DVs were due back in about 30 minutes.
The other loadmaster and I suddenly realized it wasn't funny any more and we wiped the "shit-eating" grins off of our faces and quickly tried to figure out what to do. All the while "Skippy" is swearing to Allah about his "content" covered clothing and new blue hairdo and he is in no mood to discuss any options. We then spot another cart sitting off to the side and it is of all things a water cart complete with hand pump and about 6 feet of hose. I desperately tried to communicate with Skippy that we needed to use the cart and clean up the area quickly. But to no avail he was one pissed off dude and didn't want anything to do with us at the time. It was then that I had an epiphany and went into action.
I ran into the airplane and grabbed a six-pack of beer from the bar stash we had. I stood at the top of the ladder and yelled to him "Do you like Beer?" He said "what" and repeated "do you like beer?" He then noticed the six pack I was holding up and then with the biggest smile and his eyes went wide he yelled "BUDWEISER?"
I said "Yes, it's Budweiser" and motioned the beer for the cart hand gestures. He quickly pulled the cart over and we began our clean up efforts. I wish I could have taken a picture, to see him sitting on top of the cart just under the wing (in the shade) kicked back feet crossed and 5 beers in his lap and his head tilted back downing the first beer. I was behind him pumping the hand pump furiously has he lazily sprayed the water at the base of the ladder to wash away the "contents" from the earlier accident. I guess he earned the beer that day. In a few short minutes we had everything cleaned up, except Skippy of course!
Needless to say we saved the day and the mess was gone before the DVs came back and they were never aware of what happened. Skippy got drunk that day and I'm sure had a hard time explaining to his wife where the new blue perfume came from. It was an interesting day to say the least and the rest of the trip had some other adventures too.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Regards, Tim Driscoll (CMSgt, USAF, ret)