Offtopic - Walk Down Memory Lane or "I speak Scottish"

It's safe to say that I've lived a full life thus far. I've had the opportunity to see different parts of the world, I've done the college gig, the family thing, and have been occupationally diverse. Several times over, I've encountered great change in my life. When encountering or enacting such changes, I historically choose to never look back and live without regret...

Despite being busier now than I've ever been, I have spent the past year reflecting on my life. One of my goals was to take some time to look back, to reflect on my life - perhaps to learn from my past, maybe even to take a moment to enjoy it even. What good is experience if you don't look back upon it?

That being said, one of my goals is to reconnect with some of the people who are significant to my "past lives." I bumped into one of those people online this past week and want to share a story that has me absolutely rolling...

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From 1992 to 1996 I was enlisted in the Navy. From Jan - June 1994, my squadron was attached to the USS Saratoga. We spent the majority of our time floating outside of Bosnia. Because it was the decommissioning cruise for the "Sloppy Sara," there were several ports-of-call that we "should" have hit - Haifa, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy... Circumstances in Bosnia, however, cancelled the majority of our liberty.

We did, however, manage to make it to Spain - Palma, Spain more specifically, which is where the Beer Guy turned 21 (for the first time).

After spending the majority of the day on the beach, enjoying tasty beverages from the Daiquiri Palace, the boys n I set out for a night on the town. While out and about, we came upon a store that sold football jerseys. I picked up an FC Porto jersey, and my buddy Jason selects a Scottish national team jersey. Drunk as all hell, sun burnt - the rest of the guys abandon Jason and I.

Jason and I of course, are not your run of the mill sailors... It was no secret as to why he and I were named numbers one and two in the old Great Northwest Chapter of the Brewster Club. When we were out, we were out for the duration. None of this going home early shit, even if we were blistery, sunburned, feverish and incoherently drunk... No biggie, we pushed on to the club. We arrive at this club, though my memory betrays me as I do not know which club it was, and immediately we begin chatting it up with two young, attractive British ladies.

Bright young ladies they were, they quickly pick up that I'm American. They proceed to complain about all the dirty American Sailors that are carrying on, acting like a bunch of asses, being ridiculously drunk and what not. They move to end the conversation when the light bulb goes on...

Ever so quick on my feet, I inform them that we (Jason and I) are not in the Navy. In fact, Jason isn't even American! No, not at all... He was my foreign exchange student from Scotland (glad he bought the football jersey), and that we were travelling around Europe together in celebration of our respective 21st birthdays.

These chics were so not having it when they thought we were in the Navy, but now that we're not... We're students vacationing and having fun, just like them - we were in! They're buying us drinks, we buy them drinks, great drunken conversation - laughing. Everyone's buying the story. In fact, everyone's so sold that Jason himself not only believes he's from Scotland, but he also somehow was touched by God's hand and can now speak Scottish!

He reminded me of the Scottish answer to pro wrestling's Tito Santana, who would give interviews in English and then break off into Spanish. Jason would gab away, and then say something in "Scottish."

Things are going real well at this point, until Jason turns a bit green. I had a deal brokered with one of the girls that we'd all go back to where she was staying and continue the festivities when Jason blurts out, "Mike - I'm going to be sick, we have to go back to the boat - I think I'm going to die."

He makes it to the bathroom before letting loose projectile style. No amount of drunken smooth talking got me out of that one. The girls knew they were tricked - tricked into talking to the drunken sailors they swore they wouldn't be caught dead talking to...

Jason and I did in fact manage to stumble back to the ship in one piece. And though it was frustrating not sealing the deal with the ladies, it was a most entertaining 21st birthday - so entertaining that I've turned 21 every year on my birthday since then...


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