Celtic Illumination, part 164, Drunk driver.
It was the following Sunday, the nineteenth of July. Dave Magee and another squadron member, Robbie Robson, had invited themselves for Sunday lunch. Luckily for us it was a liquid lunch they had in mind and that was one request most people in Germany could provide. Despite the fact that we were twelve miles away from Wildenrath the group of flats where we lived was visited three time a week by a mobile shop provided by the NAAFI and a beer man once a week. We were quite surprised when this local German fellow knocked at our door and asked if we would like any soft drinks or beer. This was sold by the crate load and most people would have a couple of crates on their balcony keeping cool.
After a couple of beers Dave decided that we should adjourn to the families club at Geilenkirchen. Dave had been stationed at Wildenrath before and had been living at married quarters at Geilenkirchen. We took a taxi to Geilenkirchen and went into the families club. It was a lovely sunny day and very enjoyable. Unfortunately Dave and Robbo had had a liquid breakfast, liquid brunch, liquid lunch and having passed through a liquid afternoon tea were plastered to say the least. Dave was always the life and soul of the party, even if he hadn’t been invited, and it was no surprise that we were asked to leave the families club at Geilenkirchen.
In fact, it was a little more serious than that and we were actually given life bans from the families club, for nothing more serious than a bit of back chat. It was nearing tea time so it was decided that we should return to our flat at Erkelenz and tuck in to a liquid tea. There were about twenty blocks of flats given over to the armed forces in Erkelenz so as we pulled up at the flats Dave and Robbo insisted that I escort, the heavily pregnant, Irene off to the flat and they would sort out the fare with the taxi driver.
Very generous of them as throughout the whole journey Robbo, a Geordie, in the front passenger seat, had entertained the driver with chit chat about football and rabbits. It was as Irene and myself were ten or twelve yards away from the main door to our block when we heard the pair of them charging toward us yelling, “Get in, get in, quick!” We slipped in to the block and made our way up to the second floor, with Dave and Robbo shushing and laughing behind us. Seems that the pair of them had run away from the taxi without paying, well; we all had. We stayed low in the flat, away from any windows until we thought he may have left the area. I couldn’t help but wonder if my unborn child would be declared a criminal?
I suppose the rugby club played a major part in our social life in Germany. It was a fantastic club fielding two teams every week throughout the season. The bar was of course unbelievable. As with most rugby clubs it was adorned with various gizzits and trophies liberated from everywhere we went. Most people chose one specific form of gizzit to collect, like Tim Lort with his flags. My specialisation was to liberate the plaques that showed which dignitary had opened a certain building and when, so there was always a screwdriver and hammer in my kit bag. And yes I did manage to liberate the plague from Brussels British, and yes, I felt really good doing it.
The club bar would be run by two club members for one week, usually from one Sunday to the next. There would be an official hand over with lots of signatures. The thing about the club bar is that you could make an awful lot of money. Most guys would bring in their own deep fat fryer and offer chips and sausages or burgers and any other fast food that the serious drinker would scoff down. I usually manned the bar with Robbo and can say with my hand on my heart that we always had great fun. You could never drink when behind the bar; well I couldn’t, because I would have to drive home to Erkelenz afterwards.
It had nothing to do with being honest upstanding citizens it was the fact was that after nine o clock in the evening the main gate was closed. Any driver leaving camp had to park outside the guard room, leave his, or her, vehicle, go in to the guard room and sign a document with car registration, name, rank and number and time of leaving. This was so that the duty copper could see if you had been drinking or not. If he, or she, suspected that you had been drinking they would ask for your car keys and order you a taxi. Your car would be parked behind the guard room and you could collect it the following morning. It was a big problem in Germany, drink driving, and as the Christmas season would approach the remains of a crashed car would be positioned beside the main gate to remind us all of the real danger involved.
So one evening, supper time, when a rush of guys on the evening shift would pile in for a liquid supper, Dave Magee came in. They had finished work on the squadron and were now free. “I’m getting rat arsed and you’re driving me home,” states Magee, to which I have no alternative but to agree. Dave was a man of his word and I had to carry him to my little yellow Beetle and settle him in the passenger seat which confused him as it was left hand drive. I locked up the club and handed in the keys then set of to Geilenkirchen, where Dave had, once again, been allocated a married quarter. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when he would have had to explain to his wife that he had been barred from the families club there for life, before they had even arrived.
As we neared Geilenkirchen village Dave insisted that he would have to reward me for driving him home. He suggested that we have a beer, for which he would of course pay. I didn’t really mind and explained to Dave that perhaps, as it was two o clock in the morning, there might not be any pubs open. Dave insisted that his local boozer was always open. He gave me directions when we hit Geilenkirchen and led me through the back streets. Sure enough when he pointed it out, a large single building with car park and lights and signs, just like a pub, I could see that it was open.
I pulled up in the car park and parked in a slot. Dave was getting out of the car but he stopped and said. “Listen, you might want to leave the doors unlocked and the engine running because I can’t remember the state I was in the last time I left here.” With that he staggered off to the main door. I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not, but this was Dave Magee, it was probably true what he said. I stopped the car and locked it. Then followed Dave into his local.
As we entered I could immediately see that it wasn’t a pub but a brothel. We entered the lounge area and on our right sat half a dozen ladies, all in various states of undress, or lingerie, playing cards. As Dave was still in uniform the ladies continued playing cards and paid us no attention for it was quite common for the troops to use brothels for a late beer or two. Dave staggered his way to the bar from where the madam cast her experienced eye over us. “I’ll order the beers,” states Dave. “I can speak German.”
He then began to exhibit his mastery of the German language by holding two fingers up to the madam and saying “Zwei fecking beers please love.” The madam had probably seen worse, and if Dave did use this place on a regular basis, she had probably seen it from him. Dave was leaning forward on the bar counter watching the madam pour the beers. Everything was going swimmingly and I knew that if he kept his mouth shut we might get away with just having a quiet beer and then leaving. Unfortunately it wasn’t his mouth that opened but his arse. Dave farted. And I mean farted. He was a big fellow; plenty of meat on him, and I promise you it was a ripper.
I immediately lost it and began to laugh. Unfortunately having been drinking coke all evening I now needed a toilet and made my way, very quickly, to the gents. I relieved myself and wiped away the tears. Once calm I came back into the bar area to see that all the ladies were laughing their heads off. I wondered what Dave had done now and was sure that I was about to find out so sat myself down, beside him, at the bar. I took a swing from my beer then asked. “What are they laughing at?” “Oh,” says Dave, without a care in the world. “I told them that you had just shit yourself.”