Last entry I alluded to the possibility of employment by another firm, and the dissolving of the Outfoxed Crew.
‘Aint happened yet, my friends. It’s not unlikely that it won’t happen at all. Meetings that happen over beer (as this one did) are so often fraught with pie-in-sky benevolence that I should have known better than to even discuss it. Time will tell, and there’s the loveliness of fall weather to soothe.
But I’m still in the midst of a huge lack of Kahoona’s.
Maybe it would be best if I ‘splained just what a Kahoona is. And I’m not sure that I’m even spelling it right, but it just looks funnier with the two o’s instead of a u or whatever. It’s not as if I have personally ever held a Kahoona in my hand, for that matter. That task fell to my Watering Hole buddy, the crown prince of our beloved US Navy, Chief Mo.
Seems that Chief Mo and another of the senior chiefs were overseas a few years back and happened to port in some nameless town, somewhere in Croatia or Bosnia or whatever that depressed little area of the globe is. It further seems that, long time sailors that they are, they had developed a bit of a thirst after a long hot week on the ship. It was a Friday and it was time for a break.
So they showered, donned fresh khaki’s and made a brisk pace for the ships ATM machine. After a brief consultation, they each withdrew $50 for dinner and beer and souvenirs. Not overmuch, they reasoned. No sense taking too much money. After all, this was just for a few hours of the local nightlife. And they did have to look the part that they were, senior enlisted men in the Navy, not a couple of fresh recruits looking to blow a weeks pay.
Naturally, as with any foreign port of call, there was the issue of exchanging their $50 for the local currency. Some merchant had made it convenient to do so by setting up an exchange booth just at the end of the ships pier. The two Chiefs found an enterprising little fellow who was only too glad to take the American dollars and pass back a tall pile of bills. Kahoona bills. It worked out that they each got back something on the order of 70,000 Kahoona’s.
“Jesus Mo,” said the senior chief. “Look at all this paper. This must be one of those places where you have to get a wheelbarrow’s worth of bills to buy a crappy television. You sure you want to take a chance on this town?” Mo, being Mo, was hungry and thirsty and not to be denied. Damn the Kahoona’s, full speed ahead.
They passed on the more glitzy restaurants and pubs where, as Mo puts it, “Nothing funny ever happens” and slid into a more tumbled down joint a little off the main drag. A joint where, naturally enough, English was not exactly spoken as a second language, or even a third. Pantomimes and gestures were the order of the day for two sailors fresh off ship somewhere in Old Yugoslavia. Even for Mo, who has publicly claimed that he can “Order a Budweiser in thirteen languages.”
The barkeep settled them in and somehow, after much thrashing of arms and pointing to signs and vigorous hand to mouth gestures, a pizza was ordered. Dipping a hand to his milk carton sized stash of bills, Mo cocked an eyebrow to ask “How much?”, not a little fearful that the amount in hand might be disappearing at a prodigious rate.
And pointing to a displayed Budweiser and holding up two fingers, he repeated the inquiry.
2 Kahoona’s each.
Mo looked at the senior and the senior looked at Mo. “You’ve got 70,000 Kahoona’s and so do I. Between us we’ve got 140,000 Kahoona’s. We just bought beer that cost 4 Kahoona’s. Oh. My. God.”
In the course of what soon became an epic evening ashore, the language barriers fell away and all inhabitants of the nameless bar soon fell under the spell of Mo. And to hear him tell it, they invented an entirely new language of their own – Kahoona speak.
“How many Kahoona’s to buy this bar?”, Mo was reputed to call after his twenty ‘leventh beer. “Barkeep, set ‘em up again! Let’s see, have I cracked the 1,000 Kahoona mark yet? Anybody got change for a 1,000 Kahoona? And where’s the pool table? Bet I can play all night for a Kahoona and a half!” And on and on it went.
They tipped the barkeep a weeks pay every hour or so (in Mo’s words, it wasn’t Kahoona’s wasted, since she was “Butt ugly and needed a perm, at the very least”), made Kahoona airplanes and sailed them across the room to eager hands, found that the easiest way to keep an inventory on the mass of paper bills was just to stuff a wad in every available pocket of their uniforms and keep giving a handful of them out to every child who happened to wander by.
They left the bar as heroes, and probably did more good for foreign relations that night than any diplomat had done in years of effort. Crashing at the local 4-star hotel (15 Kahoona’s for the room, plus a hundred Kahoona tip), resisting a late night urge to “Call up the local brothel and send over 5,000 Kahoona’s worth” the two chiefs returned to the ship the next day. Hungover, tired, but hardly broke. It was said that they approached the Commanding Officer and demanded to know “How many Kahoona’s do you want for this rusted-ass boat?”
To this day, Mo turns a bit wistful at the mention of money, the rate of inflation or the indignity of a single beer costing nearly $3. Dollars may be dollars. But.
There’s nothing like Kahoona’s, “And I’ve still got about 20,000 of the damned things in my sock drawer at the house!”
Maggie the Middlest daughter has a part time job at a sub shop. It happens to be an establishment that Stu and I worked on, a new store with many bright fixtures and lovely woodwork.
It also happens to make the best sub sandwiches in the country. I promise, I’ve eaten . . .well, a boatyard of sub’s in my day. But this place. Imagine fresh sourdough bread, lightly toasted, a mound of roast beef sliced painstakingly thin, crisp peppers and onions and of course, the requisite melted cheese.
A half of one of these is nine inches long and darn near as thick.
A whole one is, let’s just say, more than this glutton can manage in one setting. There isn't anything quite like this place in the area, and believe me we've got a ton of food choices to pick from. They're lined up around the block for these subs.
A custom sub shop and a daughter working there. My life is rich indeed. She’s been bringing home her ”lunch” sub, the free one she gets as part of every shift. Puts it in a carry out box and sticks it in the fridge. There's one in there right now as a matter of fact. With my name on it.
I swear, this child will inherit all of my fortune. Every last Kahoona of it.
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