I have never had a guest post anything on my blog site, but this was too good not to share.
It all began with this photo that I shared on Facebook. Jeff Humfeld of Kansas City wrote this when he saw it.
A friend of mine just posted a picture on Facebook of her grand niece all wrapped up with Christmas lights and it reminded me of the Christmas Eve that, thankfully, the Soviets didn’t attack from the North Atlantic.
I was stationed with the US Navy in Iceland at a Naval Air Base that tracked Soviet nuclear submarines as they passed out of the North Sea and into the Atlantic Ocean on their way to troll the East Coast of the United States. We were still in place, still on guard against the “Godless Soviets.”
Most of us had not been able to afford the leave time or the money to travel back to our home towns for Christmas so there were cookies, cakes and other holiday treats that we had received from home. In the gift package I had received from my sister was a set of Christmas lights shaped like icicles, that after two or three minutes would start flashing off and on in rotating patterns.
TV was limited to the Armed Forces channel with Roller Derby being about the best show. However, our barracks probably had several thousand dollars worth of stereo equipment. This being the case, most of our entertainment consisted of drinking beer from the beer machine, smoking hashish smuggled from mainland Europe, and sitting around listening to music. This Christmas Eve was of course a festive night with parties in a number of different rooms, some small groups and others larger groups. One of the larger parties was in the room of a sailor whose holiday package had included a bunch of the exotic entertainment commonly called LSD.
Although I had no desire to join in, one of my friends did want to go and visit with those who were enjoying their trip down the psychedelic path. We decide we wanted to give them a Christmas gift to remember. Did I mention I had received Christmas lights? We carefully wrapped the string of lights around my buddy Kim, attached an extension cord and then covered those lights with a sweater.
Timing our visit to when we knew the trip was well under way, Kim knocked on the door. When they let him in, he strolled into the middle of the darkened room and started chatting with a couple of the fellows in the room. After about a minute I plugged the lights into a socket in the hall. There was a very loud collective gasp that emanated from the room, followed by a very tense quiet; no one seemed to be able to exhale.
Kim continued to talk as if nothing had happened and slowly the sound of whimpers and nervous movements were heard from the room. Then . . . the lights started to flash on and off, in varying patterns of course. The wails and cries of dismay started to grow and were joined by what sounded like the gnashing of teeth until someone yelled out, “What the fuck is wrong with you, man?” It was at about this time Kim slowly turned, showing that the lights were on his back as well. He bid his adieu, closing the door on his way out, plunging the room into darkness and chaos.
It was not until years later that it occurred to me that this would have been an ideal time for those “Godless Soviets” to attack. Of course, it could be that we unwittingly helped out Military Intelligence with another of their LSD experiments on our troops.
Here’s wishing you a safe and healthy holiday season – and by the way, stick to the cookies.