Worm was a new guy we got into the company about mid 1980. He was a wheeled vehicle mechanic and was from Kansas or Nebraska or some other flat place and was just a good solid kid. He was a hard worker and always had a smile on his face and a kind word to say, was kind to animals and loved Mama and Jesus. He was also kinda slow.
His first name was Bob but one time I was leaning out my window and saw him coming back from the mess hall so I hollered down asking him what was for lunch and he hollered back “WORMS!” It went back and forth a few times but it turned out he was hollering wurst instead of worms, and the name stuck. When I left 18 months later he was an acting jack sergeant and his guys called him Sergeant Worm.
Because he was a mechanic, he was billeted down in the Redneck Rooms where he fit in just fine, him being a pigeon toed bucktoothed farm boy and I’m not exaggerating when I say that. Motherfucker even had a cowlick. He had never been more than 100 miles from home before.
The boys down there took good care of him and accepted him right away which was pretty much a given for anybody that drank whiskey, listened to Country, chewed tobacco and hated all things yankee. As I recall, he also had webbed feet which only proved his bloodline – as Miss Lisa says, Corn Fed and Inbred. They took him under their collective wings making sure he knew what to do and when to do it, basically showing him the ropes about army life as well as off post etiquette.
He needed all the help he could get. That boy was naive. I mean, he was green. I remember one time we were talking shit and I asked him if he had a girlfriend back home and he said “Sure” so I asked him if she ever sucked his dick. He got all indignant and said “Hell no, she ain’t no queer!” I had to tell him that if a woman did it to a man, that was cool, but if it was two men it was queer and then I had to explain why. I was actually having to give an 19 year old kid “The Talk”. I mean, he had the part about reproduction down being a farm kid and all but as far as having some damned fun while you’re making them babies? Not a fucking clue.
So me and him and a bottle of George Dickel had a talk. I educated the boy on everything I knew about women which admittedly wasn’t much. I got some dirty magazines and showed him what was what and what was supposed to allegedly happen when you did this. He was pretty shocked at first but after about a half a quart he relaxed and started asking questions.
I left him with the bottle and about a half dozen issues of Hustler magazine and beat feet down to the Redneck Rooms where I immediately told everybody present what just happened because this shit was just too good to not share. After everybody quit laughing and got their shit together we had a quick meeting and decided that this matter needed to rectified as quickly as possible. I mean, what if Worm was killed the very next day in a tragic accident? A man can’t die without having his dick sucked at least once, right?
So we took up a collection and me and Phil and Greg went back to my room (knocking first in case he was abusing those Hustler magazines) and found him asleep on the couch. We snatched his young ass up and marched him out the gate down to the cab stand and took him to the whorehouse. We were on a mission. We were going to get that boy’s dick sucked before he died the next day.
Well fuck, we got there and started walking through and Worm’s all red in the face and trying not to stare. He’s fucking embarrassed as hell and we’re still on the first floor with all the ugly lower priced girls – wait til he sees the fine girls up on the third floor, he’s gonna stroke out.
Then it hits me. I whisper in his ear “You ain’t never seen a real live nekkid woman before, have you?” He shakes his head violently. “Never had sex before?” His head’s going back and forth so fast his teeth are going to start popping out like chiclets.
This ain’t right. I tell Phil and Greg that a guy’s first time needs to be special, maybe in the back seat of his daddy’s car up at Make-Out Point with somebody he’s madly in love with at the moment, not some worn out First Floor Whore. They both look at each other, look at me, shrugged, and both of them grabbed an arm and hauled Worm up to the 3rd floor where he could indeed fall in love with a young pretty whore.
We never could get all the details from Worm about what went on behind closed doors due to his stammering and stuttering when we asked, but the next payday I’m staggering back onto Post when I see Worm strolling out, whistling and all happy and shit. I asked him where he was going and he blushed and said “The Red Door”.
Worm had about as much experience drinking as most guys did at that period of his life just barely out of high school. By the time I left, he was a hard drinker. You almost couldn’t be, living with the rednecks. Weekends were a non-stop party and I mean hard drinking. There’s be 3 small refrigerators packed with German beer and 10-12 bottles of whiskey and not a single soft drink to mix with.
Now, while everybody took him under their wings, Phil took on a more fatherly role. He praised him when he did something right and got pissed at him when he fucked something up. I was laughing so hard I was crying the first time I heard Phil tell him “Worm, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in you right now, son” and Worm standing there looking all chastised and shit.
Once Phil got deep into his cups though, he got mean and there were a couple times he slapped Worm around and other folks had to intervene. Phil was a good sized man but was fairly reasonable sober – get him real fucked up and he got mean.
Now I gotta tell you that everybody got their ass kicked down in the Redneck Rooms. There was at least one good fight down there every weekend – when you’ve got 10-15 young males jammed into a couple of 4 man rooms for no other reason than to get severely fucked up, there’s gonna be disagreements. But those were settled with fists and both sides had an equal chance. Phil was slapping Worm. There’s a big difference between getting hit and getting bitch slapped when it comes to pride.
Well, like I said, Worm was a real naive kid who didn’t have an enemy in the world so he didn’t really know what to do about it. I mean people jammed up on it and stopped it before it could go any further, but still… and what was bad was Phil wouldn’t remember a thing about it the next morning. Worm would be all pissed at him and Phil would be denying it, swearing the half dozen witnesses were all lying.
Remember what I said about Worm being a farm kid? Yeah, he may have been a happy go lucky kid but he was a big happy go lucky kid. Not real tall, but stout. He stood right at 5′ 10″, but he weighed a good 200 pounds and it was all in his chest and shoulders.
Man, the last time it happened the guys just told Worm that he was gonna have to stand up to him. He might get his ass whipped but it had to be done. Who knows, maybe Phil will have some memory of that.
The next weekend started out as usual with everybody drinking and having a good time and as the evening progressed there was a quick fight between Hoagie and Greg when Hoagie caught Greg stealing can of his Vienna sausages. You did not fuck with Hoagie’s Viennas (VI-EEnas) – Hoagie was from some crossroads in Georgia and sometimes required an interpreter to make himself understood.
Anyways, as soon as one fight starts, you’re guaranteed another. That shit’s contagious. Bigger than shit about an hour later, Phil starts in on Worm over one thing or another.
Worm doesn’t say a word but as soon as Phil leaned forward like he was going to get up, Worm flew off the bunk he was sitting on and nailed Phil right in the side of the head. Boom. Lights out.
Note to Self: Don’t piss Worm off.
Things changed with Phil and Worm after that. It turned into more of a big brother/little brother thing.
Worm didn’t smoke dope right at first. Matter of fact he didn’t get into it much at all but when he first got there it was a big no-no. I don’t know if he actually believed the shit they taught in health class or if his preacher made him watch Reefer Madness back to back 15 times.
He wasn’t even comfortable when anybody else was smoking or even carrying dope around him at first, just a paranoid fucker. I remember one time we had been off post for a few beers and right before we got to the gate he asks if I’ve got a chunk of hash on me. “Well of course I do. Why?”
“What if they search us going in?”
I looked towards the gate where the MP on duty was checking vehicles and people walking through the gate. “Oh hell, that’s Gary. I’ve sold him dope before. Come on. Hey Gary!”
“Hey, Lane. I need to stop by later.”
There was a dynamite hashish called Trippin Green that showed up only a few times when I was there. Most of your hash was bought in small compact chunks, a 20 gram piece generally being about the size of a Zippo lighter. Trippin Green came in thin sheets – a 5 gram piece was the size of a cheap western paperback and about as thick as a butter knife and hard as a rock. It was a bright green in color, almost fluorescent.
Speaking on general terms, the darker the hash, the more potent it is. Black hash is the best, with blonde being the mildest. Green and red hash fell in between.
But let me tell you what, Trippin Green will put your dick in the dirt. It will cause you to drool on yourself. It’ll fuck you up so badly you couldn’t even function in a mental hospital. You take about 3-4 tokes and everything is good and all of a sudden there’s a jolt that you can physically feel and then you’re seeing everything in 2D instead of 3D – it’s like you’re looking at a picture of life right in front of you. There’s no depth at all. And everything’s brighter and more intense.
When Trippin Green came around, it was around until it sold out – about 3 hours. It was never an ongoing thing. It came, it was gone and you wouldn’t see it again for 6 months and I don’t think I was ever able to get more than 10 grams at a time.
Back to Worm. We had some of that Trippin Green come in about 4 months after Worm got there and he was starting to loosen up some. One night after he’d consumed a few drinks he decided he was ready to give some of that devil weed a try. I’m sorry to say I wasn’t there.
I got back from wherever I’d been and was kicking back in my room smoking dope and listening to music when Greg barged in. “Well, we finally got that motherfucker high, Lane.”
“Really?” He could only be talking about one person. “How’d that go?” I was genuinely interested because Worm could pull some off the wall shit when he wanted to.
“Welp, we fired up a bowl and he came over and joined in. He only took about 3 tokes before his lungs blowed out and then he went and laid up in his bunk and started reading. That’s all he done for four solid hours was read. And check this shit out – he was reading the Bible.”
“That’s it? No shit?” I was kinda disappointed.
“He was reading out loud, Lane. The King James version. Now is thee going to offer me a drink or shall I smite your yankee ass?”
We had a couple radio vans up at Konigstuhl running a relay and using the permanent site’s tower and power up there. It was a beautiful landscaped site with permanent buildings and the duty was really nice. We got to be pretty good friends with the comms guys up there, too.
A quick detour here – everybody in my unit, with the exception of the cooks, had at least a Secret security clearance with about half holding a full time Top Secret clearance. Mine was Secret but was upgraded as needed and then downgraded back to a Secret when the job was done. Now please do not think I’m trying to come off as some secret agent man – I can assure you I was never entrusted with any secret shit. The only reason I had that clearance was to access places I needed to in order to do my job. It wasn’t because of what I knew, it’s because of where I had to go.
Back to Konigstuhl. Even though the radio vans were running off site power, they still brought their generators with them and one day when were doing the daily maintenance we couldn’t get one to start. We called down to the company for a generator mechanic but didn’t have one available so they sent Worm instead. No problem, he was good with engines of any type.
While he was on the way I got to thinking about how much he was always talking about home and how much he missed his Mom and Dad. I jumped into the radio van and rang the permanent site up and asked the guy inside if he could meet me at the gate. When he got there I asked if he could patch a call through to the States in couple hours. Not a problem, he said. He already done it for all of us so one more is no big deal. It was just a matter of patching over and then him dialing the number.
Worm showed up and fixed the generator in about 15 minutes, so Wally brought him up to the radio van and asked for his home number. I swear on all that’s Holy Worm started bouncing up and down and clapping his hands in front of his face like a little kid when he realized he’d be able to call home. I felt like giving him a cookie or something.
That motherfucker was on the radio for an hour. He was telling his folks about schnitzels and German beer and fraulines and the German dairies right in the middle of town and and and….. I’m surprised he didn’t tell them about his trips to the whorehouse.
We had to swear him to secrecy. He wasn’t supposed to be inside that van and we’d be in a shitload of trouble if anybody found out. When we wrapped things up there a week or two later and got back home, I was immediately cornered by all the mechanics wanting to know just happened up there, did he get his dick sucked again because he won’t quit grinning and nobody knows why.
At least he could keep a secret.