Thursday, March 17, 2011

It wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but it was in an Irish Pub.

It wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, but it was in an Irish Pub.

In Sachsenhausen.  Frankfurt.  Germany.

It was late winter/ early spring whenever Wintex/Cimex ’89 was, and it was still cold out at night..

It was me, 1LT Laura McKnight, CPT White, 1SG Cobb and commander’s driver PFC (or maybe SP4) Khoury.

It had been a long and boring exercise, but  I’ll tell that story later.

Finally it was over and we had a night *free* in Frankfurt, so what to do?

We asked around and the consensus was “Go hit Sachsenhausen, lots of bars.”  

So Laura and I hop the S-Bahn outside of Gibbs Kaserne take it to Konstablerwache to catch the U-Bahn, then it’s under the Main River and we’re in Sachsenhausen.  But before we leave the U-Bahn station we check to see when the last train leaves and it says something like 24:00. So we’ve got time to drink and maybe listen to some crappy German rock bands, before heading back to the Gasthaus for the night and then the two hour drive in a Volkswagen van back to Baumholder the next day.  The good news is that we can sleep in the van as it pokes along the Autobahn. 

Anywho, I can’t remember if Khoury (sorry dude, you’ll always be Khoury, I can’t call you Pierre, just habit I guess.) went with us of if we stumbled into one another in Sachsenhausen. Either way enlisted men and officers aren’t supposed to socialize, but we figured that since he was our troop and all alone in the big city, that maybe we should keep an eye on him so he wouldn’t get in trouble.  Yeah, that’s it.  That’s our story and we’re stickin’ with it.

Anyway we end up in the Irish Pub in Sachsenhausen. And it’s packed.  I mean wall-to-wall people.  Whatever the local fire marshal had deemed was the maximum safe occupancy had long ago been exceed, and then doubled.  Forget about finding a seat or a table, they’ve all been removed so that more people can be packed in.  Not our concern, the Guinness is good, and Laura has run into some Field Artillery Captain that she had a crush on/previously dated or some such.  So they wander away to talk.  Khoury has quickly ditched us and is hitting on the Frauleins.  So it’s just me and a really bad Irish Folksong singing, acoustic guitarist.   He was stuck back in like a tiny cave in the far end of the place, and was 1) Not happy to be crammed into the cave, 2) Really pissed that no one except me was listening to him, and 3) I was singing along to the Irish folksongs I knew.  Loudly.  In fact at one point he told me he was a solo act.  Fine dude, but I’m the only person in here even paying attention to you as everyone else is chatting up/hitting on one another and it’s so loud in here that even  *I* can barely hear you.    

Eventually Laura and her beau worm their way back through the crowd and she asks what time is it. 
Oh, crap. I check my watch 00:45.  Shit, we’ve got to get out of here and now to catch the last U-Bahn otherwise it’s a long walk back to Eckenheimerlandstrasse and the Gasthaus near Gibbs Kaserne.

Double shit, this place is packed and it’ll take 15 minutes just to get to the damn door.

I tell Laura to tell Captain Field Artillery she’ll call him later, I grab Khoury by the collar and pull his ear to my face and say:  “Do what I do, and say what I say.”  Khoury, being a highly trained MP just nods and prepares to follow my instructions.

Now Laura probably weighs all of 80 pounds soaking wet, thin as a rail.  So, I grab one of Laura’s arms and pick her up, Khoury grabs the other and lifts.  Laura is now off the ground, her head above the crowd.

And I scream “PREGNANT WOMAN GIVING BIRTH !!!!    PREGNANT WOMAN GIVING BIRTH “ and Khoury starts it yelling also.

Everything got quiet as everyone turned to look at the commotion and suddenly the crowd parts, like Moses parting the Red Sea.   People were looking at Laura and trying to figure out “Really, she’s the pregnant woman?” as we race outside with Laura being carried between the two of us. 

No time to laugh, we’ve got to get to the U-bahn station.  So slightly inebriated we run to the station, only to get there and be told by the cleaning crew that the last train left an hour ago.  Yep, we had screwed up reading the times and now we are looking a loooonnnnggg walk back.  Oh well, it’s not really all *that* cold out, and we’ve got all night.   I started to feel sorry for Khoury as he would have to drive the van the next day while we slept in the back.

So we head out of the station and stop to get our bearings. 

We see a US Army MP van come down the street.  Now, I never pulled MP Duty Officer in Frankfurt, but I’m pretty sure that Sachsenhausen isn’t in any patrol area as there were no US Installations south of the Main River.

I can’t remember which of us jumped out in front of the VW van (might have been all of us), but one of the MP’s sticks his head out the window about yell at us, then stops and wrinkles up his face and says “Khoury?  Is that you?”  Yep, now it is old home week and Khoury might be able to save our bacon.  Seems that they had gone through basic and AIT together.  So this guy and his partner are willing take us back to Gibbs.  I think the deal was that we didn’t see nothin’ or tell anyone about the nothin’ we saw.     

Whenever Laura and I talk, the parting comment is always “PREGNANT WOMAN GIVING BIRTH!!!!” 

Happy St. Pat's !!!  

*Believe it or not I couldn't find a picture of one of those crappy  USAREUR Volkswagen MP Vans.  Just that Danish one.   


  1. I've got tears in my eyes, that is such a quintessential "omg you will never believe what we did in Germany" story.

  2. GOOD TIMES! ...and you officers slept nicely in the back seat of the VW van the next morning as I drove you 3 hours home across Germany!