Bruce Ruks
A Pelican pilot from the 1967-68 era

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AGTMS (Another George the Monkey Story)

As all are aware, we often got in late and the mess hall was closed but we tried to call in and ask them to make some of those really lousy sandwiches for us when we got in. SURE!  The crew chief and gunner spent the next two hours cleaning and checking the guns/ship.  The pilots would try to help but often just got in the way or screwed up the process and were told to go away.

After one late arrival we went back to the hooch and somebody came up with the great idea of going over to the local Marine Air Group Club cause you could get an almost real stateside pizza?  Then another fellow suggested we take George the monkey along.  I think we had a few toddies in us by this time and seemed like a good idea.  Some how we got a jeep and four of us and George jumped in.  We did have George on a leash and he seemed to enjoy the ride, as his girlfriend Snoopy, had gotten out of Dodge.

As we entered the club, you were required to check your side arms (which turned out to be very wise).  The club was nothing more that a large hooch with about 8 10ft tables/chairs, a make shift bar and a "kitchen" that was accompanied by a pizza oven that could only cook two pizza's at time.  Other food offerings were not available this late and we were the only army folks amongst about twenty Marine pilots in sweaty flight suits who also appeared to be hungry and just completed their missions.  We grabbed the end of a ten footer with George on a leash, sent someone up the bar to order 4 pitchers of beer (well, their were 4 of us!) and started figuring out how to stay alive and get home safe.

At the other end of our table were two marines had been there about an hour before us and anxiously were waiting for their pizza.  When their number was called, one fellow went to get the pizza and the other went to get more beer.  The pizza guy came back, left the pizza on their end of the table then went to help his pal bring back the beer-leaving the long awaited pizza unattended.  George saw it and was uncontrollable.

I am not sure if we unleashed him or he broke loose.  He ran down the table top and proceeded to sit in the middle of the pizza and feast on the artificial sausage they put on those things. We were all hysterical with laughter as we had never seen a monkey eat pizza, let alone sit in the middle of it!

Now here come the two marines, hungry as hell.  All they see is a monkey sitting on their pizza and eating.  I think it was a good thing weapons were checked!

We almost had to fight our way out but gave the marines our pizza number and were told never to return!

Just one of those fun memories I'd like to share.


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