I told this story before....but its still a good 'un. This time of year makes me think about the times I spent fixing "Tracker" airplanes in Newfoundland. Winter time was our busy time because we would be supporting the search and rescue people in the very unforgiving North Atlantic Ocean, plus dealing with all those factory ships stealing our fish.
(another story of the characters I met while on Detached Duty..."on Det" in Torbay Newfoundland sometime in the late '90s.)
A poser, technically speaking, is somebody who is attempting to be something they are not. In particular, something they perceive their peer group expects them to be. When they suceed, they often get promoted, when they fail, they get branded a "Poser". Military people meet them all the time....the foul mouth drill sergeant who raises flowers, and has to psych himself up to stand there and shout at the troopies. The pay accounts clerk who drops her paycheck into the G-string of the male stripper on"Ladies Night"and leaves him in the parking lot well out of site of her girfriends.
All the folks who sow their wild oats all week, and go to church on Sunday to pray for a crop failure.Guys have this bad, and military guys even more so. The stories and rumours of infidelities among military guys is statistically unlikely, and surprisingly enough (especially to our wives who talk about us incessantly in coffee klatches) the stories are mostly not true.
Which brings us to the biggest Poser I ever knew, Pierre C. (Name is truncated to protect the damned guilty!) A Man's Man, big, tough, works out in a gym he actually pays for instead of the one on the base, talks big. According to Pierre, he has laid with every woman in St. John, Summerside, Halifax, Trenton and as far as I know, Tim Buc Tu. He used to say with great emphasis and meaning "What Happens on Det STAYS on Det". Which I suspect means something like "I won't tell on you if you don't tell on me." Yeah, fine, whatever. I worked with his wife, and just decided that the less I dealt with this guy, the better me, my career and my mental health would stay. But on this occasion, he was the Master Corporal 2 i c of the Detached Duty team in Torbay Newfoundland that I was assigned to.
So one fine evening as the fog finally grounded the airplanes after a bee-och of 13 hour shift, yet again, we were sittin' around the common room in the barracks. Frying sausages, shooting the breeze, swapping lies. We were all pretty tired...it had been a long day, and some had ducked over to George Street to listen to the music and have a few brewskies before bedding down. There was a 6AM launch, so by ten, most of us had made it back home and were watching Hockey Night In Canada. Just like in a movie, the door opens, and in comes Pierre, all quiet like. Not like him at all!
So he brings us a bottle of Woods Dark Rum (my favorite!) and says "hey guys, I got a girl here, stay out of my room for the next hour or so eh!". So I sez to Pierre....Well, bring her in here for a drink Pete, we won't bite! Pierre gets kind of evasive, and says he has to go, she's waitin in his room for him. "Enjoy the bottle, and I'll see you all in the morning" . Why was this odd? Well, we were a really small det, and we each had rooms to ourselves that trip. Privacy is something we had, and jealously guarded when we managed to get it. So, like , Pierre didn't have to tell us to not bother him, in fact there was no reason other than bragging to inform us of his situation. And that business with the bottle. Well, he WAS an openhanded sort, but rarely like this. Something fishy here.
Clever guy this Pierre. He knew the first thing we would do as soon as we heard his door close is creep real silent like down the hallway, and put a glass to the door. (Oh come on, you'd a done the same!) So heres the three of us, listening at the door. We can hear a man's voice, the sound of shoes hitting the floor. Four shoes...good sign. Then the squeak of the iron army bed. A pause, and another squeek, then another. Then a nice rythymic squeeking! "Ah" said I, "The game is afoot". (Or slurred words to that effect). We went back to the common room, the guys were all buzzing about what kind of a guy this Pierre is, and what would we tell his wife, (Hey, you KNOW, what happens on Det STAYS on Det eh!) , and maybe there was just a tiny touch of envy.
Then, I had an idea.
Many ideas I had in those days I blame on the skinfull of black pusser rum, causes me to do things I shouldn't. ....so I suggested that perhaps we should get a look at this cutie. He is on the ground floor, right? Uh huh. We could see the light under the door so the light is on right? Uh huh. Maybe he didn't pull his curtains? You could almost see the lights come on behind their eyes as they suddenly got it. So, we turned the TV up a little louder, and snuck outside, tramping through the snow to peek into Pete's window.
What we saw was Lucky Pierre, the Man's Man, "woman in every port", the guy who cheated on his wife by his own admission every chance he got, sitting on his bed, all by himself, bouncing up and down on the mattress, making the springs squeek. "Right," we all agreed later. "This guy really IS a devoted family man, and a good father, a hard worker, who wants us to believe that he is this drunken cheatin' bastard. We know his secret now...he's a good man after all! All that cheating and hard drinking stuff! Thats bogus!"What a Poser!"
But oh damn....we can't tell anybody. Because what happens on Det STAYS on det.