By J.E. McCollough Entering the private sector after military service is rarely...
Dumbass Chronicles: Hanging out with Hollywood
By RU Contributor Jack Mandaville
I’ve been around a lot of famous people for whatever reason—A-listers at the pinnacle of their careers. But to be honest with, I’ve only been star struck three times in my life.
1) Meeting Kirby Puckett right after his legendary performance in the ’91 World Series.
2) Taking a piss next to R. Lee Ermey when I was a lowly private at my infantry schooling.
3) The third was an incident that I might not have given a shit about if I was sober, but I was so intoxicated I acted like a teenage slut with an anal compulsion at a Justin Bieber concert.
My second of three deployments was actually pretty chill. We were only in Iraq for a few weeks but spent the rest of the time training with other militaries around Southeast Asia. One of those little excursions was a two-week training exercise with the Emirati Army. Days of sun exposure, boredom, and the depletion of our tobacco supply had us ready for a break.
Well whatta ya know… it just so happened the end of our training cycle fell right on Christmas.
We ended up docking our ship in the exotic city of Dubai. A beer garden was set up outside of the port so Marines and Sailors could get some cheap beer in a safe environment—far away from the extravagant malls and bars in downtown Dubai, where Marines where capable of blowing whole paychecks at the drop of a dime. One of the nice little Christmas presents the Navy gave us that year was the presence of a Hollywood A-lister on a USO tour: Ben mothafuckin’ Affleck.
When I first heard that Matt Damon’s lackey was going to be gracing our presence, I shrugged it off like it was no big deal. In fact, I actually remember saying (In the only way a jaded lance corporal can), “Fuck that. Unless he has a naked J. Lo with him and reimburses me for the money I wasted on Pearl Harbor, I don’t want to see his mongoloid face.”
Mind you, I was sober at this point.
Countless beers later
My friends Mini and Banana-Fingers came running up to me with big smiles on their faces.
“Dude, dude, we just got Ben Affleck’s autograph,” screamed Mini.
“Yeah, man, he signed my chest,” added Banana-Fingers.
I had this wide-eyed expression on my face like I was a kid who just found out the circus is coming to town. “Nu-uh? I want Ben Affleck’s autograph, too.”
“Dude, he’s only gonna be up there for like another twenty minu—”
I was already out of my chair and sprinting to the stage before Mini could finish his sentence.
I stood in line for about ten minutes with another thirty or so Sailors and Marines. I was bobbing my legs up and down in anticipation like I was doing the kindergarten pee-pee dance.
“Alright, next ten folks come up to the stage,” yelled one of the public affairs officers.
With that signal, I bolted through the crowd—pushing over my fellow servicemembers with no regard—and ran screaming toward Mr. Affleck. “BEN, BEN, BEN!!!”
To this day, I still remember his shocked expression as I sprinted toward him with a sadistic smile plastered on my face. You know that scene in Deliverance right before Ned Beatty gets violated by the toothless hillbillies? He’s got a frozen look on his face because he’s accepted the fact that his whole world is about to be turned upside down. That’s exactly how Affleck looked. I’m talkin’ sheer dread.
When I was a sophomore in high school, one of the seniors won a Ford Mustang on the Price is Right and bear hugged the elderly Bob Barker on national television. I thought that was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen, and as I now approached Ben Affleck, it dawned on me that I needed to do the same thing. I grabbed him by his waist (he has about three or so inches on me), hurled him up in the air, and belted: “I LOVE YOU, BEN!”
I screamed that shit at the top of my lungs!
From the corner came the public affairs officer running the dog and pony show. “Put his ass down right now, Marine.”
This is when things start to get a little hazy for me. I know I was giddy as all hell, and after taking a quick picture with the star, I almost had to be removed from the stage by force because I was unwilling to leave my beloved Ben. That’s pretty much all I recall for the rest of the night.
The next morning
My eyes opened slowly. A pounding pain in my head was the first thing I noticed. I dragged my ass out of my rack and made my way to the head to take a leak. When approached the mirror I was startled at what I saw. “What the fuck is on my chest?”
Banana-Fingers had just gotten out of the shower and was standing a few feet away. “Dude, you don’t remember?”
“You came running back to our table last night after you met Ben Affleck.”
“Yeah, you were pretty excited. Then you ripped your shirt off and started showing everybody where he signed your chest. You were screaming ‘Check out my tits’ to everyone walking by. Then some gunny made you get back on ship and go to sleep.”
“Oh, man. I was gonna take a shower, but this changes everything. I can’t wash this shit off now.”
Four days. I went four days without a shower after that night. Fuck famous people.