"How Puppysmuggler Infiltrated a Military Instalation in the Dead of the Night At Great Risk to Her Life"
August, 1998: Matt and I are in Okinawa, Japan. Matt is stationed there, and I was visiting because we'd been engaged for nearly 2 years and I'd only seen him once during that time. Sounded like a good excuse for a vacation to me!
However, since we were not yet married, I was not technically supposed to be on base during the night, being a mere civilian and all. Normally, this wasn't much of a problem, I'd just ride a bus or car on to the base with Matt, and I wouldn't get questioned. I had a little room in the Camp Hansen lodge, and no one bothered me. I just kept a low profile at night to avoid being asked for an identification.
This little system worked marvelously until one day, I decided that I wanted to go to a little beach down the road from the base. Matt and I got our swimsuits and cameras and strolled off the base. It was lovely! Okinawa is a tropical island not anywhere near Japan at all; it has palm trees, gekkos, and marvelous coral reefs. It was very hot and humid, but I was so happy that I didn't have time to care! We took pictures and examined shells at the beach, then decided it was time to head back before we got dehydrated.
Upon arrival at the gate, I was asked for identification. I showed the nice MP my driver's licence and was admitted onto the base under Mr. Matt's care, and promised to check out before 8pm. Matt assured me getting back on the base would be no big deal; there was a big hole in the fence! Trusting my dear love, I happily strolled back to my room where we enjoyed the convenience of modern air-conditioning.
At a quarter to 8, it was dark, but still VERY humid. I was already in my little red pajama shorts and t-shirt, and didn't feel like changing. So I just put on my jungle boots and walked with el Matto back to the gate where I checked out. Great! Now to find that hole...
Here is a map of the camp:
Not a big camp, but not exactly tiny either. The supposed hole in the fence was somewhere in the circled "jungle area" along the edge of the camp. Great!
We trudged off to the road running left out of the gate house, and followed it a ways until we were out of site of the MPs. The road was not actually near the fence, but parallel to it, some 50 feet away, and more uphill. So, after walking a bit, we happened upon some kind of electrical station or some other utility building that was well-lit, even if a bit mysterious. There was a path going down the hill next to it, and we could keep a hand on the building to avoid falling.
*trudge trudge trudge*
At last! We are at the fence. Where is the hole? Must be somewhere... No! Stop moving! We wait a moment in silence as an MP drives by on the road on the base side of the fence. *whew* Thank goodness for this jungle cover!
I walk besides Matt for about 10 feet, as he moves off to the right, trying to find the hole. Out of boredom, I just happen to stop walking, and he continues on, mumbling under his breath.
Matt comes running back in a hurry when I start stifling shrieks.
WHAT WHAT WHAT??!!!
Directly in front of my face, is the biggest fucking spider I have EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. The sucker was as large as my hand, just hanging out, RIGHT AT FACE LEVEL!! If I had taken just one more step...
Let me tell you my friends, if I had run into that beastie, I would not be writing this today. I would be in a padded cell somewhere, still screaming and batting at my face.
Matt attempted to calm me by saying "It's just a banana spider! They aren't poisonous!"
As you can well imagine, this does not do much to calm me down. I am instantly struck with the urge to do the "icky spider dance" (Cringer, you know what I'm talking about) and suddenly, every blade of grass is a giant spider waiting to walk on my flesh, every leaf is a web. I make mumbled "eeeeeehh! uuugnnnngghh!!" noises and slap myself, occasionally adding in a little *shriek!* for emphasis.
Matt, wisely, decides that finding the hole in the fence is not as important as avoiding being heard by the MPs and being possibly shot, and half drags, half carries me back up to the road.
Okay, so now what?
Well *sigh* I guess we can try to find a place to just jump the fence.
We trudge around the perimiter, looking for a place that might provide a suitable leaping point. I need to go potty. I'm getting blisters. I just want to lay down! *whine whine whine*
We circle all the way to the 'back gate,' which is unmanned and locked shut, finding no places where it would be feasible to leap. I'm dying to go to the bathroom, and Matt is very (understandably) grumpy. I find some nice local bushes to water, and Matt contemplates our situation.
The back gate is very well lit, and is on a busy section of local road. There are tiny japanse vehicles zipping to and fro across the intersection, showing no signs of slowing down despite the now advanced hour of night. There is even a cabbie parked next to the gate. We have no idea what he's doing. However, if he'd just... LEAVE we might be able to jump the gate.
That's it! A plan!
The cabbie still sits there. I have to pee again (dammit!), and Matt is anxious to get back inside.
Finally, we both more or less decide to Damn the Man!
Ever so casually, we stroll up to the gate... nothing to see here folks! Just kids hanging out... not up to anything...
Matt prys the gate open as much as the chain holding it shut will allow, and I squeeze under/through. I'M IN! No one's coming, the cabbie's oblivious (or just staying out of it), and I pry the gate for Matt.
Still no one coming...
We run all the way back to my room, me in my pjs, Matt sweating and grumpy, but both VERY glad to be there!
And that my friends, is the harrowing tale of Puppysmuggler Infiltrating a Military Instalation!