Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Name is Bobby

Yep... well not really. You see it was an alias I took on when I was in Korea. Why? Well at the time I was petrified of having a Korean woman show up at my 1st Sergeant's office talking about how she was pregnant. I was 19, and ummmm somewhat married. So I figured I needed an alter-ego. My first foray in sock puppetry maybe?

So I assumed Bobby. Why Bobby? I think it happened one night after carousing, we were in a taxi, headed to a Korean karaoke joint, and this woman asked me what my name was. I told her Bobby. She laughed, I think because Bob or Bobby in Korean translates into rice... but I can't confirm that.

So we were on our way, and for me it was an incredible experience. I was Bobby, not me, so Bobby could do whatever he liked. Yes I know I was bad, adultery is never a good practice, but I was 19, and pretty much everybody was doing it, I know that doesn't make it right, but it is what it is. I am far enough removed from ever doing anything like that now that I can safely talk about it.

This was way before the stroke or the diabetes, this was living life like there was no tomorrow. It was fast women, drinking, and hard work. We worked so hard, and partied even harder, in fact we were known in the medical outfits as "those crazy drunks" or some other variant. I'm glad it only lasted for one year, I don't know if we would have lived if it lasted longer.

So back to Bobby, he had his own theme song. "Run Around" by Blues Traveler. Why? Because there is a part of the song that says "But you" (1:09) and friends turned that into "Bobby-ahn" which is how the Koreans said my "name".

So that is how I assumed an identity that really wasn't me. Through paranoia, teen-aged stupidity, and peer pressure, I was led astray. Ok I led myself, I'm really not one to to blame others when I can blame myself. "Bobby" had one hell of a time. Going out every night, even when I didn't want to, because if Bobby didn't go out, the women would come to his barracks and make him go out.

Long live Bobby. Though I don't think anyone misses him, or really cares, it was hearing the song "Run Around" that made me write about the whole Bobby thing. I could just smell the kimchee, OB beer, and bulgogi/yakimandu cooking. I think I always will.

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