A sneak peek from the book I'm working on. (Keep track of things at /r/BikerJedi) I was working on it tonight and a memory crept in. I can't believe I haven't told this story before.
Getting assigned to Korea for most was a hardship tour, which meant you couldn't have your wife or kids. You get the option of taking leave if you have it accrued halfway through. Most guys end up going home for three or four weeks halfway (roughly) through their year tour. At least in my unit, they pretty much forced you to take at least a couple of weeks. I wasted mine going home to Texas and Ft. Bliss to marry my very soon to be ex-wife. But this story is about SPC Dave, not me.
Roughly four months after I got to the DMZ, our hero SPC Dave goes home on mid-tour leave to his now very pregnant wife he knocked up before he left the states. I'm calling him Dave instead of by his last name because even today, almost 35 years later, I don't want to shame the dude.
Our hero SPC Dave was a frequent visitor the bar/brothels in the ville outside the gates of Camp #RC4, especially the place across the street where he had a regular girl. What SPC Dave didn't know before he went home is that she had Gonorreah, aka "The Clap" and had given to him, because like a moron he was fucking whores without a condom. There is an urban myth that the term comes from "clapping" an infected penis to clear it. The truth is it is a slang term for a sexually transmitted disease said to come from the 13th-century French clapoire, meaning “rabbit hutch.”
Regardless, SPC Dave didn't know he had the clap because he was totally asymptomatic. He had no symptoms, or at least none causing him any kind of discomfort, pain or anything else. According to him, everything looked and felt OK down there. It wasn't unusual, some folks are just carriers of a disease. However, his pregnant wife knew within days she had the clap because she was NOT asymptomatic at all. She saw a doctor who confirmed she had Gonorreah, and there was no question where it came from. SPC Dave was ordered by his very pissed off (and rightfully so) wife to take a test, and it was confirmed he had the clap.
They both got the antibiotics and thought they were cleared up. Her symptoms went away. His went away. You are supposed to wait at least a week after symptoms are gone before having sex. They even went and tested and both supposedly tested negative. Since they were fighting the entire month he was there, they waited almost the entire month he was there. For some reason, she had unprotected sex with SPC Dave one more time the night before he came home and gave him back the clap, because as it turned out she wasn't completely free of it yet.
He comes back to the unit from his leave. A couple of days later he gets an itch and decides to get tested where he learns he has the clap again, given to him by his pregnant wife. It was almost like she purposely kept the infection in storage to give back to him on the way home. He called home and confirmed hers hadn't gone away and she had to get another course of antibiotics. Yep - the Korean super-clap was rearing its ugly head again. Maybe she decided to hang onto it and give it back to him like that, but I can't imagine anyone sane risking the health of their baby like that, which is the biggest reason she was pissed off.
How do I know all this you ask? SPC Dave and I weren't friends. I'll tell you how. Because when you are taking certain pills for STDs, the medics tell you that you can't have dairy. So when you are going through the chow line and tell the cook "no dairy" or "no milk" or whatever, people hear you and lose it. (The antibiotics can be interfered with by dairy.) So everyone in line knows you have the clap, and before long, the entire battery knows it. I was in line behind him when he said it. No one would leave him alone about it, wanting to know how he came home with an STD. So he finally spilled the beans while having smoke after formation that night and crying a little bit.
After that, everyone called him "D.C. Dave" or just "D.C." for "Double Clap" since he left with it, lost it, and came back with it. He of course hated it. Three weeks later his wife sends mail saying they are divorcing as soon as he is home. Then he cried some more.
The real story is probably neither of them were totally clear when they thought they were. Poor dumb bastard. Can't say I feel too sorry for him though. After all, "D.C." is a hell of a nickname to lay on someone, he earned it, and it makes a funny story.
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