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the cheerleaders
the gods smile... then laugh
by todd w bush

The USO is world-renowned thanks to the likes of Bob Dole and other 1960’s and 1970’s celebrities that traveled overseas during the Vietnam War to provide a morale boost to the troops. In truth, it was one of the only positive things to come out of the Vietnam era. The organization still provides those morale-bolstering trips even today, sending over the likes of Kid Rock, J-Lo, and Toby Keith. But those artists make the trips to large military installations like Ramstein Air Base in Germany and Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii (why anyone would need a morale boost in Hawaii is beyond me). Tiny, remote Lajes Field in the Azores does get USO shows, but they are comprised of “has-beens” and “never-will-bes.” That is until the powers that be bestowed upon the hapless souls unlucky enough to be stationed there the Cheerleaders of America.

Day to day life at Lajes was as routine as routine can be: wake up, walk down the monstrous hill to work for 12 hours, then walk back up the same monstrous hill to the dorm, start drinking, then go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. A USO show was a welcome break from the grind, even if it was the Gatlin Brothers trying to renew their style and singing Nelly’s “It’s Gettin’ Hot In Here.” But when the Cheerleaders of America were on the card, you’d have thought Vivid was asking me and my buddies to be in the next 100 girl, 4 guy gang bang. The cheerleaders are comprised of former NFL cheerleaders who go around entertaining troops and other organizations. Just a way to milk the cow after the NFL sends you packing I guess.

Our group for the appointed night was me and my buddies AFN, Drew, and Hairy. We made the necessary arrangements and got up to the enlisted club (the site of this shin-dig) about an hour and half before the start of the show at 7:30 pm. The fact that we could get a table right up front and there was an open barstarting at 6 had nothing whatsoever to do with our early arrival. We just didn’t want to be late. Table claimed, and drinks in hand, we began ribbing AFN because well, he’s AFN. He’s a guy that works for the Air Force in broadcasting, and because the base is so small, each of the broadcasters appears in damn-near every single commercial that is shown on base. AFN’s latest foray was about the fact that the radio station didn’t always broadcast country music, but rather played an eclectic selection of styles. AFN’s character is sitting at his “desk” and turns on the radio to hear 3 Doors Down, then laments out loud, “You can’t boot-scoot to this!” Mass insults, ribs, and jokes ensued. The commercial had started played roughly a month before, but it was like the gift that keeps on giving. We just couldn’t let it go. Besides, it took the attention off our many faults. Aren’t we swell friends?

Fifteen minutes after sitting down, it’s refill time and it’s my turn to fly. I get in line, fill up on Jack and Coke for me, beer for Hairy and Drew, and a plain Pepsi for AFN (come on, we had to make fun of him). I turn for the table and see my buddies following an incredibly attractive mid-30’s woman out the door. Now I have a dilemma. Drinks? Hot woman? You do the math. In one motion I set the drinks down and boot-scoot right out the door behind them. Turns out that the hot woman was the manager of the cheerleaders, and she asked my buddies if they would do her a huge favor. As reward, they’d be “taken care of.” None of the guys got even a whiff of what the “favor” was, they just heard the “taken care of” part and it sounded enough like sex that they agreed. The woman could have been asking for the souls of their first born for all they knew. Which proves the point, as always, men think with their dicks. The favor revolved around the fact that the girls didn’t realize that children were going to be in attendance at the show, so not only did they have to tone down their act to make it more family friendly (never have I hated kids more), but they didn’t have a single thing to give the little whipper-snappers. So Manager Lady wanted us to go to the girls rooms and get the candy that had been left there.

When we got up to the rooms, I discovered one big problem: the manager had neglected to tell us where the candy was in the rooms. I came to this conclusion when I opened the first drawer in the first room I went to and saw nothing but lace, satin, silk, and not much of it. Enter moral quandary. First, I’ve seen some of the girls’ pictures and they are unreal hot. Second, this is the greatest chance I’ll ever have to relive my misspent youth with the ultimate panty raid. However, I thought, “I’m a 26-year old, I’m way past panty raids and this is just wrong.” So I did what any mature person would do when faced with this situation: I froze just long enough for Manager Lady to come into the room and see my “duh-duh-duh-duh” expression as I stared at a drawer full of thongs. I am class and sophistication, hear me roar.

She told us where the candy was located (on the microwave, in plain view, if you are scoring at home) and we gathered it all up for her and went back to our seats. Magically, they were still there. As were the drinks. And the lights dimmed as the show was about to start. And the girls were not as hot as I thought they had been in their pictures, they were hotter. Let the good times, roll. One girl in particular struck my fancy. Mid-length brunette hair, hazel eyes, about 5-4, and “God done blessed that woman” breasts, Priscilla caught me looking at her early on and when it was her turn to sing (yes she was an accomplished singer as well), she pretty much spent the whole song giving me the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” treatment.

The show went along swimmingly, with even a couple breaks for us to run out and get a smoke. One of the highlights involved the girls going out and getting people to dance with them. Naturally, most of them picked kids and commanders (don't ask), but one girl picked my buddy Mac. The song was country, and Mac just happens to be the Michael Jordan of country dancing. When the song was over, after all the spinning, two-stepping, and whatnot, I think the girl didn’t know whether to screw Mac right there on the dance floor or throw up.

After the show, the girls all came back out for pictures and autographs. We took numerous pictures and a few of them even signed my Corona visor. As the autograph session was winding down, Manager Lady comes over to us discreetly and asks us to hang around after it was over for our reward. Immediately, AFN starts to sweat, tap his foot and duck his head in the “shucks, I might have to go through with this” kind of way. Drew looked at him, giggled and said, “Dude, calm down. It’s not that kind of reward. Unfortunately.” At that, AFN looked like Drew had just stuck his puppy in a trash compactor. Manager Lady came back about ten minutes later and said we’d get to hang out with the girls now, just us. So we kicked back and started the flirting. Several of the cheerleaders, Priscilla included, recognized us and came over to talk to us directly, asking if we knew some place to get something to eat. Being that it was 11:30 now and the only thing open was the bowling alley, we made the five minute walk. The girls got some food and beer in their bellies, when Drew asked a question totally out of the blue, something everyone had wanted to ask, but didn’t have the balls to even think: “So, you girls want to go back to the dorms? Hang out with us? I’ve got wine.”

AFN and Hairy decided to skip this, thinking no one would say yes to me and Drew. Idiots. Priscilla and her friend Bari, a blonde who’d cut her eyes at Drew a couple of times, decided it was a lovely idea. Ok, time out. Two unreal hot girls who have semi-covertly showed some interest in us are coming back to our dorm rooms to drink wine at midnight. In the words of Chandler Bing, could this BE any more perfect? And yes, if you don't think that's foreshadowing, you've never read any of my stories. We walked back to Drew’s room, he popped the bottle on some Gazela (green, cheap Portuguese wine that is heavily involved in a totally different story), and the four of us started talking. Some definite back rubbing, hand holding, and other such overt flirting was going on, when the other shoe not only fell, but fell on my foot. Hard. Drew had forgotten to close his door, and a group of 8 guys walked past and saw the girls sitting there on the bed. Conveniently, they decided it would be a great time to renew their friendship with the two of us.

So our wonderful evening with two girls and two guys (best odds I can think of) has now become ten guys and two girls (worst possible odds I can think of short of the day porn star Houston banged 650 different guys). One of the newbies decides to go get a DVD to pop in. He chooses the pinnacle of the romantic movie world, the ultimate cinematic expression of Barry White’s “Let’s Get It On”… Bum Fights. Ten seconds after he puts it in, the girls both start looking at their watches and saying how late it is. Drew has the Kate Warner look from the second season of “24,” appearing confused and horrified at the same time. I’m looking at the Bum Fights guy and trying not to channel Patrick Swayze when he ripped out the baddie’s throat in Road House. The girls scurry out the door, and vow never to return to this God-forsaken island.

The next day, after a brief tour of the local sights, the Cheerleaders of America leave forever, and Drew is telling everyone on base who will listen about how he got two of the girls to come back to his room. Like a mother protecting her kid from the end of Ole Yeller, he leaves out the last part of the story. I, on the other hand, over many swigs off a Glenlivet bottle, told my friend Rachel the whole story, lamenting how horrible it was that we were so close to having a perfect night with two former NFL cheerleaders. Rachel, my favorite psychiatrist, dispensed her wisdom and therapy in the best tradition of docs everywhere: “Hehehehe, you so got cock blocked.”


Todd's background includes military service, a stint at a movie theater, and getting turned down for a date by Sandra Bullock. All things that make him totally unqualified to be a writer. However, now that he's getting married in November, that might just do it.

more about todd w bush


praia fest
festival time at lajes
by todd w bush
topic: humor
published: 7.31.04

planning the wedding
waaay different than i thought it'd be...
by todd w bush
topic: humor
published: 2.19.07


sandi pants
7.23.04 @ 5:32a

I still stand by my original statement, "Cock blocked"!

todd bush
7.23.04 @ 6:31a

Thanks "Rachel"

jennifer d
7.23.04 @ 11:08a

did you at least get her email address?

todd bush
7.23.04 @ 11:42a

Yep, and they get my columns when I update, but of course, no reply to my emails. Such is my life.

stephanie bryan
7.23.04 @ 6:04p

I say this: it's not the fault of those 8 guys that you and Drew had yet to get past the 3rd grade hand holding. live and learn.

robert melos
7.23.04 @ 9:39p

I have a friend in the Air Force, stationed at Sheppard at present, who tells tales of military life. Of course her tales usually don't involve getting the cheerleaders back to the dorm.

Man, this was funny. Your style really brings the whole scene to life.

dan gonzalez
7.24.04 @ 3:23p

Good yarn, Bushie, except for the Chandler Bing reference. (Sorry, he annoys me.)

But what were you fumble-flops doing pawing at those girls with the door open? You should have boon-doggled to more romantic off-base location. Isn't the Black Forest pretty close?

Damn it all, you had Stripes-like greatness within reach but it slipped away.

adam kraemer
7.26.04 @ 12:02p

Yeah. Even in 7th grade, I knew that if I wanted actual naughtiness, the door would have to be closed.

I mean, you were severely cockblocked, but mostly by yourselves. Though "Bum Fights" is just cruel.

I think you should make it your solemn mission to ensure that not a single one of the guys who walked into the room that night gets any for the rest of your tour. Or, even better, the rest of their lives.

Also, next time, if there is a next time, use the smokes to bribe the guys to leave.

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