USO Show

USO Show

with “Downtown” Julie Brown, Christie Brinkley, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Al Franken

Theater Tent, Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo • December 23, 1999

And may I wish everyone a belated “ho-ho-ho”? Yes! Well, thank you very much.

So, here I am assisting in designing, building, and upgrading the occasional Elven Timber Mill, Blacksmith, Barracks, and even an Ogre Mound or two, when, whoa! Time to take a break in this land of recreational hate and relax a bit whilst some famous people entertain the troops.

(For the record, we’re damned busy, and I had to tear myself away from some interesting work for three hours of “entertainment” and autographs for the masses. But who am I? It’s more than obvious the troops take their MWR very seriously. “MWR” = “Morale, Welfare and Recreation.”)

The big show started off with a welcoming/Happy Holidays speech from MC Secretary of Defense, the Honorable William Cohen. Bill’s quite a guy, gives excellent speeches, and clearly is well-liked by the soldiers. Most notable statement focused on the folks living in Kosovo who would “…rather dig fresh graves than heal old wounds…”

Congressman Mike MacIntrye (D/NC-7) said something about “…peace through strength…” and invoked John F. Kennedy’s speech about “…this generation being the watchman on the walls,” or something like that. Which was actually pretty inspirational; these guys didn’t have to come over to the land of blood and mud this “holiday season.”

OK, with the niceties done with, Secretary Cohen gave a warning that he hoped everyone was “over 18” in the tent and introduced “Downtown” Julie Brown the real MC of the show.

It’s been a few years since I saw her last on MTV peddling “pop” videos; she looks pretty good, I must say. And we saw a lot of her as she flashed and sashayed around the venue making “cute” double entendres about making sure the soldiers “…had their privates with them?” She also revealed her fantasy about “doing a room full of horny soldiers…”

DTJB then introduced the first guest; a bearded and ponytailed gentleman named John-Paul DeJorea.

I had never heard of this exceedingly wealthy man until now. Apparently, he’s the CEO of the Paul Mitchell Company, makers of hair care and sports products. Well, JP happens to support the mission as the mightiest economic force in history has brought peace to this war-torn little province. Groovy.

Then some cop from the US, who’s working over here to help establish a police force or something along those lines comes up on stage and thanks everyone for the “support,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. And then…

Well, then come the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, who shake their collective booty to a house version of the Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”

Near-pandemonium.

Soldiers are up on stage dancing around, doing the splits with the cheerleaders! It’s a madhouse!

Wait, here’s DTJB back again to introduce the next guest…

It’s some dude who’s a daytime soap opera star, as well as the “bad guy” from Karate Kid III . He’s got a couple of Cowgirl pom-poms, too.

He’s a comedian, too. Did a good H. Ross Perot imitation. Insults rap music (does bad “Yiddish” rap routine number, too). Does some election year humor that’s neither funny (nor memorable). Next!

Wow! It’s the world’s greatest active Major League Soccer player Marco Etcheverry! Straight from Bolivia! Neat!

He even had a soccer ball with him! Awesome!

But wait, here comes Chicago Bear great Mike Singleterry and Pittsburgh Steeler (and frat brother of David Lee Beowulf) Terry Bradshaw!

That’s so cool!

And what do they do? They talk about the sacrifice everyone in the room is making and other stuff. Since Marco’s English is a bit limited, DTJB made him “hurry it up,” which I thought was rude. I’d say better than a good quarter of the room was “Hispanic” American soldiers and they all gave a Latin-flavored “hoo-aah” (it’s an Army thing, you wouldn’t understand) when Marco spoke a couple of words in Spanish. Oh, well, make way for Mike Singleterry the gentleman and Terry Bradshaw the semi-ugly American. Sorry, Terry, but, oh, OK, the trip up from Macedonia probably really sucked, but…I could swear he acted loaded, but it was great of him to show up and say “hi.”

OK, time for more babes.

Is it the cheerleaders again? No, it’s Christie Brinkley.

Yes, that Christie Brinkley. Not bad, but take off the full-body flight suit, OK?

Ho-Ho! Ask and ye shall receive! And I swear it looked like Terry Bradshaw copped a feel! Dumb blonde routine, asks if the athletes on stage “…play with their balls?”

Ha.

Next it’s country singing sensation Steve Minot. He, like everyone else, is appreciative of the soldiers being away from home, etc., and then proceeds to sing three of his latest hits — without a band. Thanks, Steve. One of his numbers, “Slave to Happiness,” rocked a bit.

Time for DTJB again. Who’s she going to introduce this time?

No one, she just wants to do a few “bumps and grinds” with the soldiers.

They join her gladly.

(Visions of the USO scene in Apocalypse Now fill my head…)

Will there be a gang pile on Downtown Julie Brown?

Nope, it’s time for another band. They’re a white blues group fronted by a husky-voiced female. They’re given time for a bit of Motown and “Crossroads” before it’s revealed that they’re the backing band for none other than Mary Chapin Carpenter.

This is a pop star?

Man, if “real” looking chicks like her can make it…

But let me say this: David Lee Beowulf likes not the music of Mary Chapin Carpenter. Death to False Metal! In this room full of machine guns, GIVE ME ONE!

Um, on second thought, no, I’ll tolerate it for historical purposes. I bet I was the only one in the place who didn’t “sway” to “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”

(Will it ever end???)

Oh, it ends all right…

It ends and out comes Al Franken.

Yes, Al “Liberal Puke” Franken. Also known to me as Al “Extremely Funny Person” Franken. Who, according to eyewitness Steve “the Hammer” Baker (MAJ) “…relieved himself in our hooch.” A number two, apparently. Well, Franken makes a poor Milosevic joke, he makes a sick lapdance joke about Madeline Albright (“worth every penny of $25”), a Monica Lewinsky joke, a very poorly thought-out Nazi joke, a hysterical “stick up the ass saving a rainforest” joke about Al Gore, a Hooters joke, and an excellent Internet joke about his sixth-grade son who did a report on bestiality (“..he got some great visuals off the Web!”).

Well, enough of this shit…

It’s nearing the end and it’s time for Ruth Pointer to sing a few numbers. She did a twenty-minute set including “Chain of Fools” and “What a Wonderful World.” Serious class. She looks GREAT, too.

But, out with the class, let’s bring out the entire show for some group Christmas tunes, OK?

Staring with “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer,” it just careens downhill, all the way to Christie Brinkley (she cannot sing, sounds like Donald Duck) solo on “White Christmas.” But that’s OK, Terry Bradshaw, Mike Singleterry, and Marco Etcheverry bring down the roof (almost literally), with the throwing-out of many, many footballs (both American and otherwise). Imagine, a kid gets sent to Kosovo and catches a pass from Terry Bradshaw!

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