Dangerous Doug

Ejo #55 – Dangerous Doug Goes To War

It’s been a while since I’ve brought you a story from the vaults of Dangerous Doug’s life. I like to reward my loyal readers from time to time so I arranged to have a chat to Doug and asked him to tell me about his army days. Oh yes, the Rhodesian Army saw fit to entrust our beloved friend with weaponry!

At the time, all able-bodied young men were required to complete 12 months national service when they turned 18. The nation was at war (Google it: Rhodesian Bush War) and the army needed all the help it could get to fight the black nationalists wreaking havoc and destruction throughout the country. Two weeks after his eighteenth birthday, Doug reported for service with just the clothes on his back and a small suitcase of personal belongings. He weighed 57kgs.

Here's Doug when he first started his army training at the tender age of 18.  Adorable, right?

Here’s Doug when he first started his army training at the tender age of 18. Adorable, right?

As you can imagine, army life was quite different to anything Doug had ever experienced before. The training was gruelling. Counter insurgency training, weapons training, classical warfare training. Late nights, early mornings, surprise midnight drills, ill-fitting equipment, trench digging. All the while, carrying 20kg backpacks. As well as that, life was a lot more regimented, and the smallest infraction could earn a young private a “confined to barracks” charge, known as CB. This entailed countless drills, push-ups, chin-ups and other exhausting physical tasks meted out by the notoriously cruel MPs of the barracks. A CB charge was to be avoided at all costs.

But being in the army wasn’t all drudgery. During his training, Doug got to play with a lot of pretty amazing weapons. Imagine being 18 years old and having the chance to use mortars, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades, phosphorous grenades (that’s chemical warfare, people!) MAG machine guns, 7.62mm FN rifles, Claymore mines and other assorted armaments in a non-combat environment.

Just three weeks into his training, Doug’s group had a mortar firing exercise in a remote field. Each young man was given the chance to fire a 20mm mortar shell from a hand held mortar. The aim was to hit a tree, about 1km away and whoever got closest would win four beers. Sounds like fun to me. As each of the other 29 privates had their turn, the area around the tree became scorched with all the explosions. It was, according to Doug, pretty damn cool. None of the guys was getting within 100 metres of the tree though. Studying each mortar as it flew up into the sky, topped out and then plummeted towards the ground he says he became fixated with the trajectories of the missiles coming down nose first. He became mesmerised by the image of each of those 29 mortars as they headed back to earth before exploding in a fireball. When, at last it was his turn Doug was certain that he was going to be the guy to obliterate the tree. The beers, and everlasting glory, would be his. He picked up his mortar, the last one, and was just about to release it into the tube, when SLAM!!!!!!! He was rugby tackled to the ground by the Sergeant.

This is what a handheld mortar looks like.

This is what a handheld mortar looks like.

Indignant he got up and dusted himself off, only to be barraged by a string of expletives from his commanding officer, “You BEEP BEEP BEEPING BEEP. You could have BEEP BEEP BEEPING killed us all. You’re a BEEPING BEEP BEEP, whose mother BEEP BEEPS. What the BEEP is wrong with you?” Doug looked at the mortar, still in his hand, and with a sense of slowly dawning dread, realised that he’d been just about to place the mortar into the tube head down. If he hadn’t been tackled, the mortar would have exploded, instantly killing everyone. Sheepishly he apologised. He felt really bad. Bad that he didn’t have a chance to prove how good a shot he was. When he actually asked if he was still allowed to have his turn (oh yes, he asked), you can just imagine the Sergeant’s response. Suffice to say, we’ll never know if Doug’s aim would have won him those beers.

Things kind of got back on track for Doug after this incident and he completed some pretty rough training to prepare him for war. One of the exercises the troops had to regularly participate in was night march training. This was basically a 10 mile hike in the wilderness of Zimbabwe in the middle of the night, usually in pitch black darkness. The men would trek, in single file along rough, unchartered terrain with nothing to guide them but their senses.

Now as you know, “Dangerous Doug” earned that moniker for getting into all sorts of dangerous situations (and somehow surviving – thank goodness, right??). But DD is not his only nickname. Over the years he’s been known as many things, including Ugly Dougly (children can be so cruel), Hamburger, Volcano Face and Universal Gigolo (Doug made me say that last one). One of the nicknames he collected during his army days was “Pothole”. Somehow, during every single night time march he was on, even though the men hiked single file and Doug was always in the middle, he managed to fall into potholes that the others had missed. Every. Single. Time. After a while, the commanding officer had the bright idea to put Doug at the head of the line. After all, with the pothole magnet up front, at least the other men had a chance of avoiding them. Doug would stumble or fall, shout out “pothole” and the rest of the men would each, in turn, say “pothole”, “pothole” down the line.

On one fateful night, four months into his army training, the men were called up for a midnight march. Doug led them into the night. Two miles into the hike he fell down a four foot hole. But he was OK. They managed to pull him out, and the march continued. Thirty second later, he fell again. This time over a ten foot rocky precipice. He was not OK. He had hurt his right leg pretty badly and couldn’t walk on it. The march was cancelled and the troop headed back to camp, with Doug carried home between two of his buddies. Back at the barracks he went straight to bed (which wasn’t really a bed but a sleeping bag in the dirt) and dreamt whatever it is that Doug dreams about (I don’t really even want to start imagining – but I have a feeling the words “Universal Gigolo” might provide a hint).

In the morning, it came to the attention of the company’s CO, Major Makovich, that the evening’s march had ended prematurely, and when he’d found out that the reason was Doug’s little accident he wanted to have a chat to him. From the comfort of his deluxe director’s chair by his quarters, Major Makovich shouted out for Doug to get up and present himself. Doug’s leg had swollen up pretty bad but an order was an order and he managed to get up and face the Major, approximately 20 metres away from him. The Major demanded that Doug walk the distance and stand in front of him. I kid you not when I tell you that the 20 metre walk took Doug a full 20 minutes. I asked him to swear that he was telling the truth here because it sounds implausible. But he promises that it’s true. Each step on his hurt leg was excruciating and agonising pain, like a sharp, burning blade. And the major made him walk it, sipping his nice hot coffee the whole time. When Doug got to within 2 metres, Major Makovich finally had enough and told him to stop. He told him to turn around and present himself to hospital. He also told him that if there was nothing wrong with his leg, he was going to lay a big fat CB charge on him.

Doug was taken to hospital where his leg was x-rayed. Lo and behold, his bone had completely snapped in two below the knee. The doctor, who happened to be a colonel, asked Doug, “Did someone make you walk on this broken leg?” Doug didn’t hesitate. He shook his head, no. He was in a cast for six weeks.

During our chat, which lasted several shifts, Doug interspersed these amusing stories with other, more solemn, memories of his time in the army and serving his country in the war. My colleague has a history that has never even been hinted at in the five years I’ve known him. It is only through asking him to talk about the calamities in his life that I discovered this other facet to him. A Doug that, as a young man, patrolled the backwaters and villages of a country torn apart by terrorism trying to restore order against the insurgents. I discovered a Doug that was part of what Time magazine described as, “Man for man, the Rhodesian army ranks among the world’s finest fighting units”. A Doug that has seen the worst of mankind (the stories he told me about the war would make you lose faith in humanity), but also the best. I can’t help but look at him with fresh eyes now. With newfound respect. My friend, Doug.

Here's our man at 21 whilst serving in the war.  Check out the biceps.  And the hair, check out the hair (I can't vouch for the biceps, but the hair is LONG gone!!!).

Here’s our man at 21 whilst serving in the war. Check out the biceps. And the hair, check out the hair (I can’t vouch for the biceps, but the hair is LONG gone!!!).

Ejo #42 – Dangerous Doug Nearly Gets Banged Up Abroad

Several years ago, Dangerous Doug got a job as an air traffic controller in Saskatoon, Canada. Six months before his contract started, he decided to go for a visit and get to know the place. While he was there he “somehow” found himself in a situation where, in his words, he could have “become a missing person, never to be seen again”. Want to find out what happened? Read on.


Doug spent several hours at Saskatoon Airport, becoming familiar with the tower procedures and getting to know the controllers he’d be working with. He asked them lots of questions and they were happy to answer. One of the things he asked was what part of town he should live in. They made several recommendations, but all of them stressed that he should stay away from the eastern part of the city. When he asked why, they said it was the “bad part of town” where all the criminals and drug dealers lived. He stored this information away and when he finished up in the tower he headed into town to get a bite to eat.


He sat outside, enjoying the late afternoon sun and soaking up the atmosphere. He was just minding his own business, having a beer, when a gorgeous blonde woman caught his eye. To his surprise, she walked right up to him and said he looked like he needed some company. He sat up a bit straighter as she went on to say that he looked a bit lonely and, if he wanted to, he could join her and her three friends at their table.


Wide-eyed, Doug replied that he would love to join them! Of course he would! His imagination went wild as he pictured himself in the role of Colin from the movie “Love Actually” (Colin, a Brit, arrives in the USA in the middle of winter, in the middle of nowhere and ends up in bed with four gorgeous women). Needless to say, Doug followed the beautiful woman back to her table.


Imagine his devastation when he discovered that her friends weren’t hot, sexy women at all, but three burly guys! As sorely tempted as he was to just keep on walking, he didn’t want to appear rude, so he decided to sit with them.


As it turned out, the group was celebrating. Dude #1 (the “leader” of the group – or the guy that talked the most, anyway) had just come into a lot of money after a diamond investment in Africa had hit paydirt. Seven figures paydirt. So, they had a few drinks and after a while the conversation turned to Doug. They asked him what he was doing in Saskatoon and whether he was there alone. When they found out that he was an air traffic controller who had worked in the Middle East for 15 years, they seemed impressed and one of them commented that he must also be pretty wealthy. Doug replied that he was doing “okay” for himself, and changed the topic.


When it started getting dark, Dude #1 told Doug that he was having a party at his house to continue the celebrations, and invited him along. Without thinking Doug replied, “Sure”, and they suggested he follow them in his car. Doug then made a “funny” joke, saying, “I hope you guys aren’t going to kidnap me for my ATM card and torture me for the PIN number!” His new friends all laughed uproariously. Oh, the hilarity.


They left the restaurant at around 5pm with Doug following the others. After a few blocks, he pulled up behind them at a red light and, with no warning at all, Dudes #2 and #3 jumped out and hopped into the back of Doug’s car, saying they were coming with him so he wouldn’t get lost. This was the first moment Doug had a creepy feeling that something wasn’t quite right. He would have several more before it was over.


Trying to make conversation, Doug asked them how they all knew each other. Dude #2 said that the blonde girl was his sister and when Doug asked how long she and the rich guy (Dude #1) had been going out, he was told that they’d only just met Dude #1 that day! None of it seemed to make sense, and as Doug was trying to figure it out in his head he suddenly became aware that, despite the numerous warnings he’d been given by the other controllers earlier that day, he was headed east. He was driving right into the part of town that they’d told him to avoid at all costs. He wanted to just turn around and go back to his hotel, but he was stuck with two weirdos in his back seat.


They directed him down several side streets, passing numerous culs-de-sac along the way, and soon he was completely disoriented and lost. When they told him to pull up to a very run-down house, overgrown with grass and bushes, he made the snap decision to wait in the car for the two guys to get out and then skedaddle out of there. But he hit a snag. The men wouldn’t get out of the car until he did. More red flags.


So he got out of the car, pretended to lock it (just in case he needed to make a quick getaway) and went inside, escorted closely by his captors… I mean “new friends”. As soon as they were in the house, one of them locked the door, which Doug found (appropriately) startling. As he sat down in one of the few chairs, he heard Dude #1 and the woman in another room whispering about something. He acted like there was nothing wrong, but his brain was on Code Red alert, his senses heightened, looking for a way out of this mess. He joked around and tried to act as normal as possible. Someone fetched some beers and Doug sipped his, looking around, trying to take in his surroundings. There was a small stereo, a lot of pirated DVDs, a TV, a battered sofa and a couple of crappy chairs. Not the furniture of a millionaire. And certainly no sign of a party.


Meanwhile, Dude #2 left the living room to join the other two, leaving him alone with Dude #3, a man that Doug describes as “a big bozo”. He could still hear the others in deep conversation, but couldn’t make out what they were saying. He was getting more and more paranoid but he was stuck, and there was nothing he could do. He told himself he would just have to wait for an opportunity to present itself, and make his getaway then.


Half way through his beer the others came back out and Dude #1, the supposed millionaire, told him that he simply MUST try some of his home-made wine. Doug said, “Sounds great,” and the guy went into the adjacent kitchen. Now, Doug swears that his hearing at that moment was better than an “arctic fox listening to a rodent under the snow”. And what he heard coming from the kitchen was the sound of a spoon stirring something in a glass. His imagination went into overdrive!


Dude #1 came out with a single glass and handed it to Doug. Believing it to be laced with sedatives (or even worse, poison), Doug took the glass, and pretended to take a few gulps of the stuff. He became aware that the others in the room had gone very quiet and were all watching him drink. He raised the glass and said, “It’s really good! I’ll finish my beer first and then I’ll keep going with this”. Dudes #2 and #3 glanced at each other with a “knowing look” which made Doug feel even more nervous, if that was possible. But he had to continue acting like nothing was wrong.


Dude #1 put on some loud heavy metal music, and suggested they go out back to light a fire. Outside, Doug encountered a huge dog that looked like a cross between a Rottweiler and a St. Bernard. Whatever it was, he was convinced that it was eyeing him up for dinner. The yard backed out onto a boggy field, and was obviously used as a dumping ground – if the broken cars, washing machines and old tyres were anything to go by. Once more, he found himself alone with Dude #3, as the others went back inside for some unexplained reason. Doug credits the bozo’s low IQ with what happened next. He told the guy that he wanted to get his video camera from the car, so that he could record what a great time they were all having. Great time? Video camera? It was a total fabrication. But it was the best idea he could come up with under pressure – and it seemed to work. Bozo just nodded his head dumbly as Doug crept in through the back door. On his way through, he heard the other three still whispering urgently in another part of the house. He quietly unlocked the front door, and very quietly, closed it again. He got in his car, locked the doors and drove away, waiting until he was around the corner before putting the pedal to the metal.


But his saga wasn’t over yet – Doug couldn’t make his way out of the maze of culs-de-sac. He just kept driving in and out of dead-end streets, getting more and more lost. He then had the brilliant idea of parking the car and killing the lights, just in case they sent out a search party. Brilliant indeed, because they did actually come looking for him. He slouched down low in his seat, thanking his lucky stars that his rental was a common make and model. He watched as they drove up and down a few streets before giving up and heading back to their house. He didn’t take any chances though and stayed put, until a bus drove past about ten minutes later. He tailed the bus back onto the main roads, and followed the signs back to town, and as he drove he reflected over what had just happened. He was all alone in the city. There was no-one to notice that he was gone and no-one knew where he was staying. He could so very easily have become a missing person, never to be seen again. Just another statistic.


His last thought before pulling into his hotel was this: Am I very lucky to get out of this situation alive? Or am I just an incredibly bad-mannered asshole for not staying and enjoying their hospitality? In the end he didn’t care about whose feelings he hurt. He was just happy to be alive to tell the tale.

Ejo #37 – Dangerous Doug Gets Dirty (A Very Special Xmas Ejo)

As my Christmas gift to you all this year, I would like to share another of Dangerous Doug’s adventures. This one comes with a XXX rating. Not suitable for children. Oh yes, Dangerous Doug does get dirty!


Before I tell the tale, however, I have been asked to emphasise that the moniker “Dangerous Doug” is in fact a “pseudonym” and that any resemblance to someone I work with (also called “Doug”) should not be inferred. The stories are 100% true, but they could be about “anybody”. Anybody at all.


OK, with that out of the way, let us begin. I wonder if it would come as a surprise to anyone to know that Doug hasn’t exactly been lucky in love. He has, of course, been in a few serious relationships. And he was even engaged. Twice! But so far, he hasn’t found the woman he would like to share his life with, or the one that would like to share it with him. Being a modern man, open to new experiences, Doug was an early adopter of online dating and a few years ago he met a lovely Canadian woman on an internet dating site. They emailed back and forth for a while, and after a couple of months, their communication graduated to regular phone calls. Sometimes, as you can imagine, these phone calls could become a little…. shall we say, risqué. That’s quite normal, I think. Every relationship needs to progress to the next level over time. And the next level for our Romeo, and his Juliet, was to meet in person. They agreed that Doug would fly to Canada to meet his lady and get to know her better. Doug was very excited and promptly booked his ticket. Dubai to Vancouver, via a four hour stopover in London.


The day of Doug’s trip, he did a little bit of last minute shopping before going home to finish packing. About an hour before he was due to leave for the airport he pulled out the bottle of Veet he’d bought that morning and decided it would be a good time to apply it to his testicles.


[sound of record player needle being dragged across vinyl]


Oh, oops! Sorry, I may have forgotten to mention something earlier. Yep, I definitely skipped over an important bit of information. OK, so during one of their sexy chats on the phone, Doug’s girl had told him that she was completely bare “down there” and that she liked her men the same way. Doug had filed that little tidbit under “Useful Information” and when he’d gone shopping that morning he picked up a box of depilatory cream with the intention of fulfilling Miss Canada’s sexual wishes.


So, as I was saying, an hour before he was supposed to head to the airport, he figured out there probably wasn’t going to be another opportunity to divest himself of his pesky pubic hair. Sure, he had the four hour layover in London but he preferred to do such grooming in the comfort of his own home.


Off came the pants as he cursorily read the instructions on the packet. “Leave on for no more than five minutes,” it warned. “Hmm,” thought Doug as he generously applied the hair-removing cream to his crown jewels. “That doesn’t seem like enough time. I’ll leave it on for fifteen”. After all, he wanted to do the job good and proper. No half measures for our Doug.


As time ticked away and he reached the ten minute mark his “balls started to throb with heat” (his words, not mine). He reminded himself that there was no gain without pain, and just gritted his teeth through the discomfort, hoping to last another five minutes. Alas, the heat became unbearable at 13 minutes and he quickly jumped into the shower to wash himself off. On the one hand, he was very pleased to see that the Veet had done its job and, after towelling off, he proudly admired his hairless goolies. On the other hand he wasn’t so pleased that the skin on his hairless goolies looked really red and angry. Also, it still hurt like hell, even after washing off the cream. But there was no time to dwell on this problem. He had to jump in a cab and catch a flight!


On the way to the airport, Doug actually started getting a little bit worried. The pain, instead of abating, was intensifying. He had a bad feeling that something was very wrong down there. He gingerly slid out of the cab, barely able to walk from the pain. As he put it to me, anyone looking at him walking through the terminal would have thought that he had spent all day riding on the back of a horse. Or, that he had a big carrot shoved up his backside. One or the other.


He made his way directly to the airport kiosk to look for something (ANYTHING) that would relieve his crazy pain. All he could find was Vaseline. He figured a half kilo tub of the stuff might do the trick. He immediately went into the bathroom and peeled his underwear away from his seeping and blistering scrotum. He gently, but liberally, applied Vaseline to the entire groin area, put his jocks back on and hopped on his flight. Thank goodness the Vaseline worked. It helped keep the burning sensation at bay, though it did wear off after a while and he had to keep reapplying it during the flight. And again in London. And more on the flight to Canada. By the time he touched down in Vancouver he had just about finished the entire tub. Without it, the pain was excruciating.


Doug’s lady met him at the airport, and they enjoyed a romantic introduction before she drove them home. When they got to her place, she wasted no time whatsoever, whipping off her clothes and jumping into bed in anticipation (he knows how to pick ‘em, you’ve got to give him that much). Doug wasn’t so keen. After all, he had about 400 grams of petroleum jelly down his pants. He asked if it was alright to take a shower first. She agreed it was probably a good idea after such a long flight and he spent the next 30 minutes under the shower, soaping away all the accumulated Vaseline until, finally, he was clean. BUT, the pain had returned and looking down at his sorry gonads he could see red, raw skin. He applied as little Vaseline as he thought he could get away with and crept into bed. He begged off any hanky-panky, claiming he was tired. Luckily, she was very understanding and he got a reprieve that night. The next day Doug’s privates had developed some nice, hard scabs (which, fortunately (somehow), went unnoticed) and the pain had become more bearable. It was at this point of the story that I told Doug I really didn’t need to hear any more. The twinkle in his eye said it all.


The moral of the story? Read the instructions first? Or perhaps it’s that love is worth travelling the globe for. Worth doing anything for (even ridiculous things). On this special day I hope that you all get to spend it with people that you love. After all, it’s what makes the world go around (with a little help from Vaseline).


Merry Xmas to you all from me, David and Dangerous Doug.