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Mike's Adventures in Korea 1994

Part 9: UFG

So the next weekend, I got invited to go out on a "green bean" - which is when a new guy gets stationed in Korea and everyone goes and gets the new guy drunk.  Having been there for so long at this point, I am now considered to be a part of the gang and allowed to participate in the local rituals.

So, the guy we are meeting is in staying temporarily in Songtan at a place called "The Korea Hotel" (I think).  Anyway, the important thing is that this hotel is something like six stories tall, and it has a huge spiral staircase that circles up all those floors.  Hanging in the center of this spiral staircase are these long strings of bells hanging in the center.  I walk past them silently on the way up.

We meet the guy in his room and begin by having a beer or five from his mini-fridge.  After we get good and buzzed, we start walking down the staircase.  I reach my hand out into the bells on the sixth floor and start running down the staircase, banging these bells together the whole way down.  They sure made a hell of a racket!

Then, around the third floor, I see this small sign taped to the bells that says "PLEASE DONT RING BELLS!"

Oops.  So, I pause, but only for a split second.  Do I stop ringing the bells?  NO!  The damage has been done!

So I continue running down the staircase, banging all the bells together as I go!

When I reach the lobby, the guy behind the desk runs to block me!

"Hey!" he says.

I ignore him and run to the door.

"Hey, you fucking guy!" he yells at me.  I am ahead of him, as he had to continue around the desk, while I can run straight to the door!

He still is trying to intercept me, but I am faster!  I am out into the alley and running down the street, and I hear behind me:  "Come back here, you fucking guy!"

About a block later, I stop and catch my breath.  He isn't following me, and I meet up with my friends who tell me this guy is really, REALLY pissed off.

And now I am dubbed "UFG" for "U(you) F(ucking) G(uy)"!

Actually, this story has become something of a legend among my friends.  When I heard someone tell it the last time, it is now embellished to go like this:

When Mike returned to Korea in 1995, the hotel bell guy meets him on the street and says "It's you!  You fucking guy!  The bells still ring!  THE BELLS STILL RING!  THEY DON'T STOP! AND IT'S BECAUSE OF YOU FUCKING GUY!"  And the guy holds his ears and is unable to kick Mike's ass because of the racket that is still going on in his head from the echo of 10,000 bells ringing after being clanged together from a drunk GI ringing the bells during a six floor flight down the staircase...

I love it when a simple story takes on mythical proportions.

Continue on to Part 10: The Trip Home?