Hey Johnnie

Okay . . . let's try this again.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by A_B » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:18 am

That wasn't the WTF part.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:12 pm

degenerasian wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:12 am
From the other thread ..

Hey Johnnie, what the heck is living in Saudi Arabia like?
A place I know nothing about. Can you go out much? Are you near a city, desert or beach? Have you found real beer?
Well, in short, it's a bare base deployed location. Honestly, I could be anywhere and it would look the same. Despite being on Prince Sultan Air Base, we closed up shop so long ago that those buildings we had were turned over to the Saudi government and repurposed for other things.

Day to day life is blah. I live in a tent and work in a tent. (Alaska tents, specifically. https://www.aks.com/) I have 6 other tentmates. My work schedule is typically long hours because there's nothing else to do. So 70+ hour workweeks are standard. And I work an off shift compared to the rest of the people I live with, so when I get to bed at 2 am, I'm woken up at 6 because everyone is moving around and slamming the door. Add that to my sleep apnea and I'm extremely de-motivated and typically tired.

Every day is the same. And all the days run in together. If it weren't for my phone I wouldn't know what day off the week it is sometimes.

As for other things:

We don't have good WiFi and I'm getting by on the free 2g internet that T-Mobile provides as a customer abroad. It's good enough, but not nearly strong enough to let me download podcasts or Netflix shows. I have to rely on the extremely unreliable WiFi at our Morale tent.

We have a field kitchen. The food is as you'd expect, not the best, but edible. Some days there's a 20 minute wait in line just to get a few scoops of food. It's whatever. Some days it's worse than eating MREs. There is a small market on base and there's a pizza place and schwarma place. They're pretty good. That's the main source of my morale these days.

The shower tents mandate you take combat showers: no longer than 3 minutes. And you must soap up with the water off after you rinse initially. You'd be surprised how clean you can get in such a small time. Water conservation is obviously important here. But let's just say some days I push that 3 minutes to 5 or 6. I'm still a first world anarchist at heart.

The latrines (bathrooms) are also not awesome. You can't flush toilet paper or baby wipes so there's a trash basket next to each stall. After you wipe, you have to throw it in the basket. Fun times.

I was here before the haircut place came online, so I brought a buzzer and buzz my head monthly. You still have to be in regs even in shit conditions.

There's no traveling off base or off base morale trips. Only time you can go off base is to assist with dropping off a person at the airport or if people are grabbing mail from neighboring Eskan Village. I'm not in that loop, so I get to hear about it. But those folks definitely hit up the restaurants and maybe bring something back. I got to eat Cinnabon the other day and that was incredible.

My office doesn't have a vehicle either, so I have to walk everywhere. That's not so bad. But it dawned on me when I borrowed a vehicle the other day to get bottled water that I hadn't driven in over 3 months. Totally weird.

And speaking of, you can't drink the water. We go through massive quantities of bottled water a day. You have to use it for everything that isn't showering or washing clothes. Brushing your teeth with bottled water is hilarious to me just because it's something you'd never do in the real world.

But overall, it isn't that bad. It's an extended camping trip. I get tax free pay while here and some extra money for the shitty living conditions. The bigger issues are the ones involving people constantly asking when they're going home. My logistics job for the Air Force is to literally be a travel agent. Unfortunately I don't have the FAA to protect me when a colonel starts making demands. And what sucks is I can't predict anything and the plan for redeployment was "soon" but that might be moving to the right. If the personalities weren't so primadonna it'd be much better.

And yes, this is a desert. But there's no cacti or oasis. And thank fucking Christ no mosquitoes.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by degenerasian » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:17 pm

Thanks for answering Johnnie and it's my ignorance thinking you'd be close to anything. Perhaps I was thinking more of a place like Okinawa where the base is right there and businesses cater to the troops.

More dumb questions. there's nothing to do but can you create stuff to do to help with morale? How strict is it? Can you have a poker night? Can you throw a birthday party? What is the ratio of men to women on the base?
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Steve of phpBB » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:27 pm

Johnnie wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:12 pm
degenerasian wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:12 am
From the other thread ..

Hey Johnnie, what the heck is living in Saudi Arabia like?
A place I know nothing about. Can you go out much? Are you near a city, desert or beach? Have you found real beer?
Well, in short, it's a bare base deployed location. Honestly, I could be anywhere and it would look the same. Despite being on Prince Sultan Air Base, we closed up shop so long ago that those buildings we had were turned over to the Saudi government and repurposed for other things.

Day to day life is blah. I live in a tent and work in a tent. (Alaska tents, specifically. https://www.aks.com/) I have 6 other tentmates. My work schedule is typically long hours because there's nothing else to do. So 70+ hour workweeks are standard. And I work an off shift compared to the rest of the people I live with, so when I get to bed at 2 am, I'm woken up at 6 because everyone is moving around and slamming the door. Add that to my sleep apnea and I'm extremely de-motivated and typically tired.

Every day is the same. And all the days run in together. If it weren't for my phone I wouldn't know what day off the week it is sometimes.

As for other things:

We don't have good WiFi and I'm getting by on the free 2g internet that T-Mobile provides as a customer abroad. It's good enough, but not nearly strong enough to let me download podcasts or Netflix shows. I have to rely on the extremely unreliable WiFi at our Morale tent.

We have a field kitchen. The food is as you'd expect, not the best, but edible. Some days there's a 20 minute wait in line just to get a few scoops of food. It's whatever. Some days it's worse than eating MREs. There is a small market on base and there's a pizza place and schwarma place. They're pretty good. That's the main source of my morale these days.

The shower tents mandate you take combat showers: no longer than 3 minutes. And you must soap up with the water off after you rinse initially. You'd be surprised how clean you can get in such a small time. Water conservation is obviously important here. But let's just say some days I push that 3 minutes to 5 or 6. I'm still a first world anarchist at heart.

The latrines (bathrooms) are also not awesome. You can't flush toilet paper or baby wipes so there's a trash basket next to each stall. After you wipe, you have to throw it in the basket. Fun times.

I was here before the haircut place came online, so I brought a buzzer and buzz my head monthly. You still have to be in regs even in shit conditions.

There's no traveling off base or off base morale trips. Only time you can go off base is to assist with dropping off a person at the airport or if people are grabbing mail from neighboring Eskan Village. I'm not in that loop, so I get to hear about it. But those folks definitely hit up the restaurants and maybe bring something back. I got to eat Cinnabon the other day and that was incredible.

My office doesn't have a vehicle either, so I have to walk everywhere. That's not so bad. But it dawned on me when I borrowed a vehicle the other day to get bottled water that I hadn't driven in over 3 months. Totally weird.

And speaking of, you can't drink the water. We go through massive quantities of bottled water a day. You have to use it for everything that isn't showering or washing clothes. Brushing your teeth with bottled water is hilarious to me just because it's something you'd never do in the real world.

But overall, it isn't that bad. It's an extended camping trip. I get tax free pay while here and some extra money for the shitty living conditions. The bigger issues are the ones involving people constantly asking when they're going home. My logistics job for the Air Force is to literally be a travel agent. Unfortunately I don't have the FAA to protect me when a colonel starts making demands. And what sucks is I can't predict anything and the plan for redeployment was "soon" but that might be moving to the right. If the personalities weren't so primadonna it'd be much better.

And yes, this is a desert. But there's no cacti or oasis. And thank fucking Christ no mosquitoes.
Thanks for this, Johnnie. The Google Map view makes it look to be pretty damn bleak. It must feel like a long, long way from Boston.
And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by wlu_lax6 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:08 pm

Wikipedia says
The base currently uses hundreds of tents as semi-temporary housing, though there are plans to have the tents replaced with trailers and more permanent structures
Image

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:04 pm

🤣🤣

These "plans" will happen some time in the distant future. They have some trailers they are putting up, but I'm not moving into those at all.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by wlu_lax6 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:11 pm

Johnnie wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:04 pm
🤣🤣

These "plans" will happen some time in the distant future. They have some trailers they are putting up, but I'm not moving into those at all.

Col. Jason King is doing "prudent planning"
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your ... audi-base/

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:58 pm

Hey, I know that guy.

But uh, "prudent planning" is the exact opposite of how this place came to be and where it's currently going.

Can't get into specifics, but I chuckle at that statement.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:39 pm

So, my office got a boost of morale the other day.

I put in a request with this website back in December and one of their supply crates came in for my folks: https://stackup.org/

It contained:

An XBox One S
16(!!) XBox games
An extra controller
A Headset
A D&D Starter set
The board game Boss Monster
A bag of Black Rifle Coffee

Absolutely unbelievable. Some people are just too kind. Once I get better WiFi I'll make a social media post to thank them.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by mister d » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:05 pm

You know this dude?

rass wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am
I'm definitely known as "the boy who cried penis" in town.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by rass » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:07 pm

Meant to search for that earlier. Just did and I don’t see a reference. I mean, what’s the point of having him around if not?
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnny Carwash » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:10 pm

"Captain, assign one of your men to guard the barracks."

"Yes sir! Cum will be all over it!"
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Pruitt » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:09 pm

Johnny Carwash wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:10 pm
"Captain, assign one of your men to guard the barracks."

"Yes sir! Cum will be all over it!"
One of the highlights of my week!
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by A_B » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:47 pm

Does anyone else see this thread and think to the “hey, daddy” song from korn?

I know it isn’t popular but I think they had some pretty good songs. It was different t music but is that so bad?

If you want to head bang you could do worse.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:24 am

I do not know that guy. But it looks like he made it to a pretty prominent position within his career field.

Take that, Freakonomics guys.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:14 pm

The only highlight to this is seeing my leadership on this base STILL think we're leaving "soon."

So much so that my commander is forcing us to move tents so that we can "quarantine our replacements effectively when they show up."

Everyone sees through that shit though.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:39 pm

Looks like deployers and redeployers are unaffected by this extension.

It's possible that we can start planning actual movements for people into and out of here. There may be a light here.

HAPPY 4/20. FUCKING BLAZE UP.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by The Sybian » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:47 pm

Johnnie wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:39 pm
Looks like deployers and redeployers are unaffected by this extension.

It's possible that we can start planning actual movements for people into and out of here. There may be a light here.

HAPPY 4/20. FUCKING BLAZE UP.
If there was ever a time to be stuck in a godforsaken desert, this is it. Might as well collect tax free salary and whatever other deployment benefits you get because shit is weird back home. I assume you would have to work as normal when back home, right?
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:56 pm

I'll go into quarantine for 14 days and then everyone seems to be using Zoom for work.

I'm on the fence as to what I want next. Yes, being in bumfuck Saudi is a great way to avoid the crazies in America, but at some point I'll take my chances. New Mexico is way down on the "shittiest places in America" list right now. Whereas, I'm fucking tired of these entitled commanders demanding preferential treatment.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:01 pm

Heh. Strike that. Reverse it.

While we may be exempt from the stop movement, we're so far behind the curve with deploying people out to replace those in theater, that I'm probably stuck here until July because it cuts into the next movement cycle. My 4 month deployment is looking like 8. 🤣🤣🤣

Oh well. Tax free money is cool.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by sancarlos » Sat Apr 25, 2020 2:01 pm

"What a bunch of pedantic pricks." - sybian

I never shoulda punched that horse. - AB

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:25 pm

I say he can keep it if he changes his "Liberty or death" one to "Tea and cake or death."
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:58 pm

On another note, quarantine and post deployment R&R are two separate things, so I'll get 28 consecutive days off when I eventually return from deployment. I'm stoked. Not shaving the entire time is going to be phenomenal.

Also, DoD raised the "use or lose" leave level to 120 days, so strong possibility I can retire and start terminal leave Memorial Day weekend next year instead of late June.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by bfj » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:47 am

Sad story, the kids name made me gasp a bit. Don't know if he is family, if so my condolences. Hope you are well. Crab cakes are on me when you come through MD.
Enjoy every sandwich.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Nonlinear FC » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:26 am

bfj wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:47 am
Sad story, the kids name made me gasp a bit. Don't know if he is family, if so my condolences. Hope you are well. Crab cakes are on me when you come through MD.
I can't remember what thread, but Johnnie posted that story. Didn't seem to be related...
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by The Sybian » Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:02 am

bfj wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:47 am
Sad story, the kids name made me gasp a bit. Don't know if he is family, if so my condolences. Hope you are well. Crab cakes are on me when you come through MD.
Saw another story where an ER doctor working a COVID ward at a NYC hospital killed herself. No history of mental illness. Her father said she was emotionally wrecked from dealing with the flood of patients coming in and dying. I can't even imagine. I have so much appreciation and reverence for everyone working in the COVID wards, medical professionals and custodial staff. I can't imagine seeing what they see all day every day for weeks on end, and coming home and fearing passing the virus to your family. I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more attention, but the number of hospital employees who are patients in the COVID ICUs are staggering. It seems increased exposure to the virus causes greater impact, so a lot of otherwise healthy doctors, nurses and EMTs are on ventilators and dying. My wife's morning meetings start off with naming team members who died the previous day, which blows my mind as an HR person. They were planning for massive walkoffs due to a fear of a lack of PPE, long hours, and high infection rates among hospital workers in China and Europe, but fortunately that just hasn't happened.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:03 pm

bfj wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:47 am
Sad story, the kids name made me gasp a bit. Don't know if he is family, if so my condolences. Hope you are well. Crab cakes are on me when you come through MD.
Thanks. I would have to reach out to the family (and I might) to see the exact way he may or may not be related, but my gut says yes. My mom did an ancestry trace a while back before it was cool and found out that the guy that came through Ellis Island with my last name had 2 wives and 6 kids with each wife. Eventually those 12 people spread out all over the country and started families of their own, so whenever I see my last name I instinctively think they are related.

Odd side note: when I got stationed in Tucson back in 2007 I met this girl and we became good friends (and still to this day). She told me for a year about her asshole ex boyfriend from Boston, also Air Force, that she could only tolerate when watching Red Sox games (we met at a Red Sox bar in Tucson). Well, come to find out he and I are 3rd cousins. His last name is different, but his uncle has the same last name as me. We put this uncle and my mom in touch and thanks to her sleuthing and research, they realized they were 2nd cousins.

Fingers crossed I redeploy in June. So I cannot wait for crab cakes. Thank you.
Nonlinear FC wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:26 am
I can't remember what thread, but Johnnie posted that story. Didn't seem to be related...
The anxiety thread. Because it's not every day you see your name tired to a suicide. My mom and sister were floored.
Last edited by Johnnie on Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:04 pm

The Sybian wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:02 am
bfj wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:47 am
Sad story, the kids name made me gasp a bit. Don't know if he is family, if so my condolences. Hope you are well. Crab cakes are on me when you come through MD.
Saw another story where an ER doctor working a COVID ward at a NYC hospital killed herself. No history of mental illness. Her father said she was emotionally wrecked from dealing with the flood of patients coming in and dying. I can't even imagine. I have so much appreciation and reverence for everyone working in the COVID wards, medical professionals and custodial staff. I can't imagine seeing what they see all day every day for weeks on end, and coming home and fearing passing the virus to your family. I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more attention, but the number of hospital employees who are patients in the COVID ICUs are staggering. It seems increased exposure to the virus causes greater impact, so a lot of otherwise healthy doctors, nurses and EMTs are on ventilators and dying. My wife's morning meetings start off with naming team members who died the previous day, which blows my mind as an HR person. They were planning for massive walkoffs due to a fear of a lack of PPE, long hours, and high infection rates among hospital workers in China and Europe, but fortunately that just hasn't happened.
Jesus fuck. We need a memorial for these folks when all is said and done. And some sort of actual thank you for their families.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:23 pm

mister d wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:05 pm
You know this dude?

mister d wrote:Couldn't have pegged me better.
EnochRoot wrote:I mean, whatever. Johnnie's all hot cuz I ride him.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:01 pm

I'll be leaving this place in a couple weeks. Fucking finally.

Should have been back in April, but end of June will have to do.

In October I will 'hit the button' to retire. Now, all I have to do is hold my breath that I don't get hit with an assignment with a report date in August or tagged for another deployment in January. With all of my terminal leave saved plus permissive leave to house hunt, I should be done with work by next Memorial Day.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by brian » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:12 pm

We're gonna get Johnnie so fucked up that weekend.
Image

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Steve of phpBB » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:35 pm

Johnnie wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:01 pm
I'll be leaving this place in a couple weeks. Fucking finally.

Should have been back in April, but end of June will have to do.

In October I will 'hit the button' to retire. Now, all I have to do is hold my breath that I don't get hit with an assignment with a report date in August or tagged for another deployment in January. With all of my terminal leave saved plus permissive leave to house hunt, I should be done with work by next Memorial Day.
Holy shit. That’s great, Johnnie.
And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:36 pm

brian wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:12 pm
We're gonna get Johnnie so fucked up that weekend.
Well, the 2nd of October. I'm not officially out of the military until the actual retirement date.

That'll also be the date where I go on Facebook and tell a lot of people to go fuck themselves and that I was ashamed to serve with them.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by The Sybian » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:15 am

Johnnie wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:01 pm
I'll be leaving this place in a couple weeks.
Jesus, I thought you meant the Swamp for a second, fingers crossed you get home without further delay.
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:53 am

I'm back in America. Prince Sultan Air Base is a memory.

Thank fuck.
mister d wrote:Couldn't have pegged me better.
EnochRoot wrote:I mean, whatever. Johnnie's all hot cuz I ride him.

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rass
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by rass » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:15 am

Welcome home man, but we've some bad news on the state of things over here...
I felt aswirl with warm secretions.

Johnnie
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:17 am

This is America.

But I'm very much over 7 months in the desert. I'll wear a mask and all that.
mister d wrote:Couldn't have pegged me better.
EnochRoot wrote:I mean, whatever. Johnnie's all hot cuz I ride him.

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Pruitt
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Pruitt » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:34 am

rass wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:15 am
Welcome home man, but we've some bad news on the state of things over here...
Ha!

Welcome home Johnnie.
"beautiful, with an exotic-yet-familiar facial structure and an arresting gaze."

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DaveInSeattle
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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by DaveInSeattle » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:59 pm

Somebody get that man a green chile cheeseburger ASAP!

(Welcome home!)

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Re: Hey Johnnie

Post by Johnnie » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:31 pm

DaveInSeattle wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:59 pm
Somebody get that man a green chile cheeseburger ASAP!

(Welcome home!)
Tomorrow, on the way home from the airport and just before I start my quarantining at home for 14 days, going through the Blake's drive thru.

And thanks!
mister d wrote:Couldn't have pegged me better.
EnochRoot wrote:I mean, whatever. Johnnie's all hot cuz I ride him.

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