One of my favorite Party Machine clients is the Greer family, for whom I have done at least five weddings and various birthday, Christmas and retirement parties. At the last few events, there has always been a peculiar guest of honor, who I always called “Hot Dog Man.” It turns out that Hot Dog Man has both a name and a history, as does his owner, John Greer.
John and JoDee were married beside an airplane at the C R Smith Aviation Museum. John is a naval aviator, and he and the crew of his Navy reconnaissance plane were all in Navy Dress uniform, earning the event nickname of “the Top Gun wedding.” John proposed to JoDee while sky-diving, and the video was a big hit at their reception. Later they danced beneath laser beams shooting from the plane’s wings. And Mr Marbles, the Hot Dog Man, was right in the middle of it all.
Here is the full, un-edited story from John Greer, for your enjoyment.
The Adoption of Mr. Marbles, by John Greer
Prior to the fall of 2003, the history of Mr. Marbles is unknown. I can only offer assumptions of his past by the very means of which I acquired him. My postulation is that Mr. Marbles was heavily involved in food sales, specifically the kind made up of “lips and assholes” formed into a phallic shape we all know as the “hotdog”. While I was not on a mission that day to purchase such a thing, I found myself in a convenience store in the middle of Arizona (city unknown) in pursuit of recovery items from a fatiguing and costly weekend in Las Vegas. Only through these circumstances of chance and perhaps destiny, was Mr. Marbles acquired and officially adopted into my family.
In the fall of 2003, I was assigned to the VP-9 Golden Eagles carrying out operations as a Naval Flight Officer in the mighty P-3 Orion. Being stationed in Hawaii, the wardroom (fellow aviators) were always seeking out ways to return to the CONUS area and engage in festive events to connect socially with the citizens of America and at the same time conduct training to improve combat readiness. The particular event which allowed such an opportunity was a fellow aviator taking the nuptial vows in the city of Las Vegas.
Planning circumstances did not allow us fly direct into Vegas but instead, land in Point Magu, California. This dilemma necessitated the requirement for a road trip between the two cities which equated to a four hour transit. As professionals, we accepted the extra hurdle and committed ourselves to carry out the mission. The flight was uneventful and only after fulfilling the training objectives did we elect to land and begin the jovial weekend with the populace.
Long story short, the drive to Vegas was uneventful and the wedding was grand, festive, and offered us all an excuse to party the night away. The carousing continued throughout the weekend with the traditional Vegas activities where most of my time was spent at the craps table. By the way, you know it’s been a rough night when your ATM fees alone are over $70 dollars. Needless to say without doing the precise math, I took a hit. The night ended and after a brief nap, we all assembled with our designated driver to commence the return trip to Point Magu.
The return trip was going as planned with the exception of some traffic and minor construction extending our transit time to our destination. Within the car, the symptoms from the weekend ranged from sated bladders, volatile bowels, headaches, and a few members suffering from nausea – some had all of the above. For me, a full bladder, chapped lips from the dry climate, and a distressed checking account were the extent of my ailments. The minor disorders we were all suffering from demanded a pit stop at a random convenience store in the middle of Arizona to negate the issues.
The van parked and we all staggered in to take care of our individual needs. Once in the store, my priorities were to relieve the bodily fluids, and make the necessary purchases to ease the rest of the journey. After coming out of the bathroom, I encountered one of my buddies commenting on the “hot dog man” sitting on top of the rotisserie hot dog cooker. He immediately began negotiating to which no price could be agreed upon. The owner of the store would not compromise and announced that the “hot dog man” would not be sold for anything less than $200 dollars. After a brief reflection of my weekend activities and the realization that I had no monetary gain and only good memories, I shouted out, “SOLD” and the rest is history. Mr. Marbles-Greer was officially adopted and successfully made the rest of the voyage as an official crew-member.
MR. MARBLES – THE NEXT YEARS
The remainder of the trip went as planned and Mr. Marbles received appropriate flight gear to make the transit back across the Pacific logging 9 hours of flight time. Since then he has made one more return trip across the Pacific by boat to his next residence in San Antonio, TX. His only social engagement outside the residence is the wedding between me and my beautiful wife JoDee. At present time he is located in Leavenworth, KS enjoying his new family and living the dream.
— John Greer
Thanks, John! And if you like Mr Marbles, wait ’til you meet Alice! — DJ Scott