JACKSONVILLE, FL – What happens in Thailand stays in Thailand, but apparently not for Chief Rick Wilson. During a speech at the retirement ceremony of his friend, Senior Chief Eric “Scooter” McGavin, Wilson became flustered after a failed joke and began telling stories about a port call in Pattaya, Thailand.
McGavin’s retirement ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon at Naval Station Mayport, in the Foc’sle CPO Club. McGavin’s wife Sheila was in attendance, as was Laura Sanderson, his 18-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
After Chaplain Warren Sperling gave the opening prayer, Wilson walked to the podium and took out a thick stack of index cards. “I’m sorry for the notes,” Wilson said. “I get nervous talking in front of crowds.”
Wilson looked down at his index cards and leafed through them until he found the one he was looking for. Then he read aloud, “How many days are there in a retiree’s week? Two. Six Saturdays and one Sunday.”
Wilson looked up from the index card, clearly expecting laughter, but heard none. He wiped the sweat off his forehead and slammed the cards down on the podium and said, “Okay, well, I’m gonna go off script for bit. One time during a WestPac, Scooter and I had some liberty in Pattaya, Thailand.”
Chaplain Sperling stood up and took a quick step toward the podium, but Wilson waved him off and said, “Naw, I’m good now, Father. Let me tell this real quick.”
Wilson continued: “So Scooter and I were at this place called 'The Banana Hammock,’ which should’ve been our first clue, right? And we were sitting there chatting it up with a couple of foxy Thai ladies named…ah, shit, I don’t remember their names. They were bullshit names, anyway. Let’s call Scooter’s girl ‘Lexus.’ It was something like that.”
“Don’t worry, Sheila,” Wilson said. “This was way before he met you. I think he was still with Laura’s mom, in fact. Anyway, I go to the bathroom and start taking a piss at the urinal, and then Lexus comes in. And guess what? She starts pissing at the urinal next to me. Standing up. I finished and got Scooter and said, dude, we need to get the fuck out of here.”
Chaplain Sperling stood up and rushed to the podium. He put his hand on Wilson’s back and gently but firmly guided him away.
After the ceremony, McGavin commented, “I’m just glad the chaplain got that dumbass out of there before he started talking about what happened later that night.”
When asked to comment about Wilson’s speech, Sheila said, “I felt bad for that poor man. He looked so uncomfortable up there. And he was so confused too. Scooter told me he’s never even been to Thailand.”