Over the years I’ve told the story of John Wayne Bobbitt and his connection with hashing to several friends. It’s time to write it down for posterity, before Alzheimer’s sets in.
Pick’n'Flick and I moved to Nevada in 1995 and started hashing with the Las Vegas Resur-Erection H3. Later that year we were at an LVREH3 trail in the desert several miles west of town. A virgin showed up, which wasn’t unheard of, except that he’d ridden a bicycle all the way from town to get to the hash. We thought that showed commendable zeal and were looking forward to ragging him about it in the circle afterward.
We’d finished trail and were milling around at the on-in before the circle started. I noticed our daughter Green Flagger talking up the virgin. Pretty soon Green Flagger walked over to us with the guy’s credit cards and drivers license in her hand. “You’ll never guess who I was just talking to,” she said. Sure enough, the name on the cards and license was John Wayne Bobbitt, and once we knew his name, several hashers realized they’d seen his photo in the news. It was actually him.
John Wayne Bobbitt, of course, is the penis guy. In 1993, after a fight, his then-wife Lorena cut his penis off while he was sleeping, hopped in her car, drove around for a while, then chucked it out the window. Good for JWB, she felt remorse and called 911. The penis was recovered and surgically reattached to its owner. In 1993, JWB and Lorena were all over the news; the story was still getting a lot of play when we met the man in 1995.
It turned out JWB was a veteran hasher. Before he met and married Lorena he’d been a Marine, at some point stationed at a USMC base in Okinawa, Japan, where he ran with our former hash, the Okinawa H3. He served from 1987 to 1991, so very likely he was hashing with Okinawa H3 when we were (1998-1992). We probably saw him a hundred times, but didn’t know him then … there were a lot of young Marines in the Okinawa H3 in those days.
So here he was, coming off a couple of years of relative fame … a band, talk show appearances, starring roles in porn videos … and now living in Las Vegas. He was working, but he’d also made some money from the porn films, and possibly that’s what paid for his house and car. Like a good hasher, he decided to hook up with LVREH3, and we were glad to have him.
I’m not sure he would have told us who he was that day if Green Flagger hadn’t wormed it out of him. Eventually, yes, but not at his first circle. Of course we were concerned that he and Green Flagger (who was just 18 or 19 at the time) had hit it off and we tried to keep her away from him, but she insisted he was harmless. Pick’n'Flick and I talked to him at length that first day, and at a few hashes afterward, mainly to make sure he didn’t have designs on our girl. Thankfully, he didn’t.
What was he like? He came across as a nice, modest, self-effacing guy. Polite, like many young Marines I’ve met. He wasn’t reluctant to tell his story, but only if you asked him to, and he always took full blame for everything that happened. Although he was well-spoken, he didn’t come across as especially bright. He told Pick’n'Flick he thought he’d been dropped on his head as a baby. She thought he was joking at the time.
One clue we might have picked up on that first day, but didn’t, was that he made a 20+ mile round trip through the desert and up into the foothills on a bicycle just to get to the hash. We found out later he was on probation and wasn’t allowed to drive. I don’t remember noticing that he had a problem with alcohol on the first hash, but it became obvious at later hashes. He’d get drunk, really drunk, on just three or four beers, stumbling around and slurring his words, eventually almost passing out.
We later learned that under the terms of his probation he wasn’t allowed to drink. His probation officer would drop in on him at home to make sure he was staying sober. Why was he on probation? He’d gotten drunk and beat up a girlfriend. The main reason he rode all that way on a bike was to have some beer, not so much to hash. As I said, we put all this together over time. He was okay when he wasn’t drinking. You didn’t want to be around him when he was, but he was apparently only violent with women. I have to say we never saw him get violent with anyone, man or woman, but if the stories we heard were true, our initial reaction … to keep our daughter away from the guy … was the right one.
After four hashes with LVREH3, JWB signed up to hare. He laid a great trail and everyone had a good time. We ended around dusk, and as we did in those days in the desert outside Las Vegas, we built a bonfire for the circle. This was the first time we saw JWB get really drunk. After drinking just two or three beers, he keeled over into the fire and we had to pull him out. A woman had driven him to the hash, but she didn’t seem to want to have anything to do with us. She sat in her car during trail and then stood off to the side during the circle. He told us later she was a porn actress. She might have been; I honestly don’t know.
LVREH3 names hashers after their sixth trail. JWB’s sixth was coming up, so I put the word out on hash-l, the email forum hashers used back in medieval times: “Come hash with us in Las Vegas on such-and-such a date and you can help us name John Wayne Bobbitt.” And hashers came. A lot of hashers came. From Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California. One hasher came all the way from New England. Several of them camped out at our house, including ZiPpy (may he rest in peace).
We knew about JWB’s issues by then, so our GM Pecker Checker contacted his probation officer beforehand. All his Vegas hashes to this point had been out in the desert, far from prying eyes. This one, though, was going to be in town near the Strip and we didn’t want to get him in trouble. Pecker Checker got permission, but had to promise JWB wouldn’t drink at the hash. As if.
And so it was in early 1996 that 12 local and 30 or 40 visiting hashers ran JWB’s naming trail in Las Vegas. The part I remember best was a beer stop at a neighborhood Circle K where we bought individual tall boys in paper bags to drink on the sidewalk before taking off again (kind of an LVREH3 tradition in those days). Two redneck types went into the Circle K while JWB was inside buying his beer, and when they came out we could hear one of them telling the other, “Dude, that was the dude!” And the other one said, “That Asian chick he fucked in that flick was super-hot!”
The naming? During the Q&A he told us the porn actors and actresses he worked with called him “Barbell” because that’s what his reattached dick looked like, with a big bulge at each end (you may or may not have wanted to know that). Well, we wanted to come up with our own name, and in the end I think we did him proud: “A Stitch in Time Saved Mine,” “Stitch” for short.
You know what? I just realized we never asked Stitch what his Okinawa hash name was! He must have had one, but we’d have renamed him anyway (I mean, really, how many chances do you get to name someone with a lost & found dick?), so I guess it doesn’t matter.
After the naming circle, instead of going to a bar for on-afters, Stitch invited us all to his house. It was just a regular tract house, nice but nothing special. He had a jacked-up 4X4 pickup truck in the driveway, which he still wasn’t allowed to drive. Inside, he had stacks of the porn videos he’d acted in … according to what he told us, it’s part of the compensation package; actors can sell them on their own, like authors who sell autographed copies of their books. And then he put one in the VCR and got more talkative than we’d ever seen him.
By that point the crowd was down to about 30 harriers and harriettes, sitting in front of the TV on Stitch’s living room floor while he told us inside gossip about the industry and some of the better-known actors and actresses. Then he pressed “play” and started narrating his own fuck flick. Which was cool until he got to the part where he said, “Now watch, I’m about to come.” I didn’t think I was a prude, but that was too much for me. I grabbed a couple of beers and went to sit in the driveway. The harriette from New England joined me, then a few others.
Stitch hared a few more hashes after his naming, all ending at his house for porn video sessions. Then, somewhere around the end of 1996, he moved away. He didn’t tell us he was leaving. We heard later he’d gone to Reno. Later yet we heard he’d become an evangelical preacher. As far as I know he never hashed again; I’m sure someone would have told if he had, since I was webmaster for the Half-Mind Catalog at the time and kept track of hash contacts all over the USA. Nope, he was just gone.
The link I included earlier in this post goes to Stitch’s Wikipedia entry, which seems to have at least one fact wrong. It says he moved to Las Vegas in 1998, where he worked as a limo driver among other jobs. He lived there when we knew him in 1995 and 1996, but it’s possible he came back later. It says he was a Universal Life minister for a while and did Las Vegas weddings. That sounds like something that would have happened a few years later; he wasn’t doing that when we knew him. The Wikipedia entry mentions a 1994 conviction for domestic battery; that would have been why he was on probation when we knew him. It goes on to list several later convictions, including one for the theft of $140,000 from a store in Fallon, Nevada, not far from Reno. All in all a pretty depressing story.
The last bit of news, which I saw today while looking up the Wikipedia link, is this, from the Daily Mail in November 2014: John Wayne Bobbitt Breaks Neck in Car Crash. Not to worry … the article says he’ll recover.
Wherever Stitch is today, I wish him well. He’s one of us, no matter what.
Update (4/12/15): If you read the comments, you’ll see that fellow Okinawa H3 veteran Hazukashii has been trying to track down Stitch’s Okinawa hashing history and original hash name. We’ve pieced together the following information: Stitch, when he was stationed on Okinawa with the USMC, ran with a military-only group called the BMT hash, not the regular Okinawa H3 Hazukashii and I ran with. Haz and I conferred separately with two other former Okinawa hashers, Grease Monkey and Communicable Disease. CD, like me, didn’t remember Stitch at the regular Okinawa H3, but Grease Monkey (who I hashed with every week on Okinawa) pretty much ran the BMT hash and remembers Stitch well. Unfortunately he doesn’t remember Stitch’s original hash name.
Grease Monkey did find his notebook from May 1998, with a notation assigning one of his young Marines, Bobbitt, to lifeguard duty.
I did not arrive on Okinawa until the summer of 1989, and Stitch may well have been gone by then, which would be another reason I don’t remember him from Okinawa … but of course I never ran with the BMT Hash either, so wouldn’t have known him then anyway.
Thanks, Hazukashii, for digging all that up!
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