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FUCKING DAY

Fucking Day: Blondes Prefer Gentlemen 🌭

Nobody needs a date like 18-year-olds thousands of miles away at sea for months, and nobody knows less about dating than [return to start of sentence]. In 1965 the U.S. Navy realized etiquette might not come naturally to guys who had spent their formative years following orders barked at them by an all-male enclave. That’s why it produced Blondes Prefer Gentlemen, a Goofus-and-Gallant adventure for sailors learning how to obtain sex without paying for it at an age when society says you’re an adult but puberty is writing its sophomore album.

Set sail for seduction with Charlie and Jack, two midshipmen taking the same gal out to the same house for dinner. I’ll spoil it for you right now: The Blonde is the only part of Charlie’s life that he doesn’t fuck into despair. And Jack, for his part, has perfected all the polite mannerisms that will fall out of fashion before his enlistment ends.

Let’s compare their actions and see who’d really get to hoist her flag up his mainmast, maybe play with her buoys a little bit, grip the tiller tightly, swab the poop deck, dodge the boom, and—wait, how did we end up at this leather club? If anyone asks, we were watching Blondes Prefer Gentlemen, see? I’d better recap it so you get your story straight.

The Blonde ambles along the dock in search of a name and personality, until Charlie and Jack descend to vie for her favors. They would like to know her better, the film informs us, before leaning in like an unwelcome coworker with peanut butter breath, and emphasizing, ”…much better.” She gives the boys her number, perhaps to save herself the dive into the sea necessary to elude them.

Soon after, Charlie is invited to dine at Lt. George Rand’s house by Mrs. George Rand, who also has no name, because she’s just the person putting this entire evening together. Officers’ wives don’t get enough credit, and they also serve who stay at home and…uh, serve. I would describe her personality as “A scarlet-haired woman who prefers officers and gentlemen.”

According to the date on this invitation it’s 1958, though I refuse to believe this film took seven years to produce. Perhaps in the bent reality from which this film originates, March 8, 1965 is a Saturday. It’s also the date the Marines landed at Da Nang, making it the second least-advisable journey our armed forces undertook that day. Now here’s Charlie’s disastrous date.

So Charlie calls up the blonde and informs her that she is entered in a game of the heart. First prize is premature ejaculation. Second prize is bus fare home. During this call, Charlie’s feet are up on the desk just to let you know what a clod he is. Character choices like these won this film the 1966 Naval Academy Award for Best Fucking (Teen). But as far as costing himself a promotion, Charlie’s first faux-pas here is forgetting to RSVP.

MEANWHILE: Seated properly at his desk, Jack accepts the Rands’ invitation for the Saturday following. He rings The Blonde, and ends the call promptly so she has time to tell her mother she has a date with a boy who’s “perfectly pleasant,” followed by a thoughtful silence. 

Jack, whose own mother is not ashamed, responds to the invitation, and thinks to himself how nice it is that a butterfly flapping its wings in his world means Oswald’s bullet narrowly missed in Dallas. Yes, everything is swell in America!

Charlie enters the Rands’ parlor like a walrus doing cartwheels. He centers himself, talks too much, loosens his tie, and eats like a pig…basically everything I would do to ruin your dinner party, but without the roguish charm and ableist jokes.

After licking his fingers clean like Heaven’s favorite fool, Navy Goofus ignores the Rands to make time with the only person who can do anything for his penis. When he does acknowledge his hosts, it’s to yell at them about how Army will beat them at football. There the film pauses to laugh at Charlie:

Charlie, you pusillanimous poltroon! You have the fighting spirit of a dishrag. Your mother has a GO ARMY BEAT NAVY embroidery above her bed. You—

Except, hold on:

Pause is not pause! Charlie merely freezes up in existential clarity at how badly he has ruined this evening. He’s not usually so self-aware. Perhaps the grip of something more malevolent has brought him to this gnosis.

Smash cut to: a week later, Jack brings the same girl to the same house, and—wait, this is getting suspicious. Everyone here knows each other except for poor, innocent Jack. Is The Blonde some kind of B-Girl, scouting officers willing to swing with the Rands? Is that why she hangs out on the dock? And why the invitations arrived immediately? Hmmm.

Jack is a lesson in grace. He doesn’t even bring up the upcoming big athletic sports game, because he lives in a world where women aren’t half of football fandom. Jack elevates others, being sure to include The Blonde, who the video claims is his “shy” date, even now pretending she doesn’t know the Rands intimately. The strings are drawing tighter around Jack’s neck, and he can’t even see them. 

It’s time to eat, and Charlie fights for his share like a one-armed child in a lumberjack family. We know the film thinks he sucks, because it plays a cool jazz score that lets you know he’s too alive to fit in among upper-class white people. Blondes may have more fun, but it’s demonstrably less than Charlie. He also eats a quarter-pound of butter, so how am I supposed to judge a guy with more self-restraint than me?

Charlie spills something, and then insists on helping Mrs. George Rand clean up his accident like an asshole. “Let her take care of it, Charlie!” shouts our narrator. I’ll judge Boomer entitlement a little less tomorrow, knowing they were trained by our government to wreck other people’s stuff and then sit there watching the victim try to salvage it.

In conclusion, Charlie lights up a cigarette so that everyone knows he’s cool, and then Brexits the table like the Rands make his skin itch. In typically puddle-headed Charlie fashion, he drags The Blonde out the door while boisterously thanking his hosts for their hospitality. What a dundernoggin! The second the door closes, they laugh at him. You have been tested and found wanting, Charles.

Because Jack’s table manners are un-court-martiable, his segment is a deprecated list of rules about how to eat bread and whipped potatoes. For instance, your hostess will set out a washing bowl after the meal, a highly medieval gesture for a society that insists you spoon your soup away from yourself unless it’s clear, in which case, tilt the bowl directly into your mouth? Manners are a construct, I’m thinking.

The film repeatedly goes out of its way to drag Jack, passive-aggressively praising his listening skills while pointing out he’s not a very exciting date. The more this film fleshes out your grandma’s idea of the perfect man, the more you understand why she considers Italian food “too spicy.” Jack is a man for all seasons, but of few seasonings. 

“Who got the girl?” titters the narrator, like we don’t all know Jack will be a gentle, attentive lover who finishes second, and that’s the only gosh-darn thing he’ll have in common with Army.

Walking to her door, Charlie suggests a second date where they can paw each other like the slimy virgins that they are, but The Blonde prefers gentlemen, and will not have him. To his credit, he takes her hint. He leaves, and is never seen again, but we all know he now lives in Fort Lauderdale, sending baskets of gator ribs across the bar to women half his age. 

Frankly, this contest of manners feels rigged. Charlie’s rough around the edges, but he’s no peacock, and he doesn’t make others feel bad. He just goes at life with gusto, unlike Jack’s fathoms of naval stoicism and ability to speak without spraying breadcrumbs like buckshot. Charlie could find a blonde who prefers him, she just won’t be a lady. Somewhere out there is his 1960s sweetheart, shoveling peanuts into her gob while her glazed eyes binge on Keeping Up With the Gabors.

As for Jack? Well, lacking Charlie’s animal instincts, he ignores the fear in his gut as the party adjourns to the living room. Lt. Rand suggests a party game he used to play with one of the rocket scientists in his ONI days. Jack wants to go home, but home seems so very far away. His tongue is sluggish in his mouth. He doesn’t—

Bodies moving, and the Rands are singing “The Killing of the King” in tones as soft as bat wings. Before him, The Blonde rises and falls, softly, a form transversing her unfurling in Jack’s thoughts if not his eyes. He tries to speak, to say no, but it is too late. At last The Blonde becomes named. Abbadon! Abbadon! ABBAD

—Jack’s head buzzes. He’s not sure why he’s at this mailbox. Today, he knows, is Tuesday, March 16, but…wasn’t yesterday Saturday? These fugues began not long after JFK died, and have been especially bad this week, ever since the pier where he met…when he

The Blonde is at his side and It will be alright, it is saying. It will be alright, now that they have made a Moonchild. Jack doesn’t understand that colloquialism, but already he is forgetting that he is forgetting. Why yes, today is a fine day! His best gal, guiding him down the street and into infamy, into America’s wars without end. Vietnam is calling so loudly he almost doesn’t hear a bedroom-voiced older woman (M-Mrs. Rand?) coo, “Blondes prefer gentlemen…and so does everyone else.”

He is so happy to be a gentleman.

For Brendan’s money, this was still a way better possession film than Hereditary

6 replies on “Fucking Day: Blondes Prefer Gentlemen 🌭”

Help! I’m stuck in a Do loop on the first sentence! For the love of God make it stop!

I’m trying to throw you a rope but it keeps looping back around my neck, it’s… gkkk… it’s… hnng… strangling… me…

Mrs. Rand is a smoke show. I’d definitely swab her poopdeck and then insert my penis into her butthole.

Rocket scientist? ONI? Moonchild?!

To quote Steve Rogers, I understood that reference. Bravissimo, Mr. McGinley.

Jack and Charlie look so much alike they could star in a bus-and-truck production of “A Tale of Two Cities”.

Well that’s the first time I’ve seen the word “gnosis” used in an article about vintage naval fucking etiquette on a hot dog themed website

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