Military personnel tend to party more than civilians, particularly when stationed overseas. Those stationed in South Korea many many years ago were no exception, and I would bet that is still true today, although I admittedly have no direct knowledge of that.
At Osan Air Base in South Korea, everyone going off base had to pass through the Main Gate, which discharged its traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) directly into the Ville, the term used by airmen in reference to the small camp town Chikol just outside the base. The gate is some distance from the major areas of the base, and eventually the Air Force established a bus system that included stops at the gate to transport people going to and coming back from the Ville.
At some point, a parking lot was constructed just inside the gate, and this is where the bus would idle as it waited for passengers. A most welcome additional benefit was the positioning of a fast food truck right next to the spot where the bus would stop. Somewhat disdainfully known as the Roach Coach for its decidedly less than healthy menu, those awaiting the bus could purchase soft drinks, hot dogs, assorted pastries, and other goodies.
I no longer recall the exact period between bus runs, but I do know that when the Midnight curfew approached and airmen were returning to base en mass, most of them made an effort to catch the next to last bus, rather than the last one. There was a good reason for that. The last bus was quite derisively termed the Drunk Bus. It was the bus that the faltering partiers who barely made it through the gate in time would ride.
Sober people did not want to ride the Drunk Bus. Even slightly inebriated people did not want to ride the Drunk Bus. Only drunks would ride the Drunk Bus – and that was the problem. Servicemen everywhere have an advanced sense of how to enjoy life that often bends the rules of propriety, if not the letter of the law. Some guys, however, when fully under the influence of alcohol, lose all control of their inhibitions. The Drunk Bus became just another stage on which to demonstrate that.
The Drunk Bus riders often suffered the expected maladies of having overindulged in alcohol. Loud arguments and even fights were not uncommon – and neither were churning stomachs, particularly if those stomachs had been topped off with Roach Coach offerings. I leave it to you to imagine what the results might have been. And more than once, military police were summoned to handle problems that had escalated beyond tolerance.
This doesn’t say anything about the pranks that were often pulled. As one example, imagine a bus of drunks holding onto the overhead grab bars that run down the aisle of a bus and then rocking their bodies from side to side to see just how much they could get the bus to sway. One time, the riders were thus able to cause the Drunk Bus to tip over as it turned a corner.
Oh, what fun it is to be indestructibly young, stupidly curious, and immensely drunk!