Thurman P. Woodfork

(Further Adventures in Spain)

IWVPA Club Recognition of Outstanding Non-War Related Writing: March 23, 2005
Awarded: March 23, 2005

Thurman P. Woodfork: El Bar Diablo
Woody and Alfonso, a waiter in El Bar Diablo
I ran afoul of a couple of The Ladies of the Evening – AKA Working Girls, on my first trip to Barcelona. Spain was my first Air Force overseas assignment. Anyway, I went bopping into the aptly named Bar Diablo, which was located a couple of blocks off the Ramblas, and eased onto a bar stool. I ordered a Fidel Castro (which became a Cuba Libre subsequent to the Bay of Pigs) and coolly proceeded to survey my surroundings, just like I knew what I was doing.

It wasn’t long before one of the young ladies swiveled onto the next barstool and struck up a conversation. She asked if I’d buy her a drink, and when I asked her what she’d like, pointed to what looked like a half pint bottle of champagne behind the bar. Now, as it happened, a magnum of that same brand of champagne cost 50 pesetas up in Rosas where I was stationed. We drank the stuff all the time. So I figured what the hell, a little bottle like that can’t cost much, so I ordered one for her.

I should have gotten a clue when two of her buddies immediately sauntered over after I bought the champagne, but, being the generous type – and showoff – that I am,, I ordered a couple of bottles for them, too. Before long, I had five girls gathered around me, all knocking back champagne as I played Sweet Daddy Woodybucks. Then I asked for the tab, and got a quick social lesson along with it – those little ‘half pints’ cost 200 pesetas apiece. Now, since you could get laid for 200 Ps, I figured I’d just gotten screwed five times in about five minutes, with none of the bennies.

However, it wasn’t all a total loss, a couple of months later, after I’d become a regular at the Diablo, one of the bar maids grabbed up an empty cognac bottle, reached over the bar and cold-cocked a pickpocket with it. Unbeknownst to me, he was about to make off with my wallet, which contained a whole lot more than a thousand peseta, since I’d just gotten paid. Nothing like having good friends in low places…

The above photograph shows me with Alfonso, one of the Bar Diablo waiters. Notice the barmaid trying to sneak into the picture. Alfonso is the one who started the girls calling me Jose, since my real name was a little difficult for Spaniards to pronounce, and there is no Spanish equivalent for it, at least, not that I know of.