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July 29, 2010


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David Clark

I first encountered the East Asian astrological system while an infantryman in Vietnam. I was in the Central Highlands, in the countryside around the city of Plieku. The local "mamasans" would follow us around, selling us sodas, trinkets, cannabis and no doubt keeping an eye on us for the NVA. One particularly aged little woman offed a dice game, tossed on a cloth spread out in the dust. The each face of the die featured one of the traditional animals of the zodiac, the Hare, the Tiger and of course, the Ox.

To entice a crowd she would sing out in her best Vietnamese/English pidgin "Okay GI! Some time you win, some time you louie!"
This got a big laugh and became an enduring catch phrase in our platoon. Although it was just a come-on for her gambling game, "Some time you win, sometime you louie." seemed to be so true on so many levels that for us young soldiers it summed up our perilous situation in neat accord with our new fatalistic views.

As I have grown older and have watched the world go 'round through its' changes, her words still ring true. Sometimes you do win, and sometimes you louie!


very interesting!

Barry Briggs

Thanks for your comments, everyone. David, especially, thank you for sharing the fantastic story about winning and louising.

Coming, as I do, from Washington State, where "Louie, Louie" is the unofficial state song, I appreciate this all the more!

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