Saturday, August 11, 2018

"Our Lack of Social Graces ... So Help Me God"

If you never enlisted into the United States Navy Canoe Club as a Crackerjack Sailor, you missed the best times for pranks, fool errands & tomfoolery! Members of the Blue Jacket Navy in those days were not given the training of the social graces that today's Crackerjacks are supposed to be given. Then again in today’s Canoe Cabaret and the fashion show that comes along, it’s hard to distinguish US Navy Crackerjacks from the crew of a Mickey Mouse Cruise ship!

I remember my Chief’s expression …

"You bunch’a shits! Look at yourselves … a total disgrace! Grown men the Navy has deemed worthy of entrusting the world's most sophisticated equipment with … yet when there’s work to be done, you bastards act like an old milk cow one tit short of an udder!”

Them Chiefs always had the best ways of expressing themselves …

An old Shipmate off the Nimitz, by the name of Jimmy Dee had some memories to share with a fella’ no-shit teller and this is what he had to say!

In my time in this here Navy we had some crazy fun when the dull-drums would set in. Some of the recollections I have really made my time memorable… Oh the things we would do after closing that big ass hatch from the hanger bay to the sponson. 

Once after a particularly long day at sea, I was sitting at my desk in the RAM office, feet up, hat pulled down over my eyes, sleeping like a baby. Then, something kept tapping my foot. In my stupor I thought it was one of the guys messing with me as they always did. I remember being half awake and yelling …

"Mother fucker stop it!"

I looked up and there stood my Department Head, a full bird Captain. I jumped to attention but further complicating the issue was the dingle berries the guys had taped to the bill of my cover while I was asleep. I looked like an escapee from a Mexican mariachi band! The Captain looked at me and asked if I had a long day to which I replied…  “Yes sir!” He shook his head, and left the office.

That’s just one fine memory I recall …

We use to do some crazy stuff in those storerooms as well. I recollect one boring day we got into a rubber band fight, which ended up with paperclips flying at 100mph at each other’s face, which unfortunately ended up with me shrink wrapped to a rolling chair … in my underwear … left to fend for myself on the hanger deck! So there I was, rolling back and forth with the motion of the ocean Not one single son-of-a-bitch would stop to help. They’d stop to look and laugh, but no help! It took a while but I managed to rip the wrap and get lose. Didn't see the guys till muster the next morning. They were hiding out in S-1 because they knew if I found them it would be hell to pay!!!

There was a time when we called our ship our home! I guess in our memories the ship always will be, with the finest sons-a-bitches we’d ever know!!!

"Paint Requisition"

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Some things in the ol’ Canoe Club just don’t change over time! I remember in my Naval infancy only having to go down to the good old paint locker to get a can of haze gray and a handful of brushes. When I was a young snot nosed Crackerjack, we weren’t even required to turn the paint back in when we were done … we just tossed it over the side after the paint had done dried with a stiffened brush in the middle of the can! I’ll bet there’s a graveyard of old paint cans sitting below the harbor in San Diego Bay. Now, you’ve got to have your MSDS, a special chit from the Department Head with how much square footage you’re painting out, a special mix and if it’s nonskid, the Deck Apes have to do the painting for you at their convenience! If it’s paint on a missile deck, it has to be done by a contractor or some bubba from off shore … ain’t that something!?! At least that’s how it was before I retired.

Now I see an old clipping from back in the Fifties and Sixties it looks like the ol’ Canoe Club was messing with the paint locker years before I was a Crackerjack Sailor. I guess it eventually all came back full circle…  

Sunday, August 5, 2018

" Leatherneck Landlubbers"

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Seasickness is a common malady during the first days after getting underway aboard ship. One day onboard the birdfarm a Marine buddy was particularly afflicted. The captain in charge of his unit paid him a visit in sick bay and asked …

"Is there anything I can get for you?"

"Yes, sir,"

… The marine groaned …


Saturday, August 4, 2018

"It's A Mad, Mad World"

Founded as a comic book by Editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines in 1952, Mad and its gap-toothed mascot Alfred E. Newman pioneered populist satire and inspired many lesser imitators. One distinctive feature of the magazine for almost its entire existence was its ability to run without advertising, allowing it to tear apart materialist culture without fear of biting the hands that fed it. Instead, for decades, the magazine ran fake spoof ads and comic strips that inspired many artists of the future.

I hope you enjoy my small collection of Mad art pertaining to the Navy and Nautical Spoof ….

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(Early MAD 1960's Spoof Ad)

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

"Man Overboard"

WE WERE CONDUCTING flight operations aboard the USS Independence off Jacksonville, Fla. The topside safety petty officer on the No. 3 catapult was accidentally blown over the side by the exhaust of a turning F-4 Phantom jet. All those who witnessed the incident thought for sure the man was lost, because the flight deck was 65 feet above the ocean. Fortunately, he was rescued by the ship's helicopter. Later that day, I visited him in sick bay…

"Were you scared?"

… I asked …


… He asked ...

"Hell, I yelled 'Man overboard' three times before I hit the water!"

Sunday, July 22, 2018

“The Dockyard Church”

The Dockyard Church is a shanty about an unusual seaman's Holy Place. It goes to the tune of the British song The Farmer's Boy. I hope all you Deckhands, Swabbies, Blokes and Matelots enjoy …

The preacher in the dockyard church one Sunday morning said,
"Some dirty bastard shit himself - I'll punch his fucking head."
Then up stood Jack in the third row back and he spat a greasy gob:
"I'm the one who shit his fucking self, you can chew my carroty knob!
You can chew my carroty knob!"

Then Jenny Wren got up to sing and she warbled like a thrush.
The preacher in the pulpit said, "I think you're fucking lush."
"That's right," said she, "and I've got a fee - it is thirty bob a time."
Then a bosun in the back stood up, "Stand back you dirty bastard she's mine,
Stand back you dirty bastard she's mine."

The organist came down the aisle with the organ on his back.
The preacher in the pulpit said, "You can march that bastard back."
The organist played Heart of Oak, the choir sang Auld Lang Syne.
Then the preacher in the pulpit said, "You've had your fucking time,
You've had your fucking time!"

Salty Dick

Friday, July 20, 2018

"Smith, Jones & Brown"

The new Navy recruits were being processed when a crusty Chief Petty Officer entered the room, looking to put together a work detail...

 "Smith, Jones, Brown! On your feet!" he hollered.

Several recruits stood up. The chief smiled and said...

"It works every time."