Thursday, June 30, 2011

“Troubleshoot’n Twidgets”

In this ol’ boy’s Navy life I’d learned that a Crackerjack’s work is never done. The ol' Canoe Club has been as much a working force as a playground for a bunch of ol’ swaggering, rum swilling swabbies. Ships need a lot of upkeep from the stress of the open seas and all that rustification the salt air gives to all that iron and steel! Each sailor has a job to do and equipment of their own to maintain.

In my years my specialization has been in the repair, operation and maintenance of weapon systems onboard Big Hulky Grey Ships! Yep, I’ve been a Firecontrolman all me bloom’n life! me mudder was a mermaid & me fadder King Neptune himself... wait a minute, that's another story... so I digress!! Soooo as I was saying... I’ve seen weapons go through a variety of phases from the ol’ salty mechanical whizbangs to the analog synchro & servo umpty squats to the digital binary two step!

My experience right out of FC ‘A’ school took me straight to the fleet work’n with systems right out of the WW II and Korean War eras, complete with vacuum tubes and limited logistics or maintenance support.

The MK 68 was my first system of choice, and it wasn’t my choice I might ad, that’s just the hand I was dealt back in those days. The Mk 68 provided surface combatants with a weapon system effective against air & surface targets including targets ashore. The Mk 68 came fitted with luxury items such as a manned topside director with tracking radar and analog computer that solved all sorts of target acquisition & ballistics equations! It came with its own gyration unit too…we called the stable mable.

Yes, it took me a long time before I figured out how to troubleshoot this machine on my own. There was the time in gun plot I was given the duty to maintain the ‘stable mable.’ There was a maintenance check where the gyro was secured and the gimbals zeroed out while we stuck plastic wedges between the gimbals to hold’m in place! Well, throughout the life of this ol’ crusty ship those plastic wedges found their way to the plastic wedgy heaven & disappeared somewhere off the face of this gaudamn planet… maybe they were used in some Lunar Space exploration… who the hell knows? So in our infinite wisdom we devised a plan to use sections of newspaper in place of them plastic doo hickeys! To my dismay one of them pieces fell down into the gyro & I decided to reach down & ... ZZWAAAAPP!!!

I got knocked across gun plot on my ass all the way from center line to the starboard bulkhead... Thanks to the metal TV cabinet bracing my fall. I came outta that situation with a sore ass and some hurt pride. But hey, I lived to tell the tale as several of the guys got a real kick out of it.

Then came the time I was doing preventive maintenance on some ol’ vacuum tubes when I came to the realization one of them ol’ tubes was gutted out like a deer during hunt’n season! I showed Chief this discrepancy and we ordered a hole new tube to fix the problem. To our dismay the whole gaudamn system went haywire when we put the tube into place… so much for that… system worked fine with the gutted tube and so we left it in place for a fine tuned weapon system with gutted out parts… who knew we could knock out a target drone from 4000 yds away before CIWS got a chance to shoot the ol’ bird down!!

So then I moved up into the digital age and went to school to learn how to operate and maintain the MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS - pronounced "sea-whiz"). That’s the R2D2 look’n whizbang with the 20MM hard-on that makes that ‘Bbbbrrrrrrpp’ sound when it shoots. Love those things…just don’t stand too close when it’s firing off rounds!!

Now some people will tell ya CIWS stands for ‘Captain it won’t shoot!’ But that’s pussification for all them fellers out there who don’t have a lick of sense and forgot the meaning of ‘Attention to Detail!! CIWS is supposed to be the last-ditch effort to save our asses in an all out assault from enemy fire! It was funny how we’d cannibalize one mount to make sure the one closest to the bridge always fired like a purrr’n kitten! Ya gotta keep the Skipper happy when exercising Pacfires!!

So there were a few things I learned along the way as a CIWS techy!!

Always approach CIWS in a confident manner and show it who’s boss!! CIWS Mounts are like dogs… they can always smell fear!!

Always act like you know what the hell your doing! Never let CIWS know you’re baffled or it’ll get the best of ya!

Wave the troubleshoot’n manual at the CIWS anytime it’s acting up!! Actually any gaudamn technical manual will do as it has the effect of invoking friendly spirits to ward off evil and convince the gaudamn machine to do your bidding for you!!

In the twidget world we have this thing called PFM!! If your not a twidget… ‘Pure Fucking Magic’ is the word of the day!! Just recite Ohm’s Law to the CIWS Mount like the lords prayer and if it doesn’t work try reciting backwords…it sure the hell won’t hurt!!!

If all else fails… try kick’n the son-of-a-bitch a few times, or pull the unit out causing the problem and drop it on the deck from a few feet in the air. This often completely fixes the fault. They say,

“Scientists are divided over whether the shock knocks something back into place or just frightens the whizbang unit.”

If that don’t work then your gonna have to make pals with the ‘Supply Department’ as you’ll probably be replacing said unit and/or parts!!!

Nowadays troubleshoot’n is all done on some gaudamn super secret internet thingy mcjobber called the sailor to engineer crappitty poop snark someth’n er rather!! That’s provided the sons-a-bitches are even awake at 0100 hours in the morning eastern time when your calling from somewhere in the Indian Ocean! How the hell can ya ever learn how to troubleshoot like that? Back in my day it was ‘trial by fire,’ 440VAC shock absorbtion to wake your ass up with a lil’ bit of Easter Egg hunt’n!! I think that’s what we use to call it…but I guess you can’t really hunt down a bunch of 1s’ & 0s’….1000101!!!! (everyone’s favorite binary code)!!! Everything that use to be done electromechanically is managed inside a little carbon based silicone unit the size of your gaudamn fingernail!!

I guess ‘Big Navy’ assumed them Shore Duty fellas just weren’t all that bright. A couple of retired bastards figured out the system and got all the tech rep’ positions to take over for the Intermediate Shore Facilities (IMA) and get paid a little extra to do the job for ‘em! I guess when I retire I could get paid handsomely to troubleshoot technicalities to bite size bits for the novice! Ah hell, that’d mean I’d have to retire next to some gaudamn Navy base…..not sure I really wanna do that!!

I guess they don’t make too many Dick Tracy types in the Navy these days when it comes to troubleshoot’n… then again most of young’ns now would look up at ya and ask…

“Dick Who???”

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

'Lucky No. 7'

When looking back in time there's a hell of a bunch of special moments that touch a retired sailor's heart. Intimate moments in time long memorized, that characterize who we were and  what we are today. We'll carry these memories until our final siesta in the sky! These were moments that can only be fully appreciated by the men and women who wore that crackerjack uniform and went to sea in large hulking grey ships.
I suppose this summer some shipmates from long ago are hosting a get together shindig in Bremerton this July and I was asked if I could give a speech about 'Sea Stories'! This is the kind of thing that causes me to reshuffle  these old images in my mind, unchain those ol' dusty moments and pass them around among my friends and fellow sailors.
You see, approval of your shipmates cannot be captured in a single moment but rather a long connection of light hearted laughs, memories, late nights of oil black coffee,  compounded with midwatch monotony, fatigue and boredom sometimes impressive yet other times unspectacular, but never the less  moments of acceptance.
On the Rainer we had quite a group of different characters throughout and about the ship!
I remember a bunch a good-fer-noth'n sons-a-bitches skylarking, plotting, and lollygagging through anchor windless making non productive bitching a fine art!  Most refer to them as Deck Department or Boatswainmates but we usually referred to them as 'Deck Apes.'  There were only so many inanimate metal objects and other superfluous crap you could chip, needle gun, shine, slap zinc chromate on and paint outside of those places you'd need a midget gynecologist to reach into before these raggety-ass sailors of fortune would find some sort'a mayhem to get involved with! While doing a stent with the ship's Master-At-Arms about 200% of the restrictoids were from 1st or 2nd Division! One particular episode had to do with a fella whipp' n out his cobra commander on another fella's shoulder in berthing... and if he didn't get an ass whoopen for that he sure the hell found himself in front of the Skipper doing Captain's Mast!  These fellas new how to make trouble look good!!
Then there was my neck of the woods up in CIC! It's suppose to be the information nerve center of the ship where  we would collect, evaluate, display and disseminate all the task force info and activities... of course ours was more like a walk in closet with a few neon lights! I can honestly say nothing of real importance would ever happen in the wee hours of stand'n watch in CIC!  This place had the architecture of ninety percent of all the funny business and grab-ass that went on underway. Many referred to it as the secret cave.   I'm sure many of you who crossed the path of CIC got a glimpse of the ol' 'DRT snake!!!' Though it could be argued in some cases as the 'DRT worm.' After many weeks of stand'n port and starboard watches you could find yourself claiming  ownership of some kind of stupid shenanigan or cockamamie scheme!
Then there were the grease-covered snipes with a bandanna hanging out of their hip pockets. As I recall there was a large collection of paperback novels containing erotic schemes and a variety of interesting anatomically demanding acts few people in the world above the main deck had ever heard of or could have envisioned without having been recently exposed to the literary world of wrench turning, monkey shit pack'n  machinists and A-gangers! I remember an incident where a young female fireman was told to go home and well, she took it quite literally and flew her silly ass all the way back to Alabama... always wondered if she suffered from Asperger Syndrome considering most people wouldn't take that so gaudamn literally! But you could always rely on the snipes for a good ol' BT Punch, bucket of steam or an answer to a request to blow the 'MPA'... never a dull moment down below decks!!!
Then on the Bridge staring at endless miles of saltwater for 4 hours twice a day, day after day were the good ol' Quartermasters.  These were God's unrecognized gift to harbor pilots.  Anybody remember those gaudamn awful words, "Standby for heavy rolls… Secure all gear adrift." I love the way these sons-a-bitches would lay us in the trough so we could get the full experience of walking on bulkheads and chasing flying objects all over the ship! Anyone who can make a ship the size of Rainier rock-n-roll the way these fellas did had to have a Phd in physics - 'CAUSE OF DEATH - GEAR ADRIFT'!!!  Even more memorable were the ceremonial chaperoned water locker drills of a certain dirt bag who never could seem to take a shower on his own accord! Christ he loved dinosaurs but he didn't have to smell like one too!!! 
And we can never forget the 'skivvy wavers' and the signal shack on the 05 level just above the bridge!  Rather it be with the semaphore or the signal lights these fellas were the masters of ship to ship long range sailor to sailor bullshitt'n! . The Skivvy Waver's ploy was to execute some official message then bullshit with the 'crackerjack' on the other ship. While officers were working out their bureaucratic bullshit, the skivvy wavers  would be bitching about what they ate for chow or tell'n dirty jokes in morse code!!! This was a great place to hang out at night watching the horizon with night vision goggles... a real treat for most of us non skivvy wavers!!!

Then there was Supply with the unmistakable aroma of three tons of fermenting dirty laundry or the Stew Burners late night with a couple loaves of fresh bread and some Navy peanut butter to compliment 'midrats'!!! On a supply ship like the ol' Lucky #7, Supply had a captive audience of supporting services. Without Supply there would be no ships service, no geedunk, no laundry or dry cleaning facility, no food to feed our faces or no gas station for all the other ships! They kept us all well serviced! Maybe some more than others... considering the rumor of a few lucky shipmate gett'n a little extra pleasure behind closed doors in the Supply Office in the wee hours of the night!!! This can be neither confirmed or denied, but somebody sure had a smile on their face.

Oh and 'What's up Doc'... Every boat had a Doc! Some ships are so small, they don't rate full-blown physicians on par with licensed doctors in civilian life. But we had one!  Our Doc was famous for hand'n out 'Vitamin M' and tak'n your blood pressure and temp rather you needed it or not. "Doc, all I need is a gaudamn Band-Aid to cover up this paper cut!"  Nope, you'd get a dose of 'Vita M', a verbal whiplash for allowing your blood pressure to climb too high as well as a complete course on good nutrition! Now that's one hell of a way to get a Band-Aid!!! Or if you took a visit down to the dentist it always turned into a conversation on how plaque is nothing more than bacteria leaving urine a fecal matter laid away in your mouth!! Hell made me never want to eat again! But at one point both the Med & Dental Docs had cute fannies that kept every male sailor fight'n sexual fantasy overload!!!  
And last but not least were those gaudamn Gun Monkeys!!!  Pushing bullets around the deck is a hell of a way to make a living! Sometimes those bullets are as heavy as a gaudamned steamroller!  A lot of cussing and swearing went on during ammo evolutions. 'Dumb bastard' and 'Stupid son-of-a-bitch' were favorites, followed by 'Move your worthless ass', 'How many gaudam times do I have to tell you idiots?', and 'If it was up your butt you'd know where it was...'  Somewhere on deck these gun monkeys would be centering a skid and manipulating chain falls while running fork lifts into bulkheads while crushing fingers and toes! No guadamn wonder we rated a full fledge Doc onboard! All this while the Bridge was trying to find just the right trough to plant us in so we could play a little rock-n-roll while toss'n bombs around on deck! It was later in life when a female Gun Monkey told me how she use to sneak back into the Captain's Gig at night with one of the Deck Apes for fifteen minutes of fun!!! I always wondered why the herculite cover was always loose at night flapping in the wind while I was in the aft CIWS Mount! Now we all know!!!

Yep, if you wore shoulder boards, you missed out! The action all took place in the berthing compartments, passageways and mess decks of the enlisted sailors. While you guys were reading the 'Economist' and 'Wall Street Journal' cheerio'n up in the Wardroom we were all planning mutinies and other diabolical plots of stupid stuff that now consume us in the guise of pure naval history! Officers always felt compelled to begin every discussion with the obvious indignation of our enlisted stupidity!  But it was us crackerjack, white hat wear'n, bluejackets that loaded the bombs, cleared the decks, and monkeyed with all the stuff that could cut a man in half or remove sizable chunks of flesh at the wince of an eye!!

I once heard a Chief say that you can remove all the Officers from the ship and we can still get it underway and into operation. But, remove all the enlisted sailors and that ship will never leave the pier!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

‘Pipe Wrench’n, Snake Handl’n, Hydro Blast’n Turd Chasers’

Hull Technicians 'HTs'  or Turd Chasers as we so endearingly called them in my Navy days is not a term many civilians are familiar with…  but is what every 'swashbuckl’n  sea going sailor has come to know and love. For us 'surface' types it meant that sometime during our long trials at sea, we’d be in need of a pipe wrench’n... snake handl’n… or a good ol’ high pressure hydro blast’n… Turd Chaser!!!

Now I gotta tell ya, being a Turd Chaser ain’t the most glamorous job the Navy has to offer. And way back before I committed myself to the sin of Volunteering for Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club, I was offered the opportunity to be one of these fellas… but I gotta tell ya, when I heard the slanderous nickname of ‘Turd Chaser’ I knew exactly what I didn’t want to be!!!   

Being a Turd Chaser has got to be one of the dirtiest jobs on the ship… and when there was a clog in the sewage system… or ‘CHT’(Collecting, Holding, & Transfer)… who you gonna call???? The Turd Chasers!!!

Well on my first ship, ‘The Baglady,’ we had a couple a Turd Chasers that were typical of the breed… dirty ol’ armpit stink’n coveralls… built like King Kong… blood thinned with cheap whiskey… and the social graces of a foul mouthed whore in church!!!

There was a particular time we had a bit of a situation in the forward head (we only had two enlisted heads) as one of the urinals had gotten clogged… seems that between the officer cakes and the absorbent amount of calcium build up from salt water & whiskey piss… we had quite a conundrum on our hands.

 With piss water swash’n around to the tune of the ship toss’n & roll’n… the odor was becoming a bit overly ripe with a heavy ammonic scent that hung like a gaudamned curtain throughout the head and the cruise lounge…

It’s not as if these ol’ frigates didn’t have a unholy smell already brewing of diesel fuel… farts… dirty feet… lead based paint… never dull & Tabasco Sauce to make it sweet!!!!

As the two dirty shipmates stood and contemplated how the hell they were gonna clean this mess… one of em’ swabbed his finger down under the lip of the urinal and pulled out a big ol’ gob of calcified piss stained salt!!! The other fella smiles and says,

“ I’ll bet ya five bucks you won’t put that in your mouth and swallow it!”

Well, this story wouldn’t be worth tell’n if it wasn’t obvious what the son-of-a-bitch did!!!  And when he finished he told his shipmate he would’a done it for free just for the shock value…   

But hey, when you’ve spent as much time in this canoe club as I have then you tend to see things that should probably make your damn eyes bleed!!!

When I was on the Rainier we had a whole brand new ‘CHT’ system with huge tanks made to handle a large crew to hell and back… so we thought!!!

Now over the years in a normal peace time environment many a ship pulled into many a foreign port… and the questionable food that sailors put their mouths on (balut & monkey meat) and the local beer (San Miguel & Singha Gold) can put a hurt’n on your internal organs… namely the intestinal track!!! So I’ve seen the damage that can be done to render our shit chutes useless with mass cases of the shits combined with aggregate applications of government supplied sandpaper to wipe our asses!!!

But these CHT beasts were supposed to be up for the challenge!! Seems that now having women onboard ship presented a whole new problem… what the Turd Chaser referred to as mice or red trout!!! Apparently when it’s that time of the month and women have to use that feminine hygiene for that not so fresh feeling, some felt it was completely acceptable to flush them damn things down the shitter!!! 

Well there’s only so much those beastly gi-normous pipes and tanks could handle… So the Turd Chasers had to bring in the big guns!!! I’m talk’n about the hydro blast’n tools that could be used to perform a hysterectomy on the Statue of Liberty!!! 

But with so gaudamned many heads in different parts of the ship… sometimes it was real easy to miss a valve or two on a brand new commissioned hulk of steal that ain’t never been worked over yet…

So with most of the shitters forward of the ship secured… the Turd Chasers commenced a blowing away to try and unclog the mess!!  Unfortunately up in Ops berthing not all the valves were closed and one of the shitters literally blew apart... with shit water and fragments of porcelain splattered all over the gaudamned head… luckily no one was hurt but we had a whole damn shitter that had to be replaced and as they say… shit happens!!!

But over time I worked hard and played hard with the Turd Chasers… from port to port and sea to sea…  And as the faces change so does the technology that render us more useless in our daily lives as human beings… 

Years went by and I eventually made Chief… went to a new ship with a new CHT system called ‘VCHT’  I suppose the Good ol’ canoe club decided to trade in the old saltwater CHT commutaters for a more updated Vacuum version…

Gaudamn thing scared the hell outta me the first time I sat on one of them new fandangled shitters…  thought it was gonna suck me right in when it made that obnoxious sound of an elephants mating call as I flushed it down!!!   

I called the Turd Chasers to find what the hell was wrong with the damn shitter…

“Well that’s the way they’re suppose to sound Chief!”

I says,

“I got more time taken shits on these here shitters than you got in the Navy, so what the hell do you mean that’s the way they’re suppose to sound??”

Well, let’s just say I wasn’t about to be no gaudamned amateur McGuyver and try to figure it out myself… so from then on I just accepted it!!!

For there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years… the Turd Chasers were some of the hardest working handymen on the ship… working the darkest, dirtiest & smelliest jobs to keep that damn ship afloat… They worked the hardest, earned their pay twice over, and were damned underappreciated for it!!! 

So absent the inevitable ‘HT Punch’ and occasional floating turd down the passageway… This one’s for you ‘Turd Chaser’ and all the things you do!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Ol' School Navy Boot Camp"

I couldn’t tell you my motives exactly to why I joined the Navy out of High School. I have several assertions as to why, though I’m sure it’s a combination of several reasons. For one my High School Sweetheart, Nancy, was marrying a guy who had just joined the Nuke Program .. I guess I had something to prove! Two, I had always been enamored with the idea of the sailor with a girl at every port and all those movies of carousing, boozing and philandering the world over. Who wouldn’t love an incessant party? That’s what I was all about in those days! But ultimately I just knew I was destined to join the military no matter what.

When I first decided to join the Navy I was in the Delayed Entry Program for about 11 months. My recruiter was a Schlep Rock Boatswains Mate who only contacted me on two separate occasions. It’s a wonder I was able to stay afloat. Just prior to leaving for boot camp I had recently indulged myself into another serious relationship that was prematurely dabbling with the idea of marriage. What the hell was I thinking? Anyway, not to get off track, there is nothing more erotically exciting than trying to quietly have sex with your girlfriend under the blankets with parents in the room. This would explain my night at the MEPS hotel prior to leaving to Boot Camp .. WOW, that was fun!!

..Moving right along…

I remember thinking during my first days in Navy Boot Camp at Great Lakes that I made an awful & dreadful mistake. How could have I possibly be looking forward to this shit? That punk ass Navy recruiter with his car salesman contentions that somehow enlisted my gullible ass in the Navy convinced me my post-adolescent amateur ideas would somehow be matured by the wisdom of a drill instructing ol’ salt who couldn’t speak a single phrase without a four letter word of ill repute. This I affirm was used with no shame at the dinner table and various other settings with a perplexed eye on my first leave home.

A hot and muggy season off the coast of Lake Michigan is enough to make most men lament in distress. “Don’t lock your knees when standing at attention!” I learned this lesson well as so many recruits fell to the asphalt “grinder” that was covered with bird shit and spit! Always drilling with my M-1 “piece” we had the worst f@#%king Company in RTC. For those of you not familiar with the Navy, those who get held back in boot camp are ASMO’D. I still don’t have a clue what the hell that stands for but you didn’t want to spend another two or three weeks at RTC getting yelled at and treated like your less than dog shit. When I graduated boot camp about two thirds of my company was made of retread, ASMO’D from other companies. That was about the jest of it all. In comparison, I think today’s boot camp does a pretty good job of breaking a recruit down and rebuilding them, but I was still pretty clueless when it was all said and done no thanks to my recruiter who’s best advice was to sit in the back and keep your mouth shut as to not draw any attention. That’s no way to train a future leader for damn sure.

In the beginning I learned quickly what it means to hurry up and wait with rows of young men standing in line checked by medical corpsman we called “Pecker Checkers” before being shipped off to stand in the next line. There’s nothing like standing around in your underwear going from station to station smelling like mothballs and oblivious to what the hell you were doing. First you checked in from the airport at 0100 hours only to catch enough sleep to confuse your senses and leave you in a state of bewilderment. From there it was a blur of try this on try that on, shave, shit, & shower and learn how to fold your crap into a shelf the size of a high school gym locker. The dungaree pants were the ugliest set of bellbottoms with a chambray shirt that had your last name stenciled across the right breast pocket to fittingly make you look like you were in prison.

Next was the infamous chow hall where we were marched and lined up to eat the best food the military has to offer. I refused to eat much as I had been warned of the fabled 'Salt Peeter.' I thought to myself...

“If that crap is laced into anything it’s the Chipped beef in white gravy!”

...which was a favorite entrée. I later learned this was not the case, but who could blame my ass for being so naïve.

When my P-days (“P” for processing) were over we learned to march and exercise in an unrelenting fashion carrying a WWII type M-1 rifle everywhere we went. This absolutely sucked. My arms probably grew an extra inch around from eight long weeks of this abuse and for that I can say I was thankful. There was plenty of screaming, cursing and intimidation for all to go around on how to relearn everything you’ve ever been taught growing up from making your rack to how to tie your shoes. I was slowly brainwashed through intense pain! Did I say intense? Intensive Training was the phrase used to dish out punishment we received to squeeze out our Attention Deficit Disorder that we all seemed to show up to boot camp with!

I specifically remember an instance when I pissed off my Company-Commander (CC) as they were called back then for giggling under my breath for what I don’t even remember...

"What’s so fucking funny numb nuts?”

For my lack of obedience the whole company had to recite while at attention...

“My name is Richard Cranium but you can call me Dick Head Sir!!”

Then slide under each of fifty racks and pop back at attention and recite it again until we had rotated all the way around the room. This was so adoringly given the name submarine races!! We did this many times for lacking attention to detail when it came to 'Irish Pennants' or the classic 'Inspected by #69' found in the pockets of our Pcoats. I thought Navy Boot Camp was going to be easy, but this was my wake up call.

Another endearing memory was the 'Dear John Board.' Stationed right outside the CC’s office was a bulletin board where we could all put a picture of Suzie Rotten Crotch and Dear John Letters!! Oh my, was this fun!! There was nothing modest about the 'Dear John Board' if you catch my drift! The problem being, we were only allowed to look at the board five minutes before 'Taps Lights Out.' If we were caught 'skylarking' at the board then for good measure we were taught another lesson at team work and forced to do submarine races again! The main difference in this case was that while we were so charmingly embracing our moment of atonement, our CC would explain to us the meaning of Love!

"Love, recruits, is a feeling that starts out in the back of your brain, travels down your spinal cord, and out through the head of your dick. Love is five to six inches deep. There is nothing as overrated as a piece of ass and there is nothing as underrated as a good shit."

…If you haven’t figured it out by now consequences were always a plenty.

The endearing names of bonehead and numb nuts will forever live in our minds. I quickly learned what it meant to keep my dick skinners to myself and how to deliver at least a thousand four letter words and dirty little phrases. Unfortunately today’s Navy does not have room for this kind of discipline. Too PC” for a Sailor like me!!

“Lord forgive me fore I am a Sailor!” A-men!!!

'Berthing Smells and Dirty Laundry'

When you live inside a compartment the size of a garage with eighty other sorry asses, things can get pretty gaudamned hairy at times.... and by hairy I'm talk'n about the smell of feet and ass!!! You guys remember it don't ya??? 

Besides all the untamed animals and the grab ass shenanigans we used to pull, there was one and only one gaudamned reason why we kept the A/C down so low.... so as to stop the breeding of all that nasty ass bacteria. 

After five ships and twenty-three years in this canoe club, nothing changes... and every berthing has at least one, two, or even three dirtbags around every gaudamn corner!!! 

            "Aww come on Chief, you should be more positive than that!"
                "You can't call them dirtbags! This is the new PC' Navy!"

Alright then, I'm positive..... there are dirtbags... but if you want to be all gaudamned PC' about it then we'll just call'm earth sacks if that'll make you happy!! 

Trust me, eighty men missing showers regularly... combined with full laundry bags of hash marked whitie tighties & greasy armpit fruit of the loom undershirts on every other rack, a pair of beat up ol' funky boondockers at the foot of every rack,  an occasional happy sock & Vaseline stuck to the pages of a nudie mag,   and how many times did any of you sasquatch sons-a-bitches ever wash those damned wool blankets... ever???  It doesn't take a high I.Q. to figure out why the gaudamned XO always called them pig sties!!!  

Even a self-respecting zoo has guys who show up regularly to hose the monkey shit outta the cages. But what the hell... it was the life we loved and nesting in dirty laundry, sour towels, and weird smelling flash pads came with the territory!!!
At night, when the berthing was jam packed with dog-tired shipmates... it was a far cry from a silent sanctuary. We had snoring bastards that sounded like a walrus sing-along.
Stuff hung from vent operating handles... shit stuffed in overhead ventilation lines and the passageways looked like a Hindu village dump… Shoes, boots, foul weather gear… An odd coffee cup… books,  nudie magazines... you name it, we tripped over it.

Hell, I remember being in charge of berthing cleaners on several occasions! The rest of the fellas gave me the nickname "Berthing Nazi" and I took it on with pride!!!  From 0800 to 1100 hours it was time for berthing cleaners... and though I didn't usually take much seriously, berthing cleaners was one thing I didn't mess around with... Gotta scrub them heads and make them beds.... anybody remember the ol' Golden Broom Award'??? Yeah, I think I won about a dozen of them.

But it never lasted long I tell ya...   After maybe an hour the heads & beds germinated, hatched and blossomed forth with all sorts of funk and aroma...  no amount of cleaning could overcome the point where you could throw your socks at your bunk curtains and they would stick like Velcro ... If it wasn't for Aqua Velva, Baby Powder & some ol' Spice, we would have been overcome by the smell... no human being should have to live like we did, but we always made the best of it!!! 

For a bunch of young redblooded American hetrosexual, testosterone-loaded crackerjacks who had spent the better part of their time six on and six off between berthing and watchstanding... we made the best of all things underway!!!

It takes a real man to sustain himself after weeks and sometimes months of listening to the fella' next to you snoring like a gaudamn baby ape... or not getting mad when one of your trusty shipmates farts into the vent of your rack with the air on...  or the occasional belch from the fella who just had chilly and onions for midrats... and that adoring son-of-a-bitch who shines the flashlight in your gaudamn eyes at 0'dark thirty, "oops" sorry you were the wrong wake up call... then the fella' getting up for watch is scratch'n his ass at eye level to your rack just to go to the head while leaving his rack light on.... Needham, you asshole!!! 

On one particular ship (Rainier)... in one particular berthing (Ops)... with one particular third class Quartermaster (kinda rhymes with aerosol, ironically)... the most elemental forms of hygiene were disregarded or not even part of his vocabulary! I swear this son-of-a-bitch was so fascinated with Dinosaurs and 'Jurassic Park'... I think he was having fantasies of awkward sexual positions with Velociraptors!! God knows we alls thought he smelled like a gaudamned iguana in heat!!! 

If you want an idea of the smell, place some dead road kill under your mattress for about a week to simulate the special kinda relationship that existed between QM3 and the rest of the fellas in berthing!!!  It got so gaudamned bad that his QM1 had to personally walk him into the head and visually observe this grubby bastard take a shower twice a week while managing a schedule for him to make sure he was turning his laundry in... I think the XO was in fear of his locker once during a health & comfort inspection... they thought he was incubat'n some dinosaur eggs or something inside his standup locker!!!! 

and like I said... It's the same on every ship... on the Bagley we had some really stinky seamen just across the way, the Carl Vinson had Schwabb, the Momsen had 'Dirtybury & Steenburgen'!!! They're all of the same likes...

But even though it was sometimes hot as hell... stank like shit... and you felt cooped up in less mov'n around room than your gaudamn crawl space at home... it was our home... where we shared intimate moments of unforgettable camaraderie with the full spectrum of humanity!!! It was a cross section of middle America running from the exceptionally bright to the walking brain-dead!!! We all lived together in a seething caldron of raw, unvarnished manhood!! 

...  And when it was time for liberty call, we were happier than horseshit... rooting through our side lockers for the soap, toothbrushes, combs, and enough fufu juice to make the whole guadamn place smell like a French Whore House!!!  You couldn't make enough showers for these sons-a-bitches to get clean when the anchor was moored!!! 

It was time to change the linen by turn'n your mattress upside down and your nasty yellow pillow cases inside out... Yep these were the times of our young crackerjack lives!!! Wouldn't of missed em' for the world!!!


It's funny how Navy Retirement strikes a cord that can trigger an onslaught  of colorful memories. One thing that comes to mind as I take a stroll down memory lane...all those iniquitous barmaids we so loved and treasured throughout the years!  

Nothing was more enticing to a young crackerjack sailor in search of amusement and gratification than a young courtesan barmaid on female pheromonial steroids with high heals, net stalkings and a St Paulies Girl Bustier that made a set o' tits stand out like two moons fight'n over the night sky!!

My first engagement with these naughty harlots would have been within walking distance of the ship's mooring lines in San Diego! Many of the barmaids were of the Filipina variety and it had seemed they had come from the islands after spending many of their teen years sitt'n around lurid bars enticing sailors into buying drinks and paying bar fines for a night of erogenous intimacy. With this vivid bar seen occupying 99% of their employment skills they fit in quite well at the local establishments like the ol' Scuttlebutt, Sports Bar & the infamous Trophy Lounge! I hear you can still spot the same barmaids in the same lingerie outfits from twenty years ago in the same building sagging just a few inches lower than before.

But you see, barmaids come in all forms, colors, shapes, ages & sizes! And if you treated them like decent ladies… they'd lean over the table & park them soft warm titties on your shoulder while refill'n that cheap five dollar pitcher of Bud, Miller, or Rainier's finest brew! Yep, these were the same gals who would make sure their regulars always had an ice cold brew in front of them at all times and made it into a taxi and delivered to the gaudamn pier so they could arrive alive the next day at morning quarters!!

Long ago on the night after payday, the strip outside the main gate at PSNS Bremerton, Wa. was one-stop shopping for suds, sex and plenty of pawn shops.  El Camino's was a crackerjack sailor's paradise. You could get a belly full of beer for five dollars, a somewhat acceptable meal, a game of pool, dance with a few wicked women, or get a quickie in the backseat of the parking if your standards were low enough!

But first and foremost was an ornery ol' gal serving suds with a bit of piss & vinegar named Gladys. She was the head barmaid and took no shit! She could wrestle the biggest meanest son-of-a-bitch down with one hand while balancing a tray of budweiser with the other! Yep, she was the Mama-san of the ol' El Camino establishment. If you didn't know Dick was the owner you'd swear it was Gladys's joint! It was her house and everyone knew it. Barmaids came and went but she was a main stay for years...

I wonder what happened to those ol' sailor hangouts within walking distance of the front gate? Where did all those hole in the wall taverns go enlightened with neon beer signs & dance floor disco balls with playboy pinups laminated above every bathroom urinal? Where does a group of drunken sailors go to buy a round of cold brewskis these days?  Where do you take newly frocked petty officers & toast to their earnings?

There's a place called the Horse & Cow full of Bubbleheads and Submarine mementoes but nothing from the ol' days back on sixth street in downtown Bremerton...and surely not within walking distance of the front gate!

Where do you take a son to show em' your ol' hangouts from back in the day? Where can you go to see ol' photos of the boys drink'n it up & pinch'n the barmaid on the tail end of yesterday! Where do you go on Halloween night to find a bartmaid wear'n lingerie and a white hat? Or a barmaid that will come to your table, hike up her skirt and let you tuck a few dead presidents into her panties and get a kiss? So...while many of our ol' high school buddies were off to college pledging some crazy fraternity, we were gett'n an education in bars our mothers would never approve of with iniquitous barmaids whose tits were so big you couldn't fit 'em both in the same zip code!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

‘Surprise … Surprise’

I've got a bit of regalement for ya'…

One of GOD's most delightful creations, is women!!  I love women... love to look at 'em, love to smell 'em, love to listen to their sexy voices... used to like to touch 'em…  but now I'd get my tally whacker cut off if I did being all married and such!!! Women... all ages, stages, shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Tall ones, short ones, round ones, thin ones... you name it… I’ve loved them all!!!

Now as a young crackerjack on the ol’ USS ‘Baglady’ I’d heard many a tale about this place in Northern ‘San Dog’ called ‘Blacks Beach’… a swank lil’ sandbox where you could walk around all day long with your wanker hang’n low!!! Now I ain’t much to look at nowadays all knowing why they call it middle aged… cause all your weight ends up in the middle!!! But back in my early twenties I was quite the handsome little devil!!! 

When a feller at that age hears about a nudist beach… you can bet your silly ass he’s gonna try to figure out a way to be there in a hurry… especially if there are pretty little California Beach Bunnies wondering around. So on the first weekend liberty we got a chance… myself and Ed the ‘Marlboro Man’ Willis headed up the coast look’n for this place. When we came to a point we thought we’d found it… and with no reason to doubt ourselves…  it was off with the ol’ skin coverings!!!

So we commenced a strutt’n down the beach shaken what are momma’s gave us as we spotted two young ladies down the way. Both were lay’n front down on a couple of beach towels all oiled up with their tops off. They were both definitely women and both heavenly delectable so Ed and I definitely were start’n to have a bit of a testosterone fit… noth’n like pitching a tent on the beach when there’s no tent to pitch… it ya know what I mean!!!  We slowed down to get a better look but one of the gals pops up with a surprised look on her face and squeals,

“What the hell you boys think your doing??”

I asserted we were just taken a stroll on the beach.

"Why the Fuck sakes are you naked??”

I uttered somewhat baffled that since it was a nude beach we were gonna do it ‘butt nekkit’!! Both of them gals about laughed their asses off… talk about awkwardness…  and commenced to tell’n us we were on the wrong gaudamned beach to be doing that shit!!!

Needless to say we both turned a few shades of red and tailed back leaving that gaudamned beach behind. We spent the rest of the evening gett’n trashed at Pacific Beach and tried to avoid any nude beaches for some time.

It wasn’t until a few many years later I stumbled onto this place somewhat abruptly… One evening while temporarily detached down in ‘San Dog’ doing some Brig Chaser training in Miramar… from the Great Northwest, I had decided to take a jaunt in my government paid rental car to check out the La Jolla area of the Beach!!  As I approached the Torre Pines Road I noticed a sign that read ‘Torre Pines Gliderport’ for Hang Gliding… curious as I was I figured I’d park the hooptie and go check it out!!!

Well to no avail, there was not a gaudamned thing to see as the Gliderpark hung over a cliff a couple a hundred feet above an ocean front view… but I noticed a shoestring trail kinda haphazardly cut into the cliff on the way down to the beach… so I figured, ‘why the hell not???’  With gaudamned warning signs posted everywhere I proceeded with caution as I ponderously headed down the path!!! On every turn I could tell the cliff was pretty damned unstable and any wrong move could be a bad on. And finally I made it to the promise land… and ‘Holy Shit’ was it ‘Not’ what I expected!!! 

I found out real quick that after all these years I had just discovered  Blacks Beach!! I also discovered that nude beaches are full of people who shouldn’t be in the nude… cause I gotta tell ya… not everybody is good-look’n when they’re ‘butt nekkit’!!!

Most of these people were obviously throw back hippies… critchities & crotchities… elderly… ol’ leathered balls sagg’n… ol’ tethered boobies sagg’n…  ol’ gay couples toss’n Frisbees… and the rest of the works!!!

What I couldn’t figure out were all these ol’ f@#kers play’n the volleyball with their wankers flapp’n in all directions like a ‘Bruno’ movie!!! If you wanna go to a nude beach and watch a bunch of gaudamned geriatrics wanting you to join in a game of volleyball waiving there ant eaters around, then by all means… you’re fresh meat I say!!!

So I headed down aways to entertain what inquiring minds always wanna’ know… and to my bewilderment I find this ol’ gal right up on the surf like a gaudamned beached seal performing a bit of ol’ self-gratification to the genitalia in broad daylight!!! Not even on a nude beach would I ever expect such a sight!!! 

But I guess Life ain’t no damn singles bar… and I found out quicker than shit that nude beaches are no exception!!! And the water is so gaudamned cold there… I’d be afraid of super shrinkage!!!   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

‘Phrases and Things They Never Told You’

Before I entered the ol’ Canoe Club, there were a number of things I'd never heard of… During my enlistment, that list grew. One thing being a Crackerjack taught me… sure was a hell of a lot of ‘slang’ out there a kid never knew and a kid usually hears them all.

There were things they didn't tell you. Things like whether or not they’d be putting Saltpeter in the food when we got to Boot Camp to stifle the ol’ libido… or the moment of truth when they’d call your happy ass out for smoking all that wacky weed your recruiter told you to lie about… and several other thrilling adventures the devil and the US Navy combined talents to bring you.

I think the first reception I had to acronyms was the gaudamned word itself… Navy… ‘Never Again Volunteer Yourself’ or ‘Need Any Vaseline Yet’??? And that was before I got on the bus…

Then it was off to Great Lakes, more commonly referred to Great Mistakes by all the Crackerjacks in the area.  Making matters worse… all those Red Rope wear’n sons-a-bitches kept calling me Ricky!!

“Who the hell is Ricky and I ain’t carry’n no gaudamned Irish pennant… so what’s your beef?”

Then those same gaudamned Red Rope wear’n sons-a-bitches kept referring to my ‘Dick Skinners, ‘Dick Beaters’, and Meathooks!!!  I mean, what the hell gives…

The next morning… Bam!! Clang!! Dunga.. Dunga.. Dunga!!! The sound of a stainless steel trash can roll’n down the passageway between the racks…

“Drop your Cocks and grab your socks.. It’s reveille!!!”

Then it was nutt to butt… chest pressed to the back of the man ahead!!! Boy I started having second thoughts about that ‘soap on a rope’ my buddy Joe was tell’n me about before I left…

Subsequently after a hard day of marching, physical stress, and gett’n your ass handed to you by a gaudamned five’ foot noth’n Fillipino Red Roper spitt’n out his teeth… It was time for a Pump and Dump… a short five minutes to sit on the shitter and do your business if needed… but it was rarely long enough!!!

This was a situation to take issue with… usually meant that sorry son-of-a-bitch better not leave his coffee cup alone in his office for too long… he might get a little ‘Dirty-Dick’ on the rim!! Nothing like the taste of genitalia early in the morning to make your coffee sweet!!!

By the time I finished Boot Camp it was off across the street to Firecontrol ‘A’ School… by then I had learned a new acronym ‘FTN’ that would be F@#K The Navy for all you more settle readers out there. I think I learned this reading off a shitter door as it was wittled into the paint… probably by a disgruntled Crackerjack with the unfortunate task of clean’n the shitters and pissers.

 Then there was the little thing about ‘A’ School called Electronics… or in my case it was all ‘PFM’ or ‘Pure F@#K’n Magic’… Let’s begin with NPN, PNP, Mono-stable.. Bi-stable.. and Multi-stable Vibrators!!! I thought a guadamned vibrator was something a young gal used for self pleasure… but what the hell did I know at nineteen years of age…

Then there was the food… the most common might be the bug juice and panther piss… noth’n more than a variety ‘o’ flavors of generic kool-aid with enough gaudamned acid in it to eat away the oxidation on the steel head of an anchor!!

Then there was Geedunk for candy and soda… Horse Cock for large logs of bologna or kielbasa… S.O.S. ‘Shit on a Shingle’ for braised beef and gravy… Roast Beast for any unidentifiable meat… Rollers… Hockey Pucks… Trail Markers… Porcupines… Sliders… Flight Deck Buzzard, for any unidentifiable bird… and best of all ‘The Big Nasty’… your typical boxed banquet during Combat Quarters or ‘GQ’ to give you a good gut wrench for three or four hours… then it was another twenty or thirty minutes on the shitter read’n ‘FTN’ wittled on the walls again after securing from ‘GQ’… 

But I couldn’t conveniently leave out the nicknames of the ships… such as my first moniker… ‘The Baglady’ for the USS Bagley… or the ‘Chucky V’ for the USS Carl Vinson… what about the ‘Shitty Kitty’ for the USS Kitty Hawk… or the Stink’n Lincoln’ derogatory for the USS Abraham Lincoln. 

Along with those, nicknames carried on to the bases we home ported as well… ‘No F@#K Vagina’… ‘San Dog’ 32nd Street… along with ‘Chula Juana & Nasty City’… or ‘Penis Anus Naval Shipyard’ in Bremerton, Washington home of the Bremeloes… or overseas in ‘Gerbil Alley’ where it smells like goat ass in the hot Middle Eastern desert…

What's more, our lives wouldn’t be the same in our monotonous existence underway without our own taglines such as Turd Chaser… Skivvy Waiver… Sparky… Pecker Checker (also) Penis Machinist… Deck Apes… Gun Monkeys… Twidgets & Snipes… and many others as the list never ends… 

They also failed to mention water hours… Port & Report Watch Standing… and the constant smell of stinky feet and Walrus sing-a-longs in berthing… but that was covered in another story…

And worst of all, no one mentioned that Chief Petty Officers had no Gaudamned Sense of Humor…


Thursday, June 16, 2011

‘My How Times Have Changed’


Every Sunday my wife and I jump in the car and drive down to the local Navy Commissary to do our weekly shopping. Now I’ve been retired from the Navy for just over a year but I can’t help notice every time I look at the Navy Times there seems to be an article about some Commanding Officer on some USS Shipwreck getting relieved for some cockamamie hair brain excuse for misconduct…
Yeah it seems the reasons are pretty legitimate on the surface… personal misconduct, public drunkenness, fraternization, adultery, abusive behavior and other such misdemeanors of the like… but the question keeps being asked,

“Why are our Officers being put in Command positions failing us?”

Really?? Are you serious??? I’m no gaudamned Einstein but I don’t find this that hard to figure out. With the advent of Political Correctness over the last thirty years and the high operational tempo our Navy is being put through under the philosophy of do more with less… it was only a matter of time before the proverbial ‘shit hit the fan’

Sometimes I wonder if the sons-a-bitches running today’s Navy watched too many gaudamned 1950’s black & white War Movies mixed in with a few episodes of ‘Leave it to Beaver’… you know the ones where officers always have a pipe in their mouth on the Bridge and the crackerjacks are all clean cut and say things like,
"Gee whiz, fellas” … or ... “Golly Gee Willickers”

I think sometimes they forget what it’s like to live in the zoo down below we call a berthing… with a coffin locker the size of a grocery cart and little to no gaudamn privacy… you couldn’t even take a shit without some bastard trying to strike a conversation while your rubbing one off in the stall… What gives with that anyway. When I’m taking a dump I like to be left alone… not talk about size of that fat girls titties at the bar the night before… but I’m getting off track here!

I’ve pitched my bitches and complaints about the ‘PC’ Navy before…. It has become just what it was gaudamned intended to be! It’s an elaborate and treacherous pattern of censorship and cultural oppression exacted upon our sailors with the definitive purpose of manipulating, exploiting, brainwashing, and destroying our traditional way of life…

Now our sailors are only allowed to say what is safe to say… always following the assertions of what the Chain-of-Command expects no matter how wrong it might be… God forbid some sorry son-of-a-bitch says something that might be embarrassing to the Navy…

Even now as I speak we can see reverse discrimination in our Navy where often less qualified personnel are admitted in the guise of affirmative action… Hey if you think it doesn’t exist then you’re a fool… why else do they hold these statistics in Recruiting… 
“We have to make sure there are a fair share of every minority group in every statistical bracket so we don’t look like a bunch of ‘Right Wing’ Bigots!”

It’s one thing to be thoughtful, respectful, and have good manners… I get the whole ‘Honor’ ‘Courage’ and ‘Commitment’ thing. But it’s a whole different ball of wax to be forced to do and say things that are way out in left field in order to comply with the subjective precepts of a failed and fearful organization…

I’ll say this…

Having a damn good memory can sometimes be a curse and sometimes a wonderful God-given gift. There were sunrises and sunsets, rolling seas, visits to exotic places, and ladies with loose panties & low hanging brazeers. It was a time when the world’s population revered the American Sailor… Liberty in port meant good times, hell-raising and calling in extra barmaids at the local watering hole when the ship was in-port.

The Chain-of-Command would put their butt on the line to protect their people… now they put their people on the line to protect their own ass! Our top officers were professionals first and commanded respect… now they are a bunch’a gaudamned political ‘pussies’ trying to find out how to move up into the next rank!!!

There was a time when we were loud and proud… We had a right to be. We danced with the devil's mistress and all her naughty daughters. We were young, testosterone-driven red blooded Crackerjacks… and we apologized to nobody…

If we wanted cheap beer and interesting conversation we’d head down to the ‘EN Club’ and get as plastered as we wanted to be… and if you got too gaudamned shitty you could always count on your shipmates to get you back to the ship so you could sleep it off!

Now the ‘EN Clubs’ are all but gone… and if they find out you’re getting drunk off duty then you must have a drinking problem and they slap your happy ass into rehab and ruin your gaudamn career…

During the days gone by we called the enemy ‘Commie Bastards’,‘Reds’, Gerries, ‘Japs’, ‘Zipperheads’, ‘Gooks’ and all other sorts of other slanderous names…

Now we call them ‘Opposing Forces’ and ‘Aggressors’ so we don’t offend anybody…

Now everything has become extremely complicated and requires three years of sensitivity training… how the hell are we ever gonna have time to fight a ship???

'Shore Patrol’

Anyone pull a night of Shore Patrol in this ol’ fella’s Navy? You see, the duty of the Shore Patrol was to keep shipmates outta trouble by walking the bars, brothels & massage parlors up and down the towns in foreign ports around the world!! It was our duty to keep’m outta the hands of the local magistrate and tuck them in at night when they’d had a little too much rum and rambling going on!!  We were charged with the ability to perceive and eliminate any threat from the shores of the Good ol’ US of A to the outer reaches of the Pacific Rim!!!
I remember the first time brandishing the infamous 'SP' armband with the shiny black police baton looking hard and tough! That ol’ arm band was worn on many a duty night while dealing with a mixed bag of people from all walks of life!!  I heard a story once of a couple of shore patrollers bagg’n a drunk for punch’n the shit out of a gaudamn urinal after taking a long piss!!  When shore patrol pulled the feller outta the bar kick’n & scream’n with a bloody fist he exclaimed...

“The gaudamn thing pissed back on me so I punched it!”
Little did he know it was one of them fancy schmancy urinals with the automatic flushing dipity doos and as soon as he tucked his tally whacker away the water started splashing around. He about lost his gaudamn mind!!!
But I’ve gotta say I’ve been on both sides of that fence and it can get pretty hairy either way you look at it…grass is always greener over there!!!
As a young’n in San Diego and leaving the nightclub with a couple of lady friends we headed to our car but were accosted by a group of inebriated sailors! Apparently they were unhappy with the rejection of their advances to my lady friends!!  Needless to say one of them had made a snide remark toward one of the ladies and I had to defend her honor and get between them!! Just as I started to speak the fella took a swing at me and hit her car door!! As I lunged toward him I felt a heavy...


... across the backside of my left ear and head as I fell to my knees and dropped to my hands! Just as I was near passing out I noticed little sparkling gems of broken glass all over the ground and a baton wrapped across my throat with my hands pulled behind me!! Next thing I knew I was being pulled up by the arms and a dozen or so people came over to explain to shore patrol that I was the victim, not the perp!!!
The next day I woke up with a splitt’n headache and a ring’n eardrum!  I reported the incident to my supervisor who sent me to medical but when he investigated the state of affairs, shore patrol headquarters had no record of any such reports from the night before!!  Just goes to show you, even in the Navy it’s about covering your ass!!!
In another account I was at the nightclub with my good ol’ buddy Shawn when outta no where shore patrol popped in and yanked him outside inquiring about his military ID! Had he not been smart enough to show it to them he might a gotten away with the situation, but they didn’t like his haircut and hauled his ass into headquarters where they took his mugshot and gave him a good ol’ fashion buzzcut!! The next day at morning quarters, the Chief shows up with a blown up profile of Shawn demanding...

“If anyone has seen this Six Foot Cockatoo please report him to the Master-At-Arms!”
Then there was the case in Alameda, CA when a couple of us drunken delinquent types decided to bounce the backend of a nightclub bouncer’s Toyota 4X4 into the middle of the road for kick’n our little happy asses outta the club! Needless to say shore patrol caught us in the act and we took off like a herd of gazelle scattering in every gaudamn direction!! We made it back to the boat that night without gett’n caught but I woke up the next morning with a boot full of up’chuck from our previous antics!!!
But as luck would have it, what usually goes around comes around. Call it Karma or whatever the hell you want but it’s a lesson I learned over and over…  As a petty officer in the Navy you are given a certain amount of responsibility rather you want it or not! To any half-wit sailor you are a petty officer on shore patrol and should be avoided at all costs!! Just ask a good buddy of mine that ended up pulled outta Cabo Wabo in Cabo San Lucas... That little gem of an antic put Cabo Wabo off limits for the rest of our port visit!!!

But I found that while on shore patrol in the beach bars of Baja Mexico the lady tourists just loved a man in uniform! I became the picture boy for many a drunken tourist at the infamous Squid Roe!! I also ended up without a cover and plenty of red lipstick on my collar when I reported back aboard!!! 
But I didn’t fare as well in Phuket Thailand when I saved a couple of USS Cowpens shipmates from gett’n cuffed and stuffed by the local Provost!  Those sons-a-bitches cost me a helluva lot of conniving & bullshit
two-stepp’n to get their asses back to the ship and out of the hands of the local yocals!! Those guys have little to no tolerance for mouthy drunken squids!! Apparently one of the fellas had mistaken a local gal for a hooker and couldn’t keep his gaudamn hands off her!! I had a whole lotta explaining to do the next day to the Strike Group Commander as to ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ what happened!! I just hoped to never run into that kind of situation again... Don’t’ know what the hell happened to those two….!!!
Then there was the instance as a Chief doing the duty incognito in the new Shore Patrol polo shirt with khaki pants! They don’t like us roaming around in uniform anymore. While touring the strip in Tumon Bay, Guam my Shore Patrol cohort and I took a gander into the infamous ‘Club USA’!! While my compadre went to investigate a couple of shipmates in the corner gett’n their bare asses whipped with a leather belt by one of them lovely go-go dancers I took a direct path to the head where I had to wait my turn to use the shitter!!!

As I waited intensely while squeez’n a turtle head one of my younger shipmates came out of the shitter stall all drunk and happy to see me! Not like I wanted his shit stained hands all over me or anything… while I was sitt’n on the toilet releasing the tension of my load…. I noticed there was not shit paper!!

IC2, get me some napkins, or something when you get out there so I can wipe my ass!"

“No problem Chief, I’ll be right with ya!”
So I finish my business while waiting for my shipmate.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting!! The son-of-a-bitch left me hanging in there…and I had to use sink water and my hand to wipe my ass thanks to that asshole… oh, he was on my shit list after that to say the least… lesson here, never piss off a Chief in a Go-Go lounge with shit in his hand while he’s standing shore patrol… Nough Said!!!
I just thank the ol’ man upstairs I wasn’t standing watch on that late night liberty zoo launch where the drunk’n seaman puked on the host countries flag while upchuck’n over the side.  Boy, was that one hell-of-a ride!!!

'The Art of Mooring'

Ever wonder just how much one of them grey hulled Navy ships cost the tax payers? For a destroyer maybe a few billion green backs... maybe?!? You'd a figured with such a large investment of the king's ransom so to speak a lot of extra care would be taken to haul them things into the pier... well you'd be surprised!!!

You see in the Navy we call this exercise the art of mooring! For those of you crackerjacks who never stood sea & anchor detail, it entailed using giant ropes, or what we called 'lines' in the Navy to pull the big hunk of metal to the dock when we pulled in port!! Sorta like tying up a fish'n boat but on a much greater scale!!!

At some point out in the great blue yonder the Skipper figures it's time to call away the Sea & Anchor Detail over the 1MC! At that point the Deck apes all headed topside to the forecastle and all the twidgets and gun monkeys to the fantail!! Once everyone mustered with the Chief, all the 'T' wrenches, smoke floats, heaving lines, and monkey fists were coiled and faked on deck for the up coming evolution that usually didn't happen for another gaudamn three to four hours in the ice cold rain or blistering heat!!!

Once alongside the pier and the word was passed 'over all lines' it became a personal challenge to the manhood of all worthy seaman with a heavie in hand to toss that damn monkey fist straight at the poor son-of-a-bitch idly waiting on the dock! We were lucky not to knock anybody off his keister!! This was the point when all the funny shit started to happen!!!

When I was a young blue shirt on the Bagley my compadres gave me the pleasure of tossing the heavie over to the pier! After two or three tries I finally got the son-of-a-bitch to the other side!! Once the fella on the pier got our line strapped around the bollard my compadres kept yelling to him to dip the eye of the other end of the line once we got it across!! Of course being wet behind the ears I had no gaudamn clue what they were talking about nor did the young fella on the pier!! When he asked... I not wanting to look stupid, told him to drop the line in the water... hence dipping the eye!!!

All those sons-a-bitches just busted out laughing at me! Then the Chief proceeded to chew my ass with veins popping out each side of his neck and explain to me that dipping the eye means reach'n through the noose, grab the line and pull it through the eye so it will fit over the bollard and pull tight!! Of course I didn't live that one down for months!! Who would've thought I'd be the Chief on the fantail one day!!!

Once the mooring lines were over, the tugs and the 'OOD' would maneuver the ship into its ideal position next to the pier! If you recall my story 'Another Bird of a Feather' you'd remember how the shit hit the fan when FC2 Henry caused the bridge to lose control of the ship!! I tell you the gaudamn mooring lines were smoking!! We watched videos in Navy Bootcamp of this stuff... sailors gett'n their legs chopped off at the knees by those mooring lines!! That's some scary shit...!!!

But it's not over until it's over! The point of being a cracker jack sailor is going out to sea!! And most of us young rowdy types were hungover at best if not still three shits to the wind and barely hanging on!! Once while pulling out of Majuro of the Marshall Islands we had just brought all lines onboard and called 'Underway!! Shift Colors' when the tug on our starboard bow lost control!! All of the sudden the ship thrust forward and began to pick up speed...

The next thing I know one of the line handlers was yell'n,

"The ol' man is gonna park her on the pier!"

All the gaudamn natives were running like hell while everyone on the fantail was duck'n down low and hanging on for dear life bracing themselves for one hell-uva crash! And what a hell-uva crash it was!! There was a terrible hellish reverberation of the rumbling hull and splintering wood off the quay wall as the fantail raised about ten feet in the air and it seemed as though we had road the ass end of the ship up on the beach!!!

We were gaudamn lucky the screws didn't catch the quay wall or our happy asses would've been sitt'n pier side in the Marshall Islands waiting for a new screw in the mail!!!

Hours later we were down in the skin of the ship taking pictures of the dented hull poking through the lagging with the 'DCA' saying something of the effect...

"Yep, it's a Destroyer alright!"

To this day I don't know how the hell we made it through that ordeal! From my recollection the Deck Apes said something about the tug capsizing when it lost control... we all wondered if the Navy was gonna have to pay reparations for one tug boat and the whole gaudamn supply of alcohol from the island!! But it didn't matter because the next few days were full of the exhilaration and high of  sweet fresh salt air and fantasies of coming home... the feeling you get that last couple of weeks just before pulling in from a long deployment...euphoric!! Once you feel it you never forget it! Next...

"Look Out Pearl, cause here we come!!!"