Now how many of you ol’ Crackerjacks out there remember pulling the ol’ four hour Roving Patrol Watch?!? That was the best Gravy Train on the Watchbill! You got to roam the passageways your entire watch shoot’n the shit with all your cohorts while armed like a bandit wandering the decks!!!
You’d walk the entire ship, spending plenty of time in the crews lounge or up on the bridge playing with the helm, or hang’n out on the smoke deck! Ever so often the Section Leader might put up a sticky note for you to find or have you initial a placard or two when you showed up at certain security points!! But for the most part you were just lolligagg’n and skylark’n like most shipmates do best!!!
You see the whole idea was to keep a good eye around the ship just to make sure your sorry ass checked in about every thirty minutes or so with the OOD at various times! But you didn’t want to be the one who didn’t show up to the Quarterdeck on time!! That would be an all out fail…
Yep… the dreaded ‘Security Alert’ would get called away! You didn’t want to get caught day dream’n four feet away or watching the BooB Tube down in the lounge when you should’a been making your rounds!! Damn… especially if it was after TAPS!!!
But it happened time and again! I’d been late on a few occasions! Lucky for me I was close enough to the Quarterdeck running my ass off that the OOD saw me coming and declined to call Security Alert away!! But when you didn’t make it, it was as if you’d turned the planet on it’s corner and all the fellas wanted to bury you for making them have to get outta there comfy positions and play chase the bad guy for fifteen minutes!! Yeah, it was one hell of a way to endear yourself to your shipmates!!!
I sure wasn’t the only unlucky sumbitch out there! This scenario happened at least every other day import!! I remember one particular duty day on the Ol’ USS Baglady… The night was warm and humid, full of hormones and a serious lack of promise, and not much judgment! I’d just went to the sink from the rain locker in the forward head brushing my teeth when all the sudden…
“Security Alert… Security Alert!”
… sounded over the 1MC!
“Reason for security alert, Rover failed to report!”
Then out of the shitters… pull’n his dungaroos up like it’s know one’s business and a ripped up ol’ nekkit girlie magazine that looked like it’d made it’s rounds through anchor windless a dozen times…
“Hey shipmate… don’t forget your holster & weapon hang’n off the door!”
This is where the said ‘Rover’ started running towards the Quarterdeck as exuberantly as a pyromaniac starts fires!! Then after gett’n his but chewed by the CDO… the poor son-of-a-bitch had to face the Chief Section Leader! Back in those days Chiefs were the kind’a fellas that could probably tear the hind leg off of Godzilla!!
“Son, if your thoughts were any shallower I’d suspect your brain pan of being a cookie sheet! You’re a gauddamned case of Darwinian reversal... you dipshit!”
“Sorry Chief… I was just taking a dump and lost track of time!”
“Yeah I’m sure that’s all you were doing in the shitter… not sure rather to be amused or annoyed!”
The things My Chief used to say… funny, irreverent, caustic, and usually right on the money! And we fell prey in an exhilarating sense by being where we weren’t supposed to be at the right place and time!! Yes those were the days… I don’t guess we saved the world or cured cancer… but it was a pretty gauddamned good run anyways!!!