Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year My Friends!!!

Did you ever go home on holiday leave and get in a no shit argument at the  dinner table with an uncle or a sibling and tell them to ‘Go Fuck Themselves’  and never know you said it…until your dear ol’ mother told you an hour later?!?


Friday, December 18, 2015

Five Ancient Mariner Truisms Every Sailor Should Live By



If you get dumped, don't worry! Women are like streetcars; a new one comes along every ten minutes…

Never get married! It's cheaper to buy a house every ten years and give it to some woman you hate...

Never date a chick with big hands! It makes your willy look small…

Never buy something that floats, flies or f--ks. Rent it; it's cheaper…

Stick it to ‘The Man’ whenever you can!”

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

'Wog Uniform Of The Day'

Officers and CPO’s – Right foot – black sock, brown shoe; Left foot – white sock, black shoe; under – shorts; white shirt (completely buttoned) on backwards; black tie on forward; khaki cap cover without frame!!!

Enlisted E6 & Below – Blue trousers on backward with flap open; white jumper on backwards; shower shoes; watch cap; left trouser leg rolled up to the knee and left leg cleanly shaven from the deck to the knee cap!

Marines – Right foot – field boot; Left foot – low cut shoe; no socks; under shorts; pancho; overseas cap worn sideways!

1400 – Quarters for muster – Pollowogs in Uniform of the Day!

1405 – Officers Call – Pollywogs in Uniform of the Day!

1415 – Set Pollywog watches – 4 Sections, 1 hour per Section!

1815 – Secure Pollywog Watchstanding!

1835 – Admiral Davy Jones arrives with summons; (8 bongs, “Davey Jones arriving”, 11 Gun Salute)!

Pollywog Watches will be relieved every 60 minutes when the word is passed! Uniforms and duties are as set forth for Shellbacks! Special Groups will be called away by the OOD and will be in prescribed Uniform!

OOD (Shellbacks)

Uniform of the Day as prescribed by Shellbacks!

JOOD (Pollywogs)

Uniform of the Day as prescribed for Pollywogs with khaki trousers rolled halfway up knees!

All other Watches (Pollywogs)

Uniform of the Day as prescribed for Pollywogs with foul weather trousers and battle helmet with flak vest!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

'The Kinder & Gentler Navy'

An ol’ Crackerjack’s recollection begins to run aground after so many years! I contemplated with much thought and figured I should know the instance quite clearly, but the edges went dull and I don’t always nail it down as well as I used too!! I should have written this down many years ago… but thanks to a few shipmates, I was able to put some pieces together!!!

As I ring the bell to this little 'yarn' I don't pretend to be totally accurate! It’s an accumulation of thoughts from a fuzzy ol’ analog brain with that rolodex style hard drive… pages all fuzzy and run together from copious amounts of alcohol poured together over the years!!  Without the benefit of official transcripts on said event, I made an effort to be reasonably truthful… So buckle up and bear with me!!!

The USS Rainier, Lucky N°7, was a brand new sea going vessel! As opposed to anything most of us formerly grew up on, she was like one of those Norwegian Cruise Liners with the ‘All you can Eat’ buffets, mints on your pillow with dozens of little perky busted twenty somethings running around like some kind of seagoing Mardi Gras!! It had the potential for fan room pandemonium if you know what I mean!! It sure beat the Vienna Sausage Luaus we used to call Steel Beach Picnics!!!

Point being, it was a new time in the Navy with wimmins and stuff… and the Inspections were no different! I call them inspections, but they were now referred to as Assessments!! What’s the difference you ask?!? I remember Chief Lyell telling me…

“Well, it’s this new thing called Political Correctness! It’s part of this new ‘Kinder & Gentler’ Navy we’re trying to breed!”

“Well what is this Political Correctness you speak of Chief?”

“Well, it’s like our Navy is going through some sort of Homosexual Conversion!”

I suppose ‘Assessments’ sounded a bit less terrifying than ‘Inspections’!!!

As a new ship, there was a lot we had to prove upon commissioning! Acceptance Trials, Light Off Examinations, INSURV and all sorts of stuff, we had to get through just to make it to homeport!! That’s a lot of wading knee deep in fire hoses, OBAs & hot sweaty ass ensembles doing hours of drills and upkeep!! Nevertheless, the crew kind of felt like it earned its due!!!

Now after a short dry dock and gett’n the Government’s hard earned shipalts & conversions, that’s Navy talk for gett’n spade & neutered… out of the way, we were ready for workups! Now workups prior to deployment have been around for ages… but they didn’t go unscathed… as those REFTRA Inspections turned into CART, TSTA, & FEP Assessments!! They devolved into some kinda rub-a-dub-dub fill me with love graduation handshakes & back messages… with backdoor deals being made with the Commodore and such!!!

We were on station, somewhere in the Straits of Juan de Fuca off the northern coast of Washington State! It was sort of cold that time of the year cutting circles in the water!! We were doing one concentric circle after another in an invisible ‘OP’ Box with nothing much to see but mountain tops and small swells… and an occasional whale!! The reason for these concise circles in a Box was the onboard ‘TSTA’ with the Afloat Training Group!!!

Now I don’t rightfully know the full story, and I didn’t happen to be a fly on the wall when it all came about… but we had a good crew doing its level best to keep us going in the right direction! The monotony of drill after drill try’n to please these ATG fellas was getting tiresome as it became the same shit different day routine!! So needless to say it was insult to injury when those sons-a-bitches weren’t giving us the benefit of the doubt!!!

I did a lot of years in the ol’ Canoe Club and one thing that always amazed me was the three ways of gett’n things done… the wrong way, the right way, and the Navy way… circles in a box, square pegs & round holes… did you see what I did there?!? Never mind…!! We’d been told time and again even by the same ATG prior to commissioning how we were doing it all the right way… but apparently it wasn’t the Navy way… Nope!!!

Then somewhere between the last Main Space Fire Drill and the word getting passed to put the RHIB in the water, our Skipper, ol’ T.P. Danaher, had a word or two with those ATG fellas! You could see his face was red and veins were sticking out his neck!!

"Those miserable, good-for-noth’n sons-a-bitches!"

"The hell with them! Put the boat in the water!! They can ferry home!"

… and like a set of neutered hamsters, they weren’t going to complain until they got ashore! Now anyone who has been to the Northwest knows it’s a good hour drive from Port Townsend to PSNS Bremerton!! That’s after the one hour wait for the ride to get there!!!

I remember one of the Chiefs in combat saying…

“Those ATG pansies are noth’n but a bunch of Soprano squelching Eunuchs!”

Most of us recognized it was horse shit! But we couldn't help noticing it was just a sign of the times!! From there we could see the handwriting on the wall once the Skipper kicked those fellas off the ship… this was not going to end well for us!!!

At morning quarters, the entire wardroom seemed at aaah from the Skipper’s challenge to ATG and by proxy the Commodore! Like Ricky Ricardo used to say…

“Lucy!!! You got some splain’n to do!”

One of the radio guys mention that a message went out…

“The Captain asked us to relay his abhorrence and rancor to the assessors involved if we happened to meet them again!”  

I can neither confirm nor deny such tomfoolery, but truth be told … I think the ol’ Skipper and reality had filed for divorce on that one!!!

I figure somewhere along the line they had a 0200 hour meeting in the Weirdroom on Rainier Foreign Policy with the new and mutated Afloat Training Group so that we could better Gundeck our situation and keep in good spirits with the one and only Lord & Savior ‘King Neptune’ himself and of course Davey Jones and his merry band of ATG idiots!!!

This Ol’ Canoe Club sure has evolved over the years… I suppose some for the better and some for the worst! It’s all in perspective I suppose!! Now they insist on a crew of highly trained, extremely smart folks who conduct themselves in a mature manner… I still say behind closed doors that’s damned near impossible but what the hell do I know!!!

And somewhere along the way our old defiant ways got replaced with the more ‘Kindler & Gentler’ Navy crap Chief Lyell was tell’n me about all those years ago! I guess we all knew it was coming… slowly chipping away… you didn’t have to be Dick Tracy to figure it out!! You know we gotta keep the politically correct rubes gurgling with delight!!!

… Just another day at work for Forces Adrift I always say …


Friday, December 11, 2015

‘Got The Shaft’

The say we’re all stupid, worthless, and dense!
I gotta agree, we ain’t real couth gents!
We’re always flat broke, from the broads and the beer!
But when payday comes around, we’re full of good cheer!

The Spring Bearings hot, they may lock the shaft!
Feed pump crapped out, we’re wrapping up aft!
Seems like disasters come back to back!
Been 36 hours in… I still ain’t seen my rack!

Water went salty, and Evaps on the rag!
Laundry broke down dirty clothes in a bag!
At Quarters a complaint about my hair!
Sure the barbershop’s open, who’s got time to go there!

Eight hours on watch, and eight on turn too!
So us ball bust’n guys have got plenty to do!
With all the breakdowns in old antique gear!
Didn’t we fix that four time last Year?

Liberty went down, but there’s lots left to do!
Like feed water, shore steam, and black oil too!
There’s bilges to clean and just enough time!
We’ll crawl out of there all covered in grime!

The machines have been fixed, the repairs are all made!
So much damned work, so little we’re paid!
While in the Navy, we’re just paid enough!
To cover insurance, allotments, and stuff!

I got a good hunch we ain’t seen the end!
There’s more work and breakdown around the next bend!
The hard luck trophy, it’s easy to see!
Will be given to both --------- M & B!

"Got the Shaft" was written by Roger Niswonger BTFN shortly after his ship went dead in the water when both of the evaporators crapped out in the war zone off Viet Nam!


Picture from ‘Cold Is The Sea Blogspot’… Author Unknown.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

‘ODD STUFF WE REMEMBER’

Here’s one sent by an old Coot from way back in the Fifties off an old FRAM Tin Can, the Dirty Duncan DDR 874…

This is just a funny anecdote to add to your collection of ‘No Shitters!’  In 52’ we were tied up in a nest in Sasebo, Japan loading supplies!! The crew as usual went on the beach and as you know we were not allowed overnighters since Japan was still occupied!!!

The next morning as all four destroyers were to leave port for Korea we were all blown away by a stunt that some crew members had pulled!! We were tied up next to the USS Brinkley Bass, DD 887, as well as the USS Stickell and the Isabel!!!

It appeared as though someone, probably with a snoot full of Nippon beer, got a water taxi to tie up to the stern of the Brinkley Bass! They had with them a can of haze grey and some brushes and proceeded to pain over the letter ‘B’ on both the first and last names of the ship!! Thus when she pulled out to sea she steamed out proudly as the USS Rinkley Ass!!!

The crew of the Bass was blamed for this and received restrictions on their next visit!  I don’t know who did it but I have my suspicions and I don’t think it was any of the Brinkley’s crew!! Lighter moments were not always well thought out as evident in these occurrences!!!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

'Sailors Got Talent'

It’s amazing what some of us ol’ salts had to do for amusement in the Ol’ Canoe Club! While plowing through the Seven Seas life can get pretty boring at times and every so often you got to do something to relieve the monotony!! Somewhere, somehow, someone down the road decided…

“What the hell!”

and started doing talent shows on the fantail!!!

I’m not talking about your run of the mill garden variety ‘Who’s Got Talent’ like you saw on that ‘Dirty Dancing’ flick with ‘Babys’ sister sing’n the Hula Hana or Spongebob’s Squidward doing his best rendition of Horatio Hornblower! And I’m sure many of you non nautical types imagine squeaky clean Crackerjack qualified liberty hounds doing the Copacabana by Barry Manilo!! NO… it was noth’n of the sort… well, for the most part anyhow!!!

A good ol’ talent show on the fantail could be one helluva premier event during a six month Westpac! There’d be bands playing, Dunk The CMC, Barnacle Bill The Sailor Burlesques, Men doing the Victoria Secret Runway Show, and other skits, spoofs & lampoons of whatever floated your fancy!! It was the one time you could take a shot at anyone and get away with it... No subject or person was off-limits!!!

Some of the talent was pretty good too…

There was some kind of selection process they put you through to see who was flamboyant enough to have talent! Guys lacking flippity flap  razz-a-ma-tazz stage worthy ability, bed wetters,  whiners, and anyone who entertained the slightest desire to be stationed on shore duty need not apply!! The system, Gauddamn it, sorted out the truly gritty & gifted and packed the rest to stand watch elsewhere… unless you had a sense of humor… then you got to partake in the audience!!!

For last place you got garden trowel castration! Second to last you’d be locked up butt nekkit in an enclosed space with every gal on ‘The View’ for a week… or two!!  Never mind… I think I’d rather be castrated or even put through a rectal Cobra insertion exercise before dealing with the Crew on the View!!!

I was wrapping myself around a cup of joe at the CSC console in CIC when the TAO came up, put his hand on my shoulder…

“Chief, you need to lay to the flight deck when you get a chance for relief!”

… Unfortunately the show was over by the time I’d made it topside! But I got a grandstand view on video of the spectacle as a must watch just for me to see!! Apparently the Missile Officer, my Divo, mustered up a skit of me on the Nordic Elliptical doing his best Tony Little rendition on the Gazelle!!!  

“Whew… WoW… YeeHaw… You Can Do It… You Can Do It!”

I had never laughed so gauddamned hard in all my life! He looked like a total buffoon jumping up, down, back & forth like a damned Dallas Cheerleader on Crystal Meth…

“Whew… OOH Yeah… I’m gonna get it… I’m gonna Power Through This… Whew!”

I mean, who writes this shit anyway?!? The dialog… the bantor… I gotta say, those technical skills… they were amazing!! I must be one helluva Acrobatic Exhibitionist to do some of that stuff!!!

One of the greatest gifts of partaking in the ol’ Canoe Club are all those memories and the rogue rapscallions you shared them with! Killing Time underway … we got pretty damned good at it!!!  


Friday, November 13, 2015

'Doing God's Work'

When I was a young Crackerjack on Westpac some of my shipmates would go with the Navy Chaplain into the village to do God’s work! One old coot told me how one day some of our shipmates came back to base in Subic after a few days in a nearby provincial town. The sailors headed straight to the Chaplain and said…

"Hey Chaps, you would have been proud of us, we did a very good and Christian thing!"

“What was that?”

…asked the Chaplain.

"We tore down a damn brothel!"

The Chaplain raised a suspicious eyebrow as he knew these swabbies well and was surprised!

"You did that did you?"

… asked the Chaplain!

"Yes Sir… Nobody should be allowed to charge prices like they did and get away with it!"


Thursday, November 5, 2015

‘Good Gawd I Love This Place’

Now sit right back young tadpoles and Ol’ Salts as I tell a tale of a thousand islands and a thousand dreams! Once a very long, long time ago, in a place very far, far away there was a Utopian Paradise where every yearning a Crackerjack craved could be satisfied to their fullest desires!! This was unlike anywhere in the States where the battle of the suffragettes raged and every butch-dyke feminist with spike hair had a default envy and distain for all tally-whackers and hollered raucously swearing she caught you staring at her tits!!!

Yes, this was the Shangri-La, Nirvana, or Heaven to most! A place of iniquitous Eden!! A place I would recommend to any man deprived of his sexual fantasies!! I’m talking about those unrestrained fantasies, and light hearted perversions if you catch my drift… Yes I’m talking about the Islands of the Philippines!!!  

At Twenty-one, I was quite the specimen of robust sexual prowess! And what better place was there than the PI, a wonderful place of nautical myth and legend to have as your first Overseas Liberty Port!! I’d sat and heeded the tales of yore expressed in such splendor where lonely men refreshed their sacks of scrotal fluid in a land of ecstasy well noted as the Adult Disney World!!!

It was hotter than a whore’s ass on payday when we pulled in passed Grande Island! Liberty went down over the 1MC and all the grown men went nuts!! All of the sudden three hundred or so Crackerjacks were rush’n to the rain locker for that thirty second soap down & rinse, splash’n on the Old Spice, Speedstick and various other sorts of foo-foo juice to mask or hide the smells of thirty days at sea!!!   

Then off over the brow they went… straight across shit river convert’n them dollars to pesos like a paraded sausage fest heading into town! No matter, for every fella there was two or three Honey-Koe!! They all be hornier than a Sea Dog for sure that day!!!

I can still hear the growling of the multicolored Jeepneys whizbang’n by and smell that shitty combo of sewage and diesel! It’s an unforgettable sent, one that brings you straight back to that one single particular place!!!

For me it was time to test my mettle at butterflying my way up and down Magsaysay! Like a true Crackerjack Sailor, all the things worth living for in life were either immoral, illegal, and could probably put you in medical for some time with either an IV or a shot of penicillin!!!

On each side of the road women sat in front of the night clubs… tempting, sexy, and haughtily aware of their attraction to the other sex … us men! They knew what we wanted… that was their business, like a car salesman!! I once heard that Pizza and Sex are a lot alike… When it’s good, it’s really good… But when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!!!

So I swaggered my way until I found a place with plenty of music and pretty Honey-koe! I sat down and ordered a beer when along came this petite lil’ thing with lips that could suck the color out of a marble!! ‘DSLs’ they were referred too… you shipmates should be fluent in acronyms, after all the gauddamned Navy invented them!!!

She wasn't the most beautiful but she had a charm that could land her a customer on the dark side of the moon with a couple dozen Alien Johns from across the Galaxy stand’n by with a pack of smokes and a jug a mojo to boot! Let’s face it, a true Crackerjack you're not until you’ve been there and done that in the PI!! Her name was ‘Rosa’ which was a rather common name amongst bargirls… seemed every fifth gal had the name ‘Rosa!!’ She was probably in her mid-twenties but she could easily pass for a teenager… and her smile would have lit up any a dark room and that was all that mattered!!!

After a few hours and several San Migoos, we negotiated a bar fine with the Mama-san and headed across the street in one of them rent by the hour motel rooms! You know the ones… Sailors & Street girls must pay for room in advance… or something of the sort!?! Hey, it had mirrored ceilings and a couple of fans with a balcony and a cockroach named ‘Caoili’… gauddamned voyeur she was, watch’n us with her beady little eyes all night long!!!

So there we were in our Eden Pleasure Palace, things progressed at a fun and casual pace! I had a well thought out stash of condoms… flavored, ribbed, French ticklers of various colors all designed for any specific occasion!! Yes, my little Rosa was fun but she wasn’t innocent and she enjoyed the pleasure and excitement even if she’d seen more ceilings than Michelangelo… you know … from being horizontal all the time?!?

I was butt nekkit and sitting up and my little Rosa was butt nekkit and sitt’n on my lap! Her small brown frame was squeezing me so tight around the waist my legs were going numb! Sweat was running down the two of us like a deluge as she was panting like an Olympic runner’s last leg of a 400 meter race! It was a hot rainy night in Subic Bay, and the humidity level was at least 110%!!  It was just past midnight but she wasn’t going to stop now!! She had been riding the rod like a hot piston about to throw it through the engine block … just long enough to know that any time now I’d be a busting a nut!!!

She wasn’t your typical little brown fucking machine (Lbfm), make no bones about it!  And to Crackerjacks like me she was one giant clitoris in heat under the best of circumstances!! The giant speakers were pumping out of the club across the street giving this little ‘Lbfm’ all the rhythm she needed!!!

On that hot humid rainy night in Olongapo every time my little ‘Lbfm’ would drive down on my kielbasa, my knees would bounce up and the tips of my toes would curl in! She thought I was gonna erupt from all that grunting… but that wasn't the reason… at least not the whole reason!! I didn’t want to lose control and blow my stack too soon… so the grunts were a premise for keeping me going… a cadence if you will!!!

She was online and thrusting hard now and if she came down crooked she'd snap my pecker clean off but I'm past caring… Its Karma Sutra time and young Pinays have a way of bending that could cause early arthritis in a Garter Snake! Some salts beat the brow at the crossing… some don't, but they all signed on for the ride!! She couldn't see because her hair was in her face, and I couldn't see because sweat was burning my eyes… but we were doing a hundred miles an hour butt nekkit locked up in some deviant sexual gymnastic hold… you learn a lot about professional wrestling in these circumstances!!!

Something about those Pacific Island Fleshpots… so hot and sweet like warm molasses! The lust you can have for them and the way the play and flirt, they can seduce you in so many ways if not on your guard!! I pondered the ‘what ifs’ and how it might play out with a girl like that!!!

I also knew that play’n around in the nightlife of the Sodomites could hurt you real bad if you fell for it! Our own minds can deceive us in our fight to remain ‘butterfly’ from flower to flower… as some nectar is very sticky and can make you hang out too long!! A crusty ol’ Salt once said…

“A whiskey glass and a woman’s ass are the downfall of many a good Sailor man!”

After all, a hard-on doesn’t count as personal growth, if you know what I mean!!!

Just when you thought you had the system figured out, some lil’ thing comes along and twists & tugs on your heart strings and you realize you’re not immune to their devious little charms! That’s when you got to step back and make a double take… It’s best to stay free and easy and forever horny!!!

“Today I come before Neptune himself to bare my soul, confess the evil I have done and make for a Clean ‘Breast!”

… ‘There are no broken hearts here says I, because ‘Broken hearts are for assholes’… as I quoted the Late Great Frank Zappa!!!

So off I went back across Shit River with my thumb up my ass as I pondered…

“How the hell do I dollarize these pesos before liberty is about to end!”

One thing that always rang true about the Ol’ Canoe Club in the PI… Panties would fall off like a one legged man jumping rope as soon as the fleet came in! Those little ‘Lbfms’ … all of our little ‘Rosas’ … luscious, half-naked, beautiful, young, sexual, and somewhat submissive!! All I can say is I can still taste her Quim…

“Good Gawd I Love This Place!!!”


 


Monday, November 2, 2015

U.S. Navy Directive 16134 [Inappropriate T-Shirts]

The Navy (Marine Corps) never was a collection of sensitive liberals. HUOOA!!!
Subject: U.S. Navy Directive 16134
The following directive was issued by the commanding officer of a naval installation somewhere in the Middle East, and it was obviously directed at the Marines.
To: All Commands
Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts
Ref: ComMidEastFor Inst 16134//24 K
  1. All commanders promulgate upon receipt.
  2. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:
"Eat Pork Or Die" [both English and Arabic versions]
"Shrine Busters" [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]
"Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy" [Both English and Arabic versions]
"Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more." [Both English and Arabic versions]
"The road to Paradise begins with me." [Mostly Arabic versions but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs]
"Guns don't kill people. I kill people." [Both Arabic and English versions]
"Pork. The other white meat." [Arabic version]
"Infidel" [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]
  1. The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive.
  2. The following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:
"Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range At 0800 Daily."
"Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"
  1. All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

'Do You Own Any Foreign Property'

Serving as a Navy recruiter in Tulsa, Oklahoma…  I found a young man who met all the requirements and was ready to enlist! I explained the importance of being truthful on the application, and he began filling out his paper work!! But when he got to the question…

"Do you own any foreign property or have any foreign financial interests?"

… He looked up at me with a worried expression!

"Well,"      … he confessed… 

 "I do own a Toyota."

We enlisted him the next day!!!


Friday, October 16, 2015

‘A Glance At The Past’

It’s been some 27 years!  A warm November late afternoon, Pier Four, San Diego… treading ever so slightly as I made my way aboard!! The recollections grow strong, with every sight, sound and smell the impression still colorful and sharp in those old cerebral memory banks!!!

Up the pier, I hesitated and glared at the numbers painted on the hull! ‘1069’ emblazoned in black, and what do you know, it was my new forwarding address, my new home away from home! I know… we’ve all ‘been there, done that'... We all share those little moments, those flashbacks, déjà vu of the past!! We’re all linked together like a band of idiots reminiscing the greatest time of our lives!!!

Up the brow to the Quarterdeck I climbed, not sure what to expect, almost afraid of what was coming next!  

“This is it!”

… I remember thinking…

“This is my first ship… the real Navy!”

The enormity of it all, the beauty of the water and the Ensign flapping in the wind just before colors!!  I had images of the South Pacific in the warm night air and the little brown island gals doing what they do at night!! Of course that’s what all Crackerjacks dream about… Right?!?

On the Quarterdeck I saluted and dropped my Seabag as the Officer Of the Deck introduced himself and the ship! It wasn’t long before the Duty Master-At-Arms (MAA) whose credentials were looking like an orangutan, retrieved me and paraded me forward up port side!! I recall walking by the motor whale boat and dodging the greasy cables attached to the booms!! The smell is still lingering in my olfactory as the memories rush through the belfry of my brain!!  The scent on its own was like no other!!!

Can you imagine the conversation… the banter… the comradery we all shared in those days?!?

“So we got ourselves a new Cabin Boy I see… the Skipper’s gonna be giddy I’m sure!”

“I ain’t no gauddamned Cabin Boy!”

“Relax handsome… we’re all shipmates around here… It’s the Navy way!”

So was my first introduction to ship’s company onboard the ol’ Baglady! Walking into the skin of the ship up by the ASROC Launcher Room the Rover met up with us…

“Aaah, a booter! What’s your rate?”

“I’m Firecontrol…”

“OOOH we got a new Sea Bitch in Second Division! Welcome aboard Shippy!”

… And that was the ‘Hoz’ … later to become a dear friend onboard!!!

Down the ladderwell we went two decks to my new rack in Supply Berthing as there was no space in Weapons at the time! I can still remember the cramped space and dank smell down below!! We dropped off my things and headed up a deck and aft portside down the green tile of the passageway!!! 

Several frames aft we turned inboard and down the P-way to midship turned right and through a hatch into the Messdecks! Thinking back I can hear the jaunts and jokes in the background bouncing off bulkheads…

“Rhotey, You don’t need seconds? You’re fat as fuck… I can hear the saturated fat falling off your fat ass as we speak!”

“Man, you’re like a canker sore… a canker sore that just won’t go away!”

“Oh man… get something to cover up that weeping vagina! It’s emitting a smell something fierce… I think I’m gonna throw up!”

“Aaah Fuck You!”

“HaHa… Fuck You Too!”

Yeah, a hundred thousand sea stories and a hundred thousand lines of bullshit had echoed the angle irons and overheads! Truths and half-truths… and one hundred percent full of bull shit!! I can still hear the clanging of the silverware and tin plates and the steam from the galley… anyone remember?!?

From there we strolled aft of the Messdecks passed the hatch going down to Engineering Berthing! Just passing the Chief’s Mess and the scullery, we headed to the MAA Shack!! That’s where the MAA issued my bedding and instructions for the next morning!!!

Then back from which I came to make my rack and discover the ship! Once up the ladderwell, forward portside and there was the Crew’s Lounge!!  There was a few of the crew… mostly duty section, their dungarees dirty and mangy as they rested on their laurels from a hard day’s work!!!

 Grinning to myself, I stood by the hatch watching my new shipmates milling around bitching about what’s not on the lobotomy box waiting to greet whoever or whatever…

“Look, it’s a fucking mutant dwarf standing in the doorway!”

“Hey, the little fucker’s built like a midget tank!”

“Don’t look at me like that… I’ll knock that smile right off…!”

“Hey, leave him alone… he’s a newbie! He doesn’t know the ropes yet!”

“Aaaaah man! I shit myself so bad your dead relatives will smell it!”   

“EEEWWW FUUU…!”    “AAAAH Gross!”

… or something of that effect! At least that’s how I remember it!! These were some of my first memories on the ol’ Baglady!! A jumble of senses and emotions just knock’n the rust off and kick’n up dust in my brain… Funny, Sad, Scary, Exciting… all rolled up into a nice tight bundle!!!

You ol’ Salts remember… You were there!!!


Friday, October 9, 2015

‘Old Gringo Down In Mexico’

I gotta funny message from a friend I’ve made over the last few years… a fellow seagoing mariner who’s an expat retired several times over!!!

He messages me…

“Hey Chief, what do you do with a baby Pelican?”

I was taken back just a bit! Was this some kind of riddle… a joke?!? Is this Ol’ Seadog try’n to test my Salt… wants to see how much he can knock of me shoulder boards?!? I mean… What ‘DO’ you do with a baby Pelican!?!

“This ain’t no shit! A Baby Pelican flew into my office window and he’s just hang’n out!”

I reckon it’s just the kind a thing to suspect from such an ol’ Swabbie!

“Have you observed any of them nature shows about the birds that stick their neck out like a periscope and pumps its head up & down and warbles wildly flapping it’s wings like an epileptic with feathers trying to get the lady bird’s attention?  You should try it! Report back and tell me what happens!!!”

“Uh-Uh… Ain’t gonna do that!!!”

Yeah… I’ve gotten to know this Shipmate over time, though we’ve never cordially met! We have something in common… we like to reminisce of the ol’ gin mills, dens of sin, strip joints, short time alley stand-ups, and questionable no shit adventures inflated over the years through our alcohol altered egos!! Someday we’ll have to find an agreeably unruly bar full of second hand smoke and beer stench, where people are allowed to speak their minds & a few dirty words as well, and with a…

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor...”

… toss some suds and no shitters like it ain’t nobody’s business!!!

He seems somewhat of a freelancer, a Jack of All Trades who did this for that, that for this and the other for a while... and commonly becomes bored!  He retired from the ol’ Canoe Club a Warrant after a couple of decades, became a professional Ship’s Master Mariner, then retired from that gig and moved on… ending up somewhere in Mexico!! What the hell… Everyone ends up somewhere!!!

With the honesty of an overgrown Boy Scout and the slyness of a snake, he exclaims in so many words…

“Life is like a jar of jalapeños… what you do today may burn your ass tomorrow!”

Yeah, he’s salty to the gills… and he’s got charts of memories... lots of them!!!

So why don’t you work for the Government no more?”

“It’s all a bunch’a alphabetical soup like the ATF… Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be the name of a convenience store… not a gauddamned government agency!”

Sometimes the subject of politics comes up…

"Any sufficiently advanced government bureaucracy is about as vague as a good looking ‘Benny Boy’ in a room full of Honey-Koes!”

Yeah, he’s smart, tough, sane, been around, corrupt, and personally repellent as a rabid raccoon!!!

Every time I think of Mexico anywhere outside of the Baja Peninsula I get this idea of some vieja dama peering at images of the Virgin of Guadalupe in her coffee! Asked what he takes in his…

“Caffeine and hate… and sometimes whiskey… yeah, skip the caffeine, just whiskey!”

I imagine him living in a casa next to the beach on a winding dirt road with more hole than road leading to it!

“Well you must think I live amongst the barefoot, loincloth wearing, living in stick hut kind of place that give Australian Aborigines the willies!”

“Well, I don’t think it sounds too bad as long as the women run around butt nekkit!”

“I sure as hell can say one thing… It gets hotter than a Whore House on Dollar day around here at times!”

He traded in the hustle and bustle of the psychoanalysis and scams of the pseudo doctors, the raging feminists, race racketeers, and damn fool wars for the more erotic Mamacitas south of the border with the tequila fests and Ciasta nests of good old Mexico!! He could be living it up in Fort Lauderdale driving a Corvette in male-menopause red with awesome gadgets… but that just ain’t him!!!

“The bad thing about retirement… I must get three hundred emails a day for Viagra, or some ancient Chinese secret to make mine taller, stronger, or faster than a speeding bullet… like I need that… what the hell! So why did you retire…?!?”

“You know, I got tired of all the gauddamned babysitting! Since when did I become an expert on therapy… Like I’m a gauddamned psychotherapist now?!? All that touchy feely bullshit was driving me insane!”

“Yeah, I hear you… most of the leadership these days don’t have the knowledge or experience to run a Shriner’s Convention!”

“Yeah, I refused to become one of them passive psychotic transvestites of today’s Canoe Cabaret!”

I could tell we were on the same page! You know… we put people in charge who have barely achieved vertebras… hence the term, ‘No Backbone!’

“Yep, When I retired from as a Ships Master I had come to the realization I was working for an institution where most of the leadership should have been institutionalized… and retired here in Mexico!”

“So when do you think you’ll ever move back stateside?”

“That'll happen any day now, I suppose! Most likely, about a day after lions, tigers & cougars start eating there vegetables!”

Yeah, he’s an unsung, rode-hard-and-put-away-wet champion of sea going crusty bastards... Stubborn as twenty mules wired in parallel!!

“I probably qualify for every mental disorder in the book!  Borderline Personality Disorder, Avoidance Disorder, Relationship Disorder, Social Anxiety disorder, and Just-About-Everything Under The Sun Disorder!! Besides, most Gringos come to Mexico to retire and die… well hell, that’s not the plan but that’s what happens!! It sure beats the hell out of wasting away in that rat race of an institution up north we call the US of A, living in wretched boredom waiting to die is no way to exist!!!”

Why the hell else would he live in Mexico?!? To get the hell away from all that Political Correctness we’re so gauddamned proud of up here!!!

Yeah, He’s not real tactful in what he says and probably won’t win any popularity contests anytime soon! But he’s as entertaining and thought provoking as I’ll ever get anywhere around here!! He’s the kind of shipmate that lets it all hang out rather you agree with him or not… and that my friends is the way it ought to be!!!