Okay, so a good shipmate, Vic Albright, who some of you might know in the Firecontrol world sent this little yarn my way, and I thought it was a pretty darn good read, so here it goes…
If you think the find the following tale worthy and want to put your special spin on it, here’s a no shitter! It started in deference to school lunches, political BS and all that jazz!! And the following memory onboard the good warship USS FOX popped in to say hello!!!
When USS Fox (CG-33) was deployed at sea in 1982, there was quite an excessive amount of complaining about the food! Now I know they say a ‘Bitchy Sailor Is A Happy Sailor’ but these moans & groans were not the usual ‘gauddamned food is terrible’ kind’a horseshit!! No, these were about not get’n properly fed or that we’d been receiving inadequate portions!!!
The Bitch’n was so serious and reached such a high crescendo the Skipper ordered a Menu Review Board which wasn’t a given back in those days! Now I happened to be one of the biggest of the bellyachers so obviously I got my wish to do something about it and was voluntold as a member of the Board!! That was not on the menu by the way… but shit happens!!!
The Board was chaired by our illustrious Supply Officer, with an extreme chip on his shoulder over the whole gauddamned issue! Since the ultimate responsibility regarding the Crew's mess was his, the Skipper held him personally accountable for fixing the situation!! Now ol’ Suppo grilled the shit out of us Board members look’n for all the finer points as to what the problem was!!!
All he was hearing was, how ‘there ain’t enough food to go around’ but according to him his Mess Decks were ran by the book! But as the days moved on the rumblings were gett’n louder and just about the time ‘Early Watch Reliefs’ were fed, the galley would run out of food!! That usually meant about 375 plus men were flash-fried frozen veal patties or cold cuts… you know the horsecock dated before Noah was even alive… yeah like that!!!
For months, the meetings got nowhere, the protests got worse, the Suppo got angrier… asking for ‘evidence’ and threatening to put any unfound grievance on report and it was becoming discouraging! The meetings became political, the crew was agitated and I think we came close to a gauddamned mutiny at one point or another!! The Suppo tried what he called ‘special meal’ nights of steak and fake crab legs or the crew’s favorite of spaghetti and meatballs!! But right after ‘Relieve The Watch’ was called away, the majority of the crew once again got the gauddamned veal patties and the Horsecock!!!
That day I was five men behind the last Watch relief… the portion was the size of a hockey puck.... and kind’a looked like one too! As I was getting ready to eat this trivial portion of crispy burnt charcoal, another Sailor sits down across from me, shaking his head and cuss’n up a storm!! I look over, and his ‘portion’ was all of two gauddamned teaspoons and no gauddamned meat… I ain’t exaggerating, how can a crackerjack survive without some gauddam protein!!!
… And the Same Gauddamned thing happened on Spaghetti Night!!!
Now the ‘Spaghetti Incident’ was mentioned at our next Menu Review, and the Suppo really flipped his wig on this one…
"They made ENOUGH! I CHECKED THE BOOKS!"
… and again he threatened to "write up anybody who submitted a report! The son-of-a-bitch was so tight he wouldn’t pay a dime to a piss ant... he acted like it was his own money!!!
Yeah, I was about madder than a bobcat caught in a piss fire and with plenty-of-company! Yet there was no point in beat’n a dead horse… no one seemed to be able to get it through the Suppo’s nogg’n!! A Shipmate knows how at sea, no matter how comfortable the journey, a Crackerjack life is mentally stressful!! You have Shipmates you rely and confide in… but your Family is a world away, and the nearest land five miles away... Straight Down!!!
Fox was heading for Diego Garcia and as a ‘treat’ the menu called for Steak and Lobster Tails! That was all I could think about for days... lost two nights sleep over that shit!!!
By the time I got served it was a fake crab leg and a burnt hockey puck that may have been meat once upon a time ago! Gauddamned Veal would’ve been better! I was madder than a bargirl with tonsillitis in a room full of smiles… if you know what I mean!! After deployment I started paying a lot more attention to the Mess Decks... it got me in trouble a few times... poking around where I wasn’t supposed to and all!!!
I almost got put on report when the Suppo caught me sneak’n around the galley itself where all the cooking was going on! I was paying serious attention… serious attention!! This was my number on ‘UNO’ seriously off the hook and keeping a log while eat’n veal kind’a business!!!
I was usually last in line since I was keeping tabs on everything... and it all paid off! On the final leg of Westpac the Fox moored in the Philippines (PI) scheduled for a four day port call! PI was and will always be a highly regarded ‘Liberty Port’ where most every Sailor not on duty went ashore quicker than a barfine know’s the ship scedule, and most do!! Our first day in port, I was on duty and had to jump the chow line for ‘watch relief’!! I got up the line and there was MS1 with one of them there clicker gadgets in hand, counting every time a shipmate grabbed a tray...
"What are you counting for?"
… I asked …
"Well Suppo needs to know how many people are served!"
… he replies …
"Why are you doing it now?"
… I asked …
"Portion Control. So we don't make too much food!"
I knew the Son-Of-A-Bitch was as crooked as a hound dog’s hind leg! Just how many ships did their ‘Portion Control’ in port when most of the crew was ashore?!? They’d only be giving out enough food for one third of the crew!! This was huge!!!
Either Suppo was dumber than a barrel of shit… as everyone knew he was about as useful or we’d all been had! Well, I figured he was an Officer so he had to have half a brain!! Needless to say there was no way in hell I was presenting that info to the Menu Review Board!! Hell No… so I did what any self-respecting shipmate would do and I gave my information to my Division Chief!!!
I guess the moral of this here story is… don’t be gett’n yourself all dragged into the politics of shit you just can’t do nothing about when it comes to important issues! Not unless you got a good LPO or Chief to back you up… It just gets painful and you end up with the shitty end of the stick!! And if you do get involved… well, do some gauddamned research before opening your clam trap and make sure you get that smok’n gun in the right hands so you don’t become the fall guy… Ya know what I mean Vern?!?