Inane Conversation

by Bob 'Dex' Armstrong

"The evening meal is now being served in the crew's mess. Tonight we are serving pork chops... Savory green beans... Mashed potatoes and tossed salad. Seating in five minutes."

"Hey Jack, what's for dessert? You didn't mention dessert."

"You'll have to settle for a brown speckled banana... Or canned peaches. Mac and Stuke did a job on the last of the strawberries and the clowns who watched last night's flick got into the night baker's brownies and wiped 'em out."

"Jeezus H. Christ! What ever happened to self control, discipline and gahdam consideration of others? This rust bucket has to be populated with the most one-way bastards in the fleet."

"Get off it... John T., who sat there last week and indulged himself on a couple of dozen gahdam cookies as they came out of the oven?"

"What's the flick tonight?"

"Cattle Queen of Montana, starring Barbara Stanwick... For the fifth time."

"Barbara Stanwick is older than my granny... I'll bet the guys on the Cubera aren't watching tired-ass movies. They get Natalie Wood and Jayne Mansfield while we watch some old, over the hill honey and a bunch of worn out cows."

"Why don't you work a swap? You could swap with any other worthless idiot on the 'Cubby Bear' and we'd have to get the best of THAT deal."

"Blow it out your seabag."


"Yo, babe..."

"You ever get that worthless Ford of yours running?"

"Yeah... Replaced the battery."

"I'll go in on gas if I can catch a ride to Philly when we get to go over."

"You got it. Halfers on gas and beer."


At sea, the conversation didn't improve.

"Who's got the planes?"

"Armstrong and Stuke."

"Somebody tell the idiots to pay attention. The sonuvabitches keep cycling the head valve... Bubbles are coming out of my gahdam eyelids and they are slopping water from the deep sink all over hell and half Georgia. Somebody give the diving officer a bullwhip to use on those guys before my colon inverts."

"What are we runnin' at?"

"Periscope depth or just below... Somthin' like that. It ain't gettin' hot so they haven't secured the flappers. Go below 150 and they always set Condition Baker and call for leak reports."

"Why do they still call it 'Condition Baker'? Why not 'Condition Bravo'? Baker went out with World War II."

"They built these worn out bastards in World War II... Maybe that's why. Who knows? Better than that, who gives a damn?"

"Jack... You know what's wrong with you? No gahdam curiosity."

"Well lad, if you're so gahdam concerned, why don't you write to Arliegh Burke and ask him? 'Dear sir, I'm a worthless sonuvabitch in SUBRON SIX and I'm losing sleep over why we are setting Baker instead of Bravo... It is adversely affecting my ability to operate wire brushes and chipping hammers. Please write me and satisfy my intellectual curiosity, since I am sure you have nothing better to do. Love, Dex... Your next rotation messcook.'"

"How did I get on a boat full of brain-dead idiots?"

"Hell, you should feel right at home, horsefly."



"You live in Wisconsin... You get home much?"

"Not really."

"Your folks raise cows?"

"Sure do."

"What's so damn difficult about raisin' a bunch of cows? All they do is eat grass all day. I've seen cows... They don't seem to be doing anything but standing around eating grass and pooping... What the hell is so hard... Fitting the sonuvabitches in the hamburger grinder?"

"We run a dairy farm... We start milking at zero dark thirty."

"You should switch to hamburger-type cows... Looks like those guys are working a racket."

"Murphy, what do your folks do?"

"My old man owns a Dairy Queen."

"A Dairy Queen?"

"Yup... Draws more teenage gals than any other place in town."

"How does that work?"

"You'd be amazed what a summer of free Dairy Queen frozen custard can do for your love life. I could tell you stories that..."

'Set Condition Baker... Rig for deep submergence... Secure the bulkhead flappers... Watertight doors... Report all leaks. Say again, rig for deep submergence.'

"Here we go girls... Better head to your compartments. Toss those cups in the sink when you shove off."

"It's going to be a long, hot night.".