Injudicious Language

by Bob 'Dex' Armstrong

Injudicious? Probably… Inappropriate? No… Make that, HELL NO!

This stuff is admittedly inappropriate for Little Golden Books, Mr. Rodgers and Captain Kangaroo. Never rode boats with either one of the gentlemen. If either one of them rode submarines, I can assure you the hull numbers were above 571.

There is a theory… The law of declining social acceptability. The formula states that male communication and gentlemanly behavior deteriorates in direct proportion to distance separating that body of men from mothers. Women… The ladies in our lives are the civilizing influences that keep sailors from living in trees and resorting to cannibalism.

I never met a Chief Petty officer who talked like William F. Buckley. There may have been a couple somewhere, but the bastards didn't ride smokeboats in Subron Six… Neither did anybody's Mom. If she had, a lotta guys would have been gargling buckets of soapy water. No, living a life far beyond the gentle influence of the fair gender led to a rapid vocabulary reduction where words like 'frigging thing' and 'that gahdam sonuvabitch' could be universally applied to damn near any object on the planet… And everyone understood exactly what you were talking about. For those of you who never found yourself stretched out under a piece of cantankerous machinery weighing more than your family car or a bank vault, with oil dripping in your face, it may be difficult to understand how pointing to something and saying, "Hey Jack, toss me that sonuvabitch.",can relieve you of the mental gymnastics involved in recalling its correct nomenclature.

"Somebody kick that frigging thing over here." and "Hey Topside, bear a hand and drop that big bastard down to me." are fully understood requests to any idiot who ever rode boats powered by the residue of decomposed prehistoric creatures.

Men who rode submersible craft propelled by cosmic pixie dust might have difficulty, but I can assure you that any lad who rode Jimmy and Fairbanks boats understood the universally applied vernacular of the diesel service.

I always wondered what gals in a convent exclaimed if they happened to drop a bowling ball on their big toe… Boat sailors could have helped them out by providing them with six or seven words they probably missed.

People say, "Dex, nobody would ever publish your stuff because of all the inappropriate language."

Inappropriate to what? Sure as hell wasn't inappropriate to diesel submarines.

For those of you wading through this morass of idiocy, let me explain. Somewhere in the New Testament, God speaks to Barnacle Bill… Well, maybe it wasn't God… Maybe it was Noah's Chief of the Boat. I can't remember, but it was somebody… And he said,

"Ye who ride Diesel Boats will be forgiven the use of injudicious language for thou art engaged in toil inside some of the damndest contraptions ever created and ye shall receive blanket amnesty for verbal transgression in the performance of your assigned obligations."

That was later extended to cover all the bars on Hampton Boulevard, Naval Operating Bases, sea stories told anywhere and on liberty anywhere other than within a hundred miles of where your mother and any other female relative were currently geographically located.

I hope this Biblical reference will eliminate, for those of you seeking to save my soul for the use of naughty words, the need to communicate your concern.

A lot of boat sailors have by this time stowed their gear in the 'Golden Sidelockers of the Silver Smokeboats in the Sky'. The folks that run the squadron up there are pretty perceptive people. By now, some damn Machinist Mate has to have dropped a harp on his toe, so the language can't come as a startling revelation.