below decks watch heads aft to wake the oncoming watch.
damn below decks watch always rousted you out right in the middle of a dream
that consisted of rendezvousing with girls with butterball proportion bust
development and skimpy removable lingerie.
The damn guy wandered through the compartment with a flashlight and
clipboard looking for the lads.
thing about 'hotsacking'... Hotsacking,
hotbunking or warm racking was the result of a shortage of bunks in the old
smokeboats. Non-assigned bunking
required a crew member at the bottom-feeder level of the undersea social order,
to root through a compartment of walrus snoring animals to find an available
vacant bunk and one or two leper colony cast off blankets to Burrito-wrap
himself in. We were the navy's
equivalent of homeless people. Lincoln's
14th. amendment failed to free the non-rated folks.
thing about nomadic sleeping arrangements...
Nobody knew where any sonuvabitch was sleeping, so the below decks watch
had to conduct some kind of nocturnal Easter egg hunt, to find all the poor
bastards to rack out for watch relief. The
clown roamed around indiscriminately shining a flashlight the size of a Mack
truck headlight in sleeping faces.
no, you dumb bastard. Get that
gahdam thing out of my face."
know where Armstrong is?"
my week to keep up with him. Now,
get the hell outa here, and take that f**king light with you!"
so it went. But the bastards always
found you, eventually...
Yeah... Get that gahdam
light out of my face before I rearrange your dental work."
so it went as the oncoming watch was rudely evicted from their temporary
homesteads and stumbled around locating boots, ratty foulweather gear and pulled
their watch caps out from the corner of the flashpad where everyone stuffed them
when they crawled up on 'em to rack out.
a smoke for a working man?"
not your gahdam mother."
to adopt me? I'm cute and
down, idiot. You know where Stuke
is sacked out?"
the after room."
you stumbled to the after battery head to take a wake-up whiz, slap some water
on your face to dissolve your sleepers and clear your eyes.
you guys, you catch a whiff of those cinnamon buns when you rolled outta the
Hope the milk hasn't gone bad. We've
been out three weeks, so it should be headin' south about now."
worse than bug juice and buns."
coffee, you simple idiot."
thing was always in short supply on diesel submarines...
Polite conversation. Especially
around 2345 at 412 feet below the surface.
you wandered into the crews mess and drew a cup of that bottom of the pot
Maxwell House iguana plasma that passed for coffee when you were underway.
Murphy, you make this coffee?"
what of it?"
use, Yugoslavian army socks?"
know why they don't send donkeys to college?
Nobody likes a smart ass."
it Murphy. It's over between us.
Give me back my engagement ring."
inane, go nowhere conversation between the best friends you would ever have.
toss me a couple of those buns."
make me have to come in there and part your hair with a gahdam GDU wrench."
buns were always hot, sticky and fresh. Never
had better before or since. It was
like living next door to the best bakery in town.
know how Chicago's doing?"
were three games out when we shoved off. Check
with the radioman... He gets stuff
like that from the squadron."
the weather like topside?"
you care? The old man's standing
night orders don't call for us to hit the surface until 0800."
any dope on where we're gonna put in?"
Caldwell said for me to give him a list of anything I needed besides milk and
eggs, and Quesada said the old man and Mr. Hall were going over a chart of the
waters off Nova Scotia and looking at the approaches to Halifax."
like Halifax. Lottsa good looking
gals... Good beer...
But colder than a witch's tit in the winter."
ice hockey land. Who in the hell
can figure out that game?"
out of her Danny... If it doesn't
involve dice, cards or shooting raccoons out of trees, it's too complicated for
a dumb hillbilly like you."
is there anything in that navy cookbook of yours concerning anything you can
turn out for mid rats but cheese, green-edge balony and mayonnaise
The guys on the 8 to 12 are making peanut butter and jelly
the guys on the 8 to 12 are eating evening chow leftovers and raiding the cool
but no cinnamon buns."
got a point... Any milk gone
time passed, more ragged, unshaved men in tattered dungarees arrived, yawning
and wiping sleep cinders from their eyes.
why can't you ugly bastards make some decent, fresh coffee?"
great stuff... It separates the
weak-hearted from the real boat sailors."
you must have the IQ of a retarded fruit fly."
if I was that stupid, I'd become an IC electrician from New Jersey."
chief, who spent his watch smoking cheap, stinky cigars, drinking coffee,
talking about stuff that happened before you were born in somethinng called the
'old navy', came in and dumped a load of
raw wisdom and old coot philosophy on us.
come section three always sounds like a kindergarten class on the
in the old navy, back when stupid ugly men joined the navy to keep from going to
the pokey, they got issued defective ears to match their defective eyes."
chief, you spend five to ten years with your big E-8 lard ass planted in front
of the hydraulic manifold smoking reject cigars and your thought filter gets
okay... You bell-tapping bastards
get your worthless butts forward and relieve the watch. We won't be taking her up on the roof until after sun up, so
let's hit it."
slipped a napkin-wrapped cinnamon bun in your pocket and pulled out your pack of
smokes... Lit up and ducked to get
through the watertight door to enter the control room.
It was all long ago. We were very young, but years have passed and somewhere we passed through the invisible curtain and without realizing it, became members of that mythical band of brothers known as the 'old navy'. Old bastards with lard asses who get together now and then, and wonder about the 'new navy'. Hmmmm...