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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

sea story time

back when i was a young and impressionable, pure as the driven snow nuclear submariner, i would never ever think of doing anything that could be considered a practical joke. never. it didn't take long being onboard a submarine to break me of that. i learned at the feet of masters, and continue to be a jokester to this day. a couple of the great jokes we pulled, one i didn't participate in but observed, and one i did the dirty deed all by myself.

great practical joke #1: underway on nuclear power, somewhere far away from shore power cables. the boat was in stealth mode, and the officer of the deck (OOD) was required to wear "rig for red" goggles when the white lights were on in the control room. this was not standard operating procedure, but where we were, and what we were doing required the OOD to have his night vision intact all watch long. so while the rest of us were wandering around in a brightly lit submarine, the OOD lived in a red lensed world. one of the OOD's was a non-nuke (yeah, we had them on seawolf, but there weren't many nuke submarines with any non-nuke officers except the supply officer.) Lt. G. was not a nuke, but was part of ship's company, and stood OOD watches underway. he was an ok guy, but every once in a while, some streak of asshole would crop up, and he'd lash out at whomever was closest, usually the quartermaster of the watch (QMOW). one night, Lt. G was wearing his "atom ant" goggles on watch, and pissed off the QMOW somehow. about 45 minutes into the watch, he told the QMOW to go down to crews mess, and get him a cup of coffee.
minor diversion, but important to the story: during WWII, the navy issued card decks with the hearts and diamonds outlined in black, because when wearing red goggles, you cannot see RED.
back to the story. QMOW drops down to the ship's office, where he borrowed a red ink stamp pad from the yeoman, out of sight of the control room. he then proceeded to the crews mess, and rolled a white coffee cup (the kind with the two blue stripes for how high to fill the cup in heavy seas and not spill anything... sailors all know what these cups look like) on the red stamp pad, so that the entire cup below the bottom blue line was covered in red ink. he then proceeded to fill the cup with coffee, dropped some ice in it so that it would be drinkable in huge gulps. the QMOW presented the coffee to Lt. G. and sat back. 10 minutes later...go get another cup (amazing how fast you go thru coffee when it's not piping hot!) again, the pad and cup action yielded a big red band along the bottom third of the cup.
by the end of the watch, Lt. G. was furious, pissed, tweeked, torqued. he couldn't understand why everytime someone walked by, they'd chuckle. he didn't understand why the chief of the watch, or the diving officer wouldn't look him straight in the face. he couldn't figure out why when he gave a depth change order, the acknowledgement to the order came back strained, barely covering unrestrained laughter.
picture the following: a naval officer, standing the "most important" watch onboard a nuclear submarine, with red ears, red nose, red armpits, and a huge red blotch in the groin area and in the seat of his pants, almost exactly in the the middle between the back pockets of his uniform. basically everywhere he touched, he was red. and i mean everywhere. just imaging how many different places you would touch during 4 hours of boredom, scratching here, rubbing there, picking this and that.
i was amazed at how nice Lt. G was to the watchstanders afterwards. guess he figured out that he could be gotten to with absolutely NO effort.

tale 2 later.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kenneth said...

That's a great story

2/15/05, 9:08 PM  

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