out of nowhere.
then i remembered the many many midshifts while a sailor, sitting along the pier or in dry dock, with the incessant 1MC announcements. one sailor stood out, and still resonates in my head occasionally, such as today:
click "THEY'S MENS WURKIN' IN THU SAYUL. DO NO RAYZ, LOWUR, RATATE, OR RODIATE FROM ENNY MAYST OR INTENNA. THEY'S MEN WURKIN' IN THU SAYUL." click.
how many nights, how many times a night, did i hear Michael J.B. make that announcement from the topside shack? how many times did i laugh? i don't know the numbers, but i know that i laughed EVERY time. that deep southern drawl, the mangled English, the totally unselfconscious bellow. he went on to be a damned good torpedoman, but his near legendary pig call that he used to get us all out of the racks in the torpedo room during "up all bunks" evolutions probably stands out as the single funniest thing i've ever been awakened with.
another of the memorable, and not infrequent 1MC announcements was by another Mike, this one an A-ganger.
"There are men working in the sail. Do not cycle any sea valves, rudders, planes, or screws. There are men working in the sail." the first time i heard that, i wasn't sure if i was just really really tired. but after 4 hours of 1/2 hour announcements, i was pretty sure it wasn't me. bulldog went on to some pretty interesting assignments during his time in the navy. i'm not sure, but i seem to remember someone telling me he ended up as a COB. THAT cracks me up.
of course, the craziest topside watch had to be booger. late evening, along side the pier at berth 19, Mare Island (575's home port). casual shoot the sh*t going on in crews mess. spang, spang, spang, spang. VERY loud noises that sounded like someone hitting the hull with a hammer repeatedly. the next thing i heard was "Repel Boarders!" over the 1MC. the belowdecks watch heard the topside watch firing the 45, and assumed the worst, so he called away the Repel Boarders.
we boiled up out of crews mess, grabbing the first thing that came to hand that could be used as a weapon.
"Stand down from Repel Boarders". WTF?
booger was getting pretty paranoid about the wharf rats that lived and swam under the pier. when one of them climbed up on the camel and tried climbing the pressure hull, booger lost it. a full magazine, none of them hitting the rat, but all left interesting marks on the hull. the shipyard tried to take our weapons away after that... i would have liked to be the fly on the wall during the ensuing discussion between booger, his chief, his division officer, the engineer, the XO, and the skipper. oh, and the skipper and the shipyard CO. THAT one would have been hilarious. poor booger. NOT the topside watch of the year, that's for sure.
so, any memorable craziness on your boats? stupid question, i know. hey, we're talking about submarine sailors here. but does that craziness you experienced still pop into your brain at random times, like it did with me today?