After being underway for a month or so, we submariners start to laugh at the dumbest shit. We also start to behave like complete jack-asses.
There was one particular RC-Div buddy of mine, Mongo, who was in my watch section and could always be counted on to provide ample hilarity in times of monotony. Also, he was always bitching about the food.
After one particular watch, he was not bitchy, but was over-joyed to find out that….
It was Corn Dog Day!!
We all shuffled onto the mess decks and my watch section and I were finally off-going — abuzz with proffers of the varied porn we wanted to jack-off to before some rack time…
During midnight-rations (or Mid-Rats) chow hour, we were allowed to play music on the mess decks while we were scarfing our corn dogs, PB&J or whatever shit was left over from the previous two meals.
This particular meal-time playlist featured the music of rock super-group Journey. Apparently Mongo loved Journey… and Mongo also loved corn dogs. He sat down with his appropriate ration of about 14 corn dogs on his plate and ate a couple.
Then out of nowhere Mongo picked up one of those delicious, cornmeal-covered delights and started singing into it as if it were a microphone. I’m sure he was channeling Steve-Motherfucking-Perry! I mean, he really got into it. I didn’t think he was going to make it back to reality. Everyone on the mess decks was in stitches. I think I peed a little…
This was just one of those things that makes you laugh until you cry underway, but you’d normally walk away from shaking your head in disgust under normal circumstances.
I guess you had to be there…
If any story ends with “I guess you had to be there,” it probably wasn’t a funny story to start with.
Fuck me, but fuck you for judging me.
After a grueling three weeks of drills and putting up with 120 smelly dudes, the last thing I wanted to do is show deference to anyone wearing khaki. The ORSE team was set to come aboard and grade our ability to operate the engine room.
We did a BSP on the morning of July 19th and over the next 48 hours, I operated on a grand total of two hours sleep. It was literally like being in hell. The engine room was sticky hot and smelly. I was balls tired, underfed, and pissed off THE WHOLE TIME. And oh yeah, I had to perform my job duties at a peak level because now it counted. If we were to fail this inspection, the Navy would have taken the reactor keys away. I had heard horror stories from Montana about the time they failed ORSE. Very painful…
We pulled back into Papa Hotel after a successful ORSE at 2100 on July 20th. The first thing that I can recall after finally climbing out of that steel death-trap was how sweet the air smelled. After huffing recirculated and chemically scrubbed air, man-farts and atomized lube-oil for a month straight, fresh air was nectar of the gods.
The little things in life I had previously taken for granted… like fresh air.
This even made an entry in my journal for that day. I decided to take the long walk from the boat’s berth back to my barracks room just so I could inhale and exhale deeply. While exhaling I couldn’t wait to inhale again.
The crisp Hawaiian air was like a drug and I was a new addict….