Friday, March 30, 2007

Naval Discourse

I joined the Navy when I was 17, way before I was mature enough to handle it but there I was. While I was in, there are a few things I did, that I can now admit to anyway, that were pretty stupid. One of the first things I did that wasn't the brightest was when I was in training school. I was an "MS" (Mess Management Specialist) or simply...a cook. They sent me to cooking school in San Diego off Rosecrans blvd. I was 17, didn't know anybody, in completely unfamiliar surroundings and needed to make friends fast. If you read one of my earlier posts, you'd know that, on occasion, I had acquired the talent of spitting fire out of my mouth like the bass player for Kiss. Even tho' I had previously burned my face to a 2ND degree, I felt that I had learned my lesson and would, in no way, burn my face again. I thought of this as a way to break the ice with my new room mates. Actually, they were pretty intrigued when I told them that I could spit fire and wanted a demonstration. I, of course, quickly obliged as I was in need of friends. I had never tried this in a closed space before and told everyone to stand behind me for safety. So, as I was impressing my new friends with the immense ball of flames, I suddenly realized, as the pressure from the flames forced the door closed and the lighter fluid that I had spit was spraying tiny flames onto our mattresses, that I should have probably had a fire extinguisher nearby. I also realized that the fire I started was also between us and our only way out. Fortunately, we were able to put the flames out with the use of a blanket off one of the other beds before they grew into anything serious. Even tho we all briefly feared for our lives, they thought it was pretty cool and I, from that point on, was considered a little nuts but okay.

Later in my naval career of 4 years, I was transferred to a destroyer that was already deployed to the Mediterranean. I caught up with the ship in Toulon France. This was my first time on a ship so things were quite different than what I was used to. My first day on board, we had been serving fried chicken and fries. After the meal I was cleaning the fryer and was told specifically which drain to pour the used grease into. The guy who had told me where to dump the grease, however, was fairly new on the ship as well and the drain he told me about was the one to use when out to sea. It was only an hour later when the Master Chief came up to me with this look on his face as if he was ready to kill but was forcing himself to be calm because I was new on board. I could actually see the conflict in his eyes. I knew I had done something wrong but had no idea what it was. He carefully explained to me that the grease I poured down the drain was, now, floating next to the pier on top of the water in a foreign port and the French weren't happy. What I wanted to say was "If you look at them like you're looking at me, they'll just run away and we'll be good." But instead I asked what he wanted me to do about it. So basically to make a short story long, the person who told me where to dump the grease and I, spent the next 6 hours, with nets, scraping the grease off the top of the water. Hence, after the laughter died down from my shipmates, we were awarded "The Scum Skimmer Award" from King Neptunes Rex.

Then there's the time, in Barcelona, when a shipmate tried to smuggle 7 keys of hash on board so we could make brownies. And the time when a shipmate jumped overboard in the Caribbeans because we were playing war games and not going to pull into port. He did this twice. They ended up handcuffing him to the ship until we were far enough out in the ocean that if he wanted to jump, he would be shark food, but i digress....

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Your emotional maturity is fully developed, and you have an excellent grasp on your emotions. In fact, you are so emotionally mature - you should consider being a therapist!
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