The Chief had just finished his second cup of coffee after eating lunch in the Chief Petty Officer’s Mess. He opened the door of the CPO mess and headed topside. As he began opening the watertight door leading out to the boat deck he heard loud laughter coming from the area by the B&A crane. He is mumbling now, “what the hell is going on that is so damn funny”. He arrives on deck and sees BM2 just havin’ a fit. “Boats, what the hell is goin’ on out here that is so damn funny?”
By now BM2 is having a really hard time keeping it together from all of his laughter. He gains control of himself and begins the explanation. “As you can see Chief, we’re slushing the running rigging on the B&A crane”. “I can see that numb nuts…so what’s so damn funny” exclaims the Chief. “I see you have SN Clem in a bosun’s chair rigged for sliding down the hook wire with a bucket of grease. Now just tell me why is that so damn hilarious”?
Seaman Clem was sitting in his bosun’s chair and did indeed have a bucket of grease rigged beneath his chair used for slushing and lubricating the hook wire. He also had two number 10 cans rigged beneath his the chair. One of the cans had cleaning fluid, PD-680, hanging from it. This was used to clean off the old grease from the wire rope before application of the new lubricant. The second can was filled with fresh drinking water as it was extremely hot and humid that day.
A little background may be needed by the reader at this point in order to follow along with the rest of this tale.
Now you see, Seaman Clem was one hard working sailor. He did what he was told when he was told. He’d been raised on a farm by a strict but fair father. His mother worked at the local church and was the choir director, office secretary, and bookkeeper at that small church. As you can imagine Clem was a God fearing, church going young man. He had joined the Navy right after high school graduation. His uncle’s had been in the Navy during the “Big War” and he wanted to do his part for the country. So, you can readily tell from his raising that Seaman Clem didn’t care much for cussin’ and the like. Why, if mama heard him cuss, she would grab a bar of soap and young Clems’ mouth would be on the receiving end as fast as you could say “do you want sweet tea boy?”
So to continue with this tale…
Now that BM2 had gained control of himself he starts telling the Chief what happened. “You see Chief, SN Clem needed a drink of water so he grabbed hold of one of the number 10 cans underneath his bosun’s chair to take a drink. Not thinking to clearly he grabbed the wrong can and gulped down a mouthful of PD-680. He gave the loudest shriek any of us had ever heard and actually said Holy Shit.” “First time we had ever heard him say somethin’ like that” The Chief immediately said to get him down from there and send him to sick bay. I don’t want to have to explain to his mama what happened here. The Chief turned around so BM2 wouldn’t see the smirk on his face…the Chief went back inside the skin of the ship, closed the watertight door and laughed so damn hard that he almost lost his false teeth, which he had done in the past while on liberty. As Chief was headed to the deck office he thought, “the guys in the club ain’t gonna believe this shit”. He glanced at his watch…time for a cool one he thought. But, that’s another story for another day!
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