Posted on January 5, 2006
Did you know that service dress blue uniforms shrink in the closet, if you don’t wear them? True story! I had to put mine on yesterday after not having worn them for a while.
You: How long had it been, Lex?
Me: Well I’ll tell you. I was forced to perform a heavy wave-off on my first approach, but I set myself up more carefully for the second (no KY or baby powder required, thanga ver much) and completed the event, after no small amount of grunting and straining and a-holding of my breath. Once in, I found a key in the pocket of the trousers.
You: What key, Lex?
Me: Well just be patient gentle reader, and I’ll tell you.
Me: It was the key to the Ops Office aboard USS Last Ship. Decommissioned four and a half years ago and often mourned.
Me: Four and half good years. Full of jugs of wine, and cheese, and loaves of bread.
You: And thou.
So anyways, it was quite an adventure, and lent more fuel (as if any was necessary) to my New Year’s resolutions. What with all the cramming and straining, I had quite a hasty, agitated half hour or so at Chez Lex, especially after, having poured steaming hot coffee on my combination cover, I rendered half of it a very discreditable shade of brown. Fortunately, Son Number One had the special faith and confidence in his old man to have left a spare cover laying about his room, a faith and confidence I abruptly abused by requisitioning the cover to my own uses, my need being so much the greater and anyway he’s only a midshipman, with many years to recover, professionally.
Then, having crammed myself into the Incredible Shrinking Uniform only to find that there was no shirt, where previously there had been one.
You: Where was it, Lex?
Me: I was just getting to that, constant reader. Turns out that the Hobbit, God bless her little furry feet, had taken my uniform shirt off the hangar where I had laid it the previous weekend, and detecting some microscopic flaw in its otherwise snowy perfection, from thence to the local dry cleaners. Where, I was reliably informed (although admittedly the words were muffled by her pillow, it not yet being her ladyship’s hour to arise and greet the day), it would be waiting for me at 0700 in an exceptional state of pristinity.
You: Wait, you made that last word up.
Me: Right then. Well, imagine my surprise, not to say consternation when I arrived at the dry cleaning establishment, to find no such thing to be true at all! Could I wait ’til 1700?
You: You could not.
You: Were you in an exceptionally high state of dudgeon, the commissioning ceremony being a mere hour away, yourself undressed and heading in the wrong direction, excess coffee decorating your copy of the speech, and the Navy Exchange not yet open for business?
Me: I was.
Me: Oh, right – it’s back to me.
Anyways, I headed back to the place where I make my lodgings when ashore, and after a diligent search of the master closet (which, when the search was complete looked as though it had been upended and shaken out all over the deck) found a presentable shirt to wear for the ceremony. Which was now a mere 45 minutes from commencement and your humble scribe himself staring at a best-case commute of thirty minutes, the Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
Me: You bet.
You: How did it all end, Lex?
Me: Better than I deserved. Apart from the usual coil of dullards on the 5, driving far too slowly for their own good, I made it the church on time.
You: What church?
The speech went well, the man put on his new uniform, paid a silver dollar for a salute from another old shipmate, re-enlisted yet another old shipmate (USS Last Ship conferring omerta status not dissimilar to that of the cosa nostra) and there was much rejoicing.
You: Ah, that’s a lovely tale, Lex. Do you have a joke to tell us?
Me: I do, as it turns out. Thanks so much for asking! Courtesy of occasional reader B2:
Irish Beer >
At a world brewing convention in the States, the CEOs of various brewing organizations retired to the bar at the end of each day’s conference.
Bruce, CEO of Fosters, shouted to the Barman, “In ‘Strylya, we make the best bloody beer in the world, so pour me a bloody Fosters, mate.”
Bob, CEO of Budweiser, calls out next, “In the States, we brew the finest beers of the world, and I make the king of them all, gimme a Bud.”
Hans steps up next, “In Germany, ve invented das beer, ferdamt. Give me ein Becks, ya ist der real King of beers, danke.”
Paddy, CEO of Guinness, steps forward, “Barman, would ya give me a Diet Coke with ice and lemon? Tanks.”
The others stare at him in stunned silence, amazement written all over their faces.
Eventually Bruce asks, “Are you not going to have a Guinness, Pat?”
Paddy replies, “Well, if you fookin’ pansies aren’t drinkin’, then neither am I!
You: How about rules of the services?
Me: Got them too! Same gent sent ‘em along:
US Marine Corps Rules:
1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won’t work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start
with a “4″.
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral &
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or
They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to
Navy SEAL’s Rules:
1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.
US Army Rangers Rules:
1. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
3. Request permission via radio from “Higher” to perform killing.
4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
5. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.
US Army Rules:
1. Select a new beret to wear.
2. Sew patch’s on right shoulder.
3. Change the color of beret you decide to wear.
US Air Force Rules:
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what’s on HBO.
4. Ask “what is a gunfight?”
5. Request more funding from Congress with a “killer” PowerPoint
6. Wine & dine “key” Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets “strategic” and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 13:45 tee-time.
US Navy Rules:
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Deploy Marines.
Me: Don’t blame me, I’m only a messenger!