BACKFIRED

by J.C. Carney

As told to him by LCDR Jim Van Horn

 

The new C.O. should have appointed the BMC to be the MORRIS' "Couth Officer." It might have saved an embarrassing situation.

While serving aboard the old cutter MORRIS out of San Pedro, California, way back in late 1958, the ship and her crew experienced the rather common occurrence of piping a new Commanding Officer aboard. At first, it was "business as usual" with everyone going about their "business" in the usual manner, while getting the ship ready for eventuality of putting out to sea. Nothing new; the same old routine. A routine that found the harried deck force being forced to greater production heights

by the Chief Boatswains Mate, whose colorful language punctuated every command.

After about two weeks, the new CO had the Executive Officer announce at afternoon quarters that there was too much foul language being used by the entire crew --- especially the deck force --- and that the Captain wanted it knocked off, Pronto! It was getting unbearable.

The First Lieutenant, the rather large Boatswains Mate Chief aforementioned, who suffered (or made the deckies suffer) from BO, Bad Breath, Missing Teeth --- the whole nine yards ---announced to his six man deck force in no uncertain terms that the foul language had to stop. He yelled so all could hear: "Alright youse guys, the Old Man doesn't want anymore cussing." Adding, "This constant swearing has to cease right now!" Hearing several snickers from his "deck apes," he, now looking somewhat like Attila the Hun, bellowed, "Any questions?" A small weak voice suddenly piped up and said, "Geez Chief, then how are you going to tell us what to do?"

*****

 

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