From "The Douglas Files"
By Jeffrey Maxon
The enterprising and always underestimated Seaman Apprentice David Douglas was assigned to the CG Base Honolulu motor pool. I honestly canít remember if this was prior to his brig time or afterwards. Regardless, SA Douglas saw the assignment as simply another opportunity to match wits with the lifers. He won sometimes. Sometimes he didnít.
The job was simple enough; maintain the inventory of vehicles and chauffeur the Admiral around the Big Island when called upon. Oh, and one more thing; there was to be no unauthorized use of government cars. Not by anyone. Those were the rules.
To hear Douglas tell the story, the job required vast expertise in a wide array of disciplines to adequately perform his new duties. As testament to his uncanny organizational skills, the motor pool soon ran like a Swiss watch. So well in fact, Douglas generally slipped away and spent several hours at the beach each day. Now this little scheme could have continued until his enlistment was up had it not been for Lt. Cmdr. Jenkins and the cocktail waitress.
Lt. Cmdr. Jenkins had been riding Douglasís butt ever since Douglas had walked past him on the base one day without saluting. At Captainís Mast, SA Douglas maintained that he never saw the scrawny little officer because "he was so scrawny and so little."
Lt. Cmdr. Jenkins said it was a clear display of Douglasís disdain for authority and somebody ought to teach a lesson to that wise ass from the motor pool. The ambiguity surrounding the circumstances couldnít support the charge so it was dropped. Douglas scored it a win. Jenkins would be avenged.
Three weeks later, Douglas was on a date with a cocktail waitress he had met on one of his afternoon beach sorties. They made a handsome couple pulling into the drive-in movies one night in the Admiralís new Chrysler Imperial. Douglas was careful not to bump an old station wagon when pulling into place.
"Enjoying the movie Douglas?" Lt. Cmdr. Jenkins asked sardonically from the window of the station wagon.
Douglas went to Court-martial for unauthorized use of government property. After the tribunal heard testimony from Lt. Cmdr. Jenkins, it was Douglasís turn to defend himself. He asked Jenkins, "Have you ever used a government car over a weekend for unauthorized personal use?"
Jenkins erupted. "Iím not on trial here".
For all to see, Douglas held a tiny key in his hand. He continued, "before you answer that question I want you to know that there is a log book in a safe deposit box downtown that reflects a comprehensive record of every driver, date, and mile put on every car since I took over at the base motor pool three months ago."
After a long recess, the
charges were dismissed.
Douglas scored it a big win.
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