A brush with greatness right there in my very own back yard!
USS Nimitz CVN-68 Diaries...
ATTENTION ON DECK!!!!!
ATTENTION ON DECK!!!!!
This story takes place on board Nimitz while in Port Norfolk, Virginia. Remember that this was our home port while in the states.
Well, it was coming up on inspection time.
And guess who got stuck mopping up our shop?Yep, yours truly.
I was the one to put the final touches
on shop 670... the calibration lab.
These inspections were a real pain in the ass. It was just like when you were a kid, and your mother told you to clean your room.
Where did you put all the crap that was strewn across the floor of your bedroom?
That’s right, any place you could, where it wouldn’t be detected by your mom!
Under the bed, thrown in the closet, and yes, just maybe, you put a few things away in their proper place. This would surely confuse the enemy!
Well, it was no different here on board
one of the mightiest warships on the planet
back in 1982-'83.
Just think of it as the world’s largest bedroom!
For when it came time for inspection,
the rule of thumb was that,
the less they see, the faster they’ll flee.
It was as simple as that!
If they didn’t see a mess, then they wouldn’t fuck with you. So just like while at home, we would hide everything that looked outta place.
It all disappeared. From personal shit, right through to the equipment we were working on.
If there was equipment in the shop that was unrepairable, we would throw it out. I remember loading up dollies, with out-dated test equipment. And then, in the middle of the night, we would roll the dollies to the back of the boat,
and throw the equipment overboard!
Right into the Mediterranean Sea.
Anyway, at least we didn’t have to wax the floor of the shop. This was because we worked on electronic equipment, and the wax was a very good conductor of electricity. So, the floors only had to be swept, mopped, and buffed.
And, this time around, it would be me
doin’ the moppin’ and buffin’.
I remember this stuff like it happened yesterday. Everyone assigned to the shop chipped in, and got the place looking top notch. The last thing that needed to be done was the floor.
We tried to mop and buff the floors an hour or two before the inspection. Because once they were done, we didn’t want anyone walking on them until the inspection was over.
And since the inspection was a couple hours away, the shop would be pretty much all mine until then. So I kicked everyone out, cranked the tape deck up loud, and began my assault
on the scuffed up beast.
I was completely out of uniform.
I had no shirt on, ripped pants that were rolled up to my calves.
(And yes, they said The Doorson the back pocket in white indelible ink)
I also had on an old pair of beat up high top boots, with no socks. I looked like a fuckin’ prisoner of war at a forced labor camp.
But hey, I was in my glory!
All-by-myself, music blasting, slingin’ that mop around like I was back at the Casa Nova restaurant, with Angelo and Dominick again.
Even the first class Petty Officer in charge that was sitting at his desk in the next room, overlooked my disregard towards
Maybe it was because the rooms were only adjoined by a four-foot by four-foot opening in the wall. Separating the admin side of life from the equipment side, I’m not really sure. He probably hadn’t seen my get up. Ahh, fuck’em! Who cares what he thinks anyway.
I was really enjoying myself with this manual labor stuff. I’ve become a sweaty mess, and didn’t even give a shit. I remember that I
was moping over by the front doors,
which were wide open at the time.
When one of the coolest things happened.
Well, in my eyes it was cool.
Here I was, swishing away with my mop,
when who walks in the fuckin’ door?
The muthafuckin' captain of the entire ship himself, in the flesh. That's who!!
Now, he wasn’t there to perform the inspection mind you. He was just taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood so-to-speak,
and decided to drop on in.
I was just knocked out!
I mean this guy was a big-time officer. This wasn’t some wet-behind-the-ears dickhead, fresh outta school, waiting for some slob not to salute him in the hanger bay officer
so he could reprimand you, oh no!
This was the man in charge of an American nuclear powered warship for goodness sake.
It was like meeting captain Stubing! LoL
He wasn’t alone though.
The executive officer was also with him.
(Second in command also known as the XO)
Along with two, gigantic U.S. Marine bodyguards!
|Captain Raymond ILG... USS Nimitz|
|Executive Officer Brett Bennitt... USS Nimitz|
Now, to me this was like meeting the guys in
It was HUGE!
And of course he had to come strolling into my world right at this very moment, while I was sporting the displaced refugee look.
I just freaked out.
I was totally star struck.
I just looked up and said...
Captain, how ya doin’ man?”
And did I mention...
that it was WRONG!
Whenever the captain entered a room, you were supposed to shout out, attention on deck!
Then, everyone would snap to attention until he gave the command of at ease. But not me man. I was like a big dumb goober, not knowin’ from wrong or right. If ignorance were bliss, then I was truly in fat city my friend.
Fat muthafuckin' city.
I was the complete total opposite of all four of those men, now standing on my wet floor.
(And thank goodness for that!)
Well, without hesitation, I stuck out my right hand and grabbed the captains, and gave him a hearty shake 'n welcome. When I
should’ve been standing there
at attention, and saluting.
Never even crossed my mind dude.
Not for one second did it!
“C’mon in guys!
Watch the floor, it’s wet.
We have inspection comin’ up soon,
and I pulled the short straw.”
Now, as I was saying this, I could see the two Marines jockeying for position to possibly take me out if necessary. I guess they weren't used to actions such as mine in the presence of the
“2 fella's” and got a bit antsy.
So, I promptly let go of the captain’s hand, and waited for his response to my welcome.
There would be none, yet.
The reason being, was that the dickhead that was in the next room, my immediate supervisor, was about to make his ridiculous
I guess he had overheard my encounter with the captain and XO from next door, and was jealous that I was hangin’ with the top brass. And so, Petty Officer “Dickhead” came running in through the very same doorway that the fella's and I were standing in.
And before the captain could even open up his mouth and respond to my greeting, or reprimand me, I wasn’t quite sure at this point; the dickhead began shouting out those
incredibly stupid words……
“ATTENTION ON DECK!!!!!”
I mean, it was just so inappropriate and silly of him. We were all standing within a five-foot area, kinda tight quarters, and he came barreling in like gangbusters lookin’ very much like the dickhead, full bag'a douche, that he was.
I felt as though I was in a bad skit from the Carol Burnett show. I was Tim Conway, and Harvey Korman just came crashing through the doorway.
The Marines weren’t really sure just what the fuck was goin’ on at this point. I’m surprised that they just didn’t draw their side arms and blow us both away, on principle alone!
They’re a little fanatical that way, ya know.
Well, as Harvey was standing there at
full-saluting attention, the captain
turned to him and gave a half-hearted
Then, listened to the dickhead apologize for
my lack of military protocol.
What a dick he was!
The captain didn’t even care. He was just so cool that I almost asked him for his fucking autograph, man.
I’m tellin’ you guys. I’m sure that he wasn’t accustomed to this kind of reception. But he saw that I was busting my ass keeping his ship clean. And that’s all that mattered in his eyes. So what, I looked like death on two legs.
At least the floor was spotless!
We had some brief small talk,
and then he hit me with the old...
“Carry on sailor.”
I just said...
You take care captain.
And you too X.O.”
And, out the door they walked. I had survived my one and only brush with greatness
while aboard the USS Nimitz.
Oh, yeah, I did get chewed out for about an hour by that attention on deck Dickhead of a petty officer. But hey, that was my true reaction.
The thought of yelling attention on deck,
and saluting, never even entered my mind.
Thank goodness I got outta the fucking service. I probably would’ve ended up in the brig for some stupid reason. My brain was just on a completely different wavelength than those guys.
And you know what?
I wouldn’t have it any other way!