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Updated on January 20, 2012

Having a bad day?

As the title of this hub might allude to maybe everything doesn't always come up roses, but roses sure do look pretty and even grow better when you add some manure to the soil, too bad people aren't roses.

Feeling shitty; we've all been there, how long we stay there I guess depends on what happened. I'm not going to boar you with any of my current moods, but how bout an anecdote?

A long time ago in a far off land called Illinois, a young sailor recruit went to basic training during a rather cold month, made colder by the Great Lakes. Ahhh, this boy-man would aspire to become an admiral and retire, living out the rest of his years as a adventurer, an explorer. But first the training; first day a total mind spinning mud clump, add in another 13 and there go the first two weeks. Yes for the unbroken and unbridled this can be quite a shock, but determination would see him through so on and on he trudged, learning how to march and mop, tie knots and make cots. Eventually graduation with an ever present group ready to educate the boy-man in worldly affairs.

Naivety was his name and like a magnet attracts iron he brought forth many a nut. Still somehow he managed to move on leaving behind part of his childhood. His job designation had ben assigned, he would train to become a cook, fine job it seemed, to serve those who serve what could be more noble.Training would be given in sunny Southern California, yeah baby palm trees and beaches and pretty girls and fences and fences and unfriendly faces outside of those fences, welcome to San Diego!

Actually it wasn't too bad, stayed out of Tijuana and therefore probally jail and only managed to get beat up once for waking next in line for watch when the relief was found to be comatose.Still I got to say what a time about 8 more weeks actually and true to my unsuspecting and fully trusting mind driven mad by dreams of glory and adventure, I signed on in advance to travel the globe underwater.

A bubblehead we were called and training would be in Groton/New London Conneticut. By this time I was starting to get the hang of things, at least I looked more like a sailor and boy I was about to learn how to drink like one too.

OK I know what's next

We all live in a what?

Well training at sub school involved trying your best to learn how not to drown by being able to plug holes with any available object and I really mean any. when we entered the tank that sat below the water's edge I certainly did not expect it. "You got five minutes to repair your boat or you"re all dead." Ready, Go!

What the hell is going on; "You got four and a half minutes come on plug those holes." you got to be kidding right? Complete chaos, water coming in from multiple holes dive under with a plug, smack it into a hole come up and see more water, dive feel for leak grab for something to stick in hole, up for air. "Time, you're all dead, get out, get out."

Much to learn, but seemed so hopeless and even pointless what a crappy and shitty feeling, shamed and drenched, feeling total exhaustion.

A confined space

Grateful for shitty days

Considering how many have actually died in this manner, I'm grateful this was only a training exercise. Outside of this particular incident I could see the light coming through at the end of the tunnel. my time in training was drawing to a close, two more weeks and off to my first duty assignment, but first a little celebration was in order. Do you know just how bad it is for a teen to go drinking alone with a full paycheck and hardly any common sense? Well let's just say pretty bad and lucky too, cause someone was watching over him. First bar, first drink "What'll you have?" Uhhh, just give me one of those (points at the drink next to him) "It's called a Tequila Sunrise, that'll be two bucks."

Yuck!!! Pawns off drink to the person next to him when bartender is not looking."Didn't like that much, aay? "Looked good" I managed to say, "but I think beer will do." 'How about a Michelob this time?' the bartender asked. "Sure, sounds good to me." The next few hours as I watched the sun and the drinks go down. I can't recall how many bars I was ferried off to via cab, but I remember the last one Ronna Pippins, funny name and really different. Barmaids in skimpy indian miss outfits and bartenders in cowboy attire. The dance floor looked like something out of Saturday Night Fever with the multi-colored underlighted floor and as its own unique charm, three toads holding up a canopy of a toadstool. Somehow, at least in the moment this all went together, sort of like a carnival atmosphere and I was about to become a clown.

I had never drank like that before and being inexperienced the time was approaching for me to lose more than my liquor. The spinning room, the flashing lights, loud noise and the smell of booze was having its way with me and I launched my contents to the next table. "What the hell?" 'I'm going to kick the living sh*t out of you boy ' were the words I heard and I would have deserved it and probally not felt much. Yet I had some backup I was not aware of, thanks to our U.S. Marines, these fine grunts got me out of there quick taking me back to base where I should have stayed. I thanked them, they drove away and I proceeded to stagger my way into the barracks and to my surprize I was accosted by the smell and sight of rejected sloe gin from my bunk neighbor, oh yeah this night was going to be a good one.

No one to blame but myself

Well as you may have already guessed I was a bit in over my head and somewhat drowning in not only alcohol, but also the hot water I was creating for myself. I did make it through it all the training and the day came to go forth to my first and only (unfortunately) duty assignment.

Welcome to Norfolk, Norfolk Virginia that is, home of the largest naval base in the U.S. or at least I think it still may be. This place is huge! Aircraft carriers and at the time a battleship, frigates, destroyers and of course submarines. It felt good to be in the navy, it felt so right to me I would represent myself and country as a symbol of freedom, as a member of our armed forces ready to serve. Who we served began at home, but it spread much further than that, we as service persons served all people in all nations to some capacity when we're abroad.

Those were the days and I enjoyed them and I tried as well as an emotionally immature boy/man could to develop into that ambassador of freedom and to become a revered and formidable adversary to those who would oppose freedom and I made progress. That was the beginning and now the shitty would come; as we prepared the sub for sea trials-due to a major overhaul and retrofitting-I was soon to discover what goes on under the sea. Let me tell you and I truly hope my circumstance was an isolated account, how this navy traveled. Well they will tell you exactly what to do and I mean everything. I was preparing to serve our officers their breakfast in the wardroom except a more urgent calling had garnered my attention, I had to go number two!

I informed my immediate superior as to this latest development and asked to excuse myself less there be an accident and very inappropriate condition considering the task that lie ahead.Yet to my surprise he told me to wait. Oh God I couldn't and I didn't want to disobey, but I could just not put this off any longer. This time I pleaded," let me go, please!" NO, he said and I will write you up if you don't follow my orders. I thought to myself "this guy is nuts and power tripping" I had to go and then so I left and went only to have him follow me to the stall and lean over telling me how I was in deep shit. Really deep shit you say imagine that.

Well when the officers and crew were done eating I was summoned to appear before the Senior Chief. My petty officer second class was explaining how I disobeyed his order and how he had found me in the head (bathroom) and how he had told me I had disobeyed and would face the consequences. Then the chief asked me if this were true to which I could only say "yes" and then he asked "would I like to explain why I had disobeyed the direct order?" to which I responded "Sir, if I had not left when I did those officers were surely not going to have enjoyed their breakfast if they would even be able to eat it at all." The next moment seemed an eternity to then my surprise again was an outburst of belly busting hawing and heeing that almost made me uncomfotable.

When the chief regained his composure he told us both to get the hell out of his office with this crap, crap, haw hee ah haw hee...

They want me... help!

This is my end not yours

After this first altercation I tried to remain as quiet and studious as possible and then we landed in St.Croix and I could not even leave the boat! Oh, I got my eight hours on shore the last day before redeployment, but I really wanted so much to explore. I did have a moment of relief in the outlet of fishing from borrowed tackle and gear and more borrowed items in the form of breaded shrimp for bait.

The water was so clean and clear, I could literally see the fish beneath the surface to a depth of at least thirty feet. As I fished and caught these beautifully colored creatures off the fantail of the sub, I thought what a wonderful meal we would have of fresh fish yet I once again erred in judgement. It seems that there would need to be an actual inspection of each fish and a sample of flesh taken to search for disease or parasite and...the hospital corpsman made absolute sense I had just not considered this at all, young and naive boy/man. Then I was chastised by the chief, not too harshly, but he said I should have not just "borrowed" those shrimp. Man I felt like a cross between Gilligan and Gomer Pyle, shitty feeling.

Well on the trip back began the real sea trials and they were harsh; countless dishes ended up on the floor broken to pieces by the hard ups and downs. I could not keep them in the cabinets so out they came, smashing all around me. I was told by my fellow cook that was unavoidable and not to worry he said we would all clean the mess when they were finished. I truly appreciated the comforting words and the assurance of help and thanked him.

Those days out to sea were long and hard, fourteen hour shifts minimum and I would go to the shower reeking of whatever was on the menu and be dog tired so the last thing I expected was about to unfold.

The bunk-room I shared on the sub I shared with five others, it was about eight feet tall and about nine feet wide and nine feet long, six guys! That particular evening as I returned from my shift to change and prepare to shower and sleep I entered a different navy. The navy I was now seeing invited me to join them on the bunk in what was displayed as alternative relations, I froze and then I ran and for the next week out to sea, this seamen slept in the galley and not in the arms of another man. Shitty!

We want you, we want you, we want you as the new recruit, "Who Me?"


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    • noturningback profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

      Thank you PenMePretty, it was a big learning experience and makes for a good story.

    • noturningback profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

      Thank you PenMePretty

      I found it easy to talk/write about something I know.

    • profile image


      6 years ago from Franklin

      Wow! What in depth writing. Great! Voted up and up and up.


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