Friday, November 28, 2014

Humor in Uniform - NEVER BULLSHIT A BULLSHITTER - OFFICERSHIP AT SEA

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

Here is a hilarious story from my Humor in Uniform Archives – a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour.

NEVER BULLSHIT A BULLSHITTER
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

PROLOGUE

There is a saying: “No one is indispensable”.

However, in the 1980’s, with the induction of new ships with modern weapons/equipment and sophisticated propulsion systems, I observed that, on many ships, there were a number of sailors, especially in the Technical Branches, mainly artificers, who were considered “indispensable”.

Whether these individuals were genuinely indispensable or not, I do not know, and I suspect not.

But the fact of the matter was that the Captain and Head of Department (HOD) wanted that particular “indispensable” sailor on board the ship during his one year tenure – so that his tenure passed without a hiccup, especially on that crucial weapon system handled by the “indispensable” sailor.

In fact, the Captain/HOD often got the transfers of these “indispensable” sailors cancelled, and I remember a case of “poaching” too, which resulted in an ugly exchange of correspondence, including signals, between the two rival ships involved.

Another offshoot was that these “indispensable” sailors acquired immense “expert power” (which sometimes overwhelmed “position power”) and they developed a tendency to bullshit.

Here is the hilarious story of one such “indispensable” sailor.


OFFICERSHIP AT SEA A Spoof by Vikram Karve


“P” – THE “INDISPENSABLE” CHIEF PETTY OFFICER (CPO) 

On our ship we had a Chief Petty Officer – let’s call him “P”.

P was a part of the commissioning crew.

P had remained on the ship continuously without break for more than seven years.

Every time P’s transfer came, the Captain would get P’s transfer cancelled.

Every Captain wanted P to remain on board during his tenure, since P was indispensable.

P was indispensable since he was a specialist on a key weapon system.

With increasing years of experience, P gained more and more expertise, and soon he was the unsurpassed expert on the system.

Every Captain knew that with P on board, it would be smooth sailing as far as that crucial weapon system was concerned.

So every new Captain ensured that, during his command tenure, P was kept on board the ship.

It was a Catch-22 situation.

The more P served at sea on board the ship, the more P yearned to go for an appointment ashore.

But conversely, the more P served on board the ship  the more specialist expertise he acquired  and the more he became indispensable”  and his chances of going ashore became lesser and lesser.

P was fed up – seven continuous years at sea were taking its toll on his health and, also, his family life was adversely affected.

was delighted when he got his transfer order to a training establishment ashore as an instructor.

But unfortunately, the incoming new Captain got P’s transfer cancelled.

P represented against the cancellation of his transfer – he had served 7 long years continuously on a frontline warship and desperately wanted to go ashore.

I took P to meet the Captain.   

“Don’t worry. You just remain on the ship for my tenure. The moment my transfer comes, I will see to it that you are transferred to some good place ashore – in fact, I will get you a choice transfer to the shore establishment of your choice,” the new Captain assured P.

Despite the Captain’s assurance, P seemed dejected.

When I tried to commiserate with him, P said cynically: “Forget it, Sir. Every Captain says the same thing. Captains come and go, all of you come and go, but I am destined to remain stuck in this hellhole forever.”


THE BULLSHITTER XO (Executive Officer)

A few days later a new XO (second-in-command) arrived – a hot-shot “spit and polish” Commander who had spent most of his time on training ships and establishments.

He boasted that he was going to “kick us into shape”.

On the very first day of sailing, I was summoned to his cabin.

The XO was seated in his chair.

P was standing in front of him, not at attention, but in his usual casual manner.

P had the cavalier bearing of a sailor who has been at sea for a long time.

The Master-at-arms was standing behind P.

The XO shouted at me: “I was taking rounds and your Chief was moving around in a slovenly manner in the alleyway. He was almost nude, dressed in a bloody filthy skimpy lungi  – and even his bloody lungi was at half-mast...”

“Sir, I was going for my bath …” P interrupted.

“Shut up!” the XO shouted furiously at P.

Then the XO turned to me and said: “The bugger did not even bother to salute me…”

Again P interrupted, “Sir, in this ship we don’t salute below decks…”

The XO stood up to his full height.

Then the XO looked menacingly at P, and he shouted at P:

“Don’t bloody bullshit – and you don’t try to act smart with me – I have sorted out many funny chaps like you...

“Sir, why are you threatening at me? I told you ...” P pleaded.

On hearing this, the XO glowered at P and then the XO angrily roared at P:

“If you misbehave with me, I will throw you out of this ship.

P (a Chief Petty Officer) looked at the XO (a Commander) squarely in the eye and said:

Sir, if you get me transferred out of this ship, I will give you a party in a 5-star hotel.”

I almost burst out laughing, but I controlled myself.

In order to avoid the situation deteriorating further and leading to an aggravated offence, I quickly removed P from the XO’s cabin.

Such juicy galley news spreads fast, and in a few hours, the whole ship knew about the incident.

From then on, the XO would scrupulously avoid P.

But whenever their paths crossed, tongue-in-cheek, P would ask the XO:

Sir, when are you throwing me out of this ship?


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 

This is an abridged updated extract of my story FEAR – THE GREATEST MOTIVATOR First Posted in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 29 July 2013 by Vikram Karve at 7/29/2013 12:52:00 PM in this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/07/fear-is-greatest-motivator.html

NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK – A Sailor’s Perspective

NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK – A Sailors Perspective
Ramblings of a Retired Navy Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE


NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK – The Navy Perspective

Every year, the 4th of December is observed as NAVY DAY by the Indian Navy.

In the Indian Navy, the Navy Day celebrations actually extend across the entire week in which the Navy Day falls, and this week is called the NAVY WEEK.

The celebrations are held mainly at Mumbai, and on a smaller scale in other Naval Stations like Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Goa etc, and in landlocked Delhi too.

In Mumbai, the Navy Week Celebrations culminate with Beating the Retreat Ceremony at Gateway of India and the grand finale is the spectacular Navy Ball at the end of the week on Saturday.  

During the Navy Week the Navy tries to showcase its capabilities to the civilian public by holding a series of combat demonstrations, live displays, parade drills and events like band concerts. 

Sometimes, naval families, veterans and prominent citizens are taken out for a day at sea to observe “shop window” exercises which demonstrate salient aspects of the navy at sea.

In a nutshell, as far as the Navy is concerned, the aim of Navy Week is to showcase the Navy to civilian citizens.


NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK – A Sailors Perspective

This happened many years ago, in the 1970s.

A few weeks before Navy Week, responsibilities were allocated to various ships, and our ship was required to present the “continuity drill” display to be held at the Gateway of India 

The sailors on our ship started practicing very hard.

They sailors rehearsed day and night for the “continuity drill” display to be held at the Gateway of India during Navy Week.

A continuity drill is a most precise and difficult parade drill since the entire parade drill sequence and movements are to be performed without any words of command.

That is why it requires rigorous practice and repeated rehearsals before it can be perfected.

The sailors were practicing without break for over a month, during working hours and also in off-working hours, including on Sundays and holidays, in order to perfect the continuity drill.

The long hours of painstaking efforts paid off.

The event was a great success.

The Navy Top Brass congratulated our Captain on the excellent performance of his sailors.

After the event, I came across one of my newly recruited sailors who had taken part in the continuity drill.

I congratulated the young sailor on his performance and I asked him, “Do you know why Navy Week is celebrated?”

“To impress the civilians,” the sailor said.

At first, I was taken aback by his answer.

Then I saw that there was wisdom in what the raw young sailor had said.

The entire Navy, all of us, were slogging away for weeks, to put up a show for civilians.

Yes, we were desperately trying to impress the civilians who frankly did not give a tinkers damn about us, although they seemed to be enjoying the spectacle we were putting up for them.

I remember a friend of mine, who was in-charge of organizing Navy Week Activities, heave a sigh of relief once it was all over.

He remarked in disgust: “This Navy Week Tamasha must be scrapped. We screw ourselves for weeks to put up a show for these bloody civilians who just don’t care for us. 

Sometimes I wonder whether it is worth in putting in so much extra effort to try and impress civilians who do not seem to care two hoots about the Navy and Naval Sailors.

I wonder whether civilians understand the sanctity of such occasions, parades, combat demonstrations, ceremonial events and displays or whether they treat them as spectacles for entertainment and enjoyment.

Be that as it may, do spare a thought for our Navy Personnel on Navy Day, and during the Navy Week.

Think of all the sailors slogging it out on ships and submarines guarding the seas so that you can sleep in peace.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

MY SHIPMATE’S CHIC WIFE – Hilarious Memories of My Glorious Navy Days

HUMOUR IN AND OUT OF UNIFORM

Next week is Navy Week (4 December is Navy Day).

Now, for a retired navy veteran living in landlocked Pune, navy day is just another day and navy week is just another week.

But you cannot stop me from reminiscing and telling you this story which happened long ago during Navy Ball, which is the grand finale of the Navy Week...

MY SHIPMATE’S CHIC “HAUTE COUTURE” WIFE
Hilarious Memories of my Glorious Navy Days
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I was, and maybe I still am, an old fashioned prude and a bit puritanical by nature.

Let me tell you a hilarious anecdote – a result of my rather prudish behaviour, which happened long back when I was in the Navy.

It was the evening of the Navy Ball, the much awaited grand finale of the Navy Week in Mumbai (then called Bombay).

It was decided that all ship’s officers who did not live in the Navy Township (NOFRA) would assemble with our wives in the home of a shipmate who lived in NOFRA near the Navy Command Officers Mess – the venue of the Navy Ball.

We could park our scooters/motorcycles near his house.

(Yes, those days most navy officers had scooters/motorcycles and could not afford cars)

We would then all walk down to the Mess Lawns for the Navy Ball.

Accordingly, my wife and I reached my shipmate’s house half an hour before the commencement of the Navy Ball.

Some officers and wives were already there, some trickled in, and our shipmate had generously opened a bottle of rum, and told us to help ourselves while they got dressed.

My shipmate came out of his bedroom smartly dressed in Navy Uniform Dress No. 6, monkey jacket, miniature medals and all.

He said his wife was getting ready.

It was almost time for the Navy Ball.

We were anxiously waiting for his wife to get ready.

After some time the door opened and his wife stepped out.

I was most disappointed to see that she had still not got ready.

“What is this Ma’am? The Navy Ball is about to start and you are still in your nightie?” I blurted out.

The lady looked at me with an expression of total shock – as if she was stunned.

Slowly, I could see her shock turn into anger.

She was looking at me with blazing eyes.

She pointed towards the clothes she was wearing, and shouted at me: “You are calling this a nightie? This is a haute couture designer dress. Do you know how much money I spent on this exclusive custom made dress? 

“Haute Couture...? I mumbled – I had never heard the term haute couture” before.

I looked at my shipmate’s wife with regret in my eyes and a contrite expression on my face.

But I saw the expression on her face change from anger into anxiety and then into one of panic.

My shipmate’s wife looked at my wife, the she looked at the other ladies, and she said: “Tell me, is this dress really looking so bad?”

After that, my shipmate’s wife burst into tears, and she ran back into her bedroom.

Now, my shipmate’s wife was very chic and fashionable.

She had got this most fashionable skimpy western style dress exclusively made-to-order from a top designer (haute couture”) especially for the Navy Ball.

Being an old-fashioned prude, I did not realize that what she was wearing was not a “nightie”, but an exclusive haute couture latest fashion skimpy dress which she had got specially made for her by a leading fashion designer.

My wife gave me a glaring look and told me to disappear, lest I say or do something stupid that would further aggravate matters.

Then, my wife and the other ladies went inside to console my shipmate’s wife.

It was decided that all the gentlemen would proceed for the Navy Ball and the ladies would join later.

I apologized to my shipmate: “I am very sorry – I did not mean to insult your wife.”

“Oh, come on, forget it,” he said, “In fact, after hearing your comments, I almost burst out laughing myself.”

“But your wife must be angry with me?” I said.

“Don’t worry, she’ll be okay – she spent a fortune on that designer dress – that is why she is so upset,” he said.

Later, the ladies joined us in the Navy Ball.

My shipmate’s wife was the centre of attraction in her haute couture skimpy fashionable dress.

I wanted to apologize to her, but my wife had given me strict instructions to keep my mouth shut, lest I put my foot in my mouth again.

Many years later, my wife was shopping in the ladies’ garments section of a mall in Pune.

I was just hanging around.

Suddenly I saw the same chic and fashionable lady, my ex-shipmate’s haute couture wife, standing near me.

I wished her.

She smiled back.

“My wife is in the trial room?” I said.

“Oh? I must meet her,” she said.

“Meanwhile, can you please help me select a nightie for my wife – she likes “half nighties” – short nighties – like these ones here,” I said, pointing to the colourful nighties hanging nearby on a rack.

My ex-shipmate’s chic haute couture wife burst out laughing, and she said to me: “These are not “Nighties” – these are Kurties” or “Tops” – they are certainly not “Nighties” – You are still as clueless as ever, aren’t you?

I smiled at her, and then I joined her in laughter.

I knew that she had forgiven me for my faux pas” on that Navy Ball Evening, many years ago.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This yarn is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)