Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Humor in Uniform - A FOODIE STORY


Hilarious Memories of my Delightful Navy Life

One thing I found good about the Navy was that the food served in wardrooms was excellent – both afloat and ashore.

But there were some exceptions.

Like this frontline warship on which I was serving.

This ship was reputed to have the worst food in the fleet – perhaps the worst food in the entire navy.

That is what everyone else said.

But I found the food to be quite okay – in fact – at times – I found the food to be quite tasty.

There was a “suggestion book” in the wardroom – and everyone gave vent to their anger by writing all sorts of disparaging complaints about the food.

I was the only officer who wrote positive comments about the food – lavishly praising a dish whenever I liked one – and generously complimenting the cooks and stewards for their efforts.

My favourable comments about the food had many ramifications.

The wardroom stewards would pay particular attention to me and give me special service – including choicest helpings of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes (which the cook would send up for me from the pantry) – and they would also make sure I got plenty of dessert since they knew I had a sweet tooth.

After I had finished my meal, the Chief Steward would place the “suggestion book” in front of me – and he would look on eagerly as I profusely recorded my generous appreciation with lavish praise for the food and service in the most prolix and flowery language.

The “suggestion book” would then be rushed to the PMC the next senior officer to the Captain who on this ship at that point of time – happened to be the Supply Officer (now called Logistics Officer).

After around 3 months there was the customary Wardroom Mess Meeting.

Each and every officer bitterly complained about the standard of food.

“This ship has the worst food in the fleet,” said all the officers, most vociferously.

The Captain looked at the PMC.

In response, the PMC thrust the “suggestion book” in front of the Captain – and pointed to my glowing comments which he had highlighted.

With a wry smile on his face, the Captain started going through my appreciative comments of fulsome praise for the food – he seemed to reading all my comments – page by page.

After some time, the Captain looked at me, and then he looked at all the officers, and the Captain said, “Well, at least one officer feels that the food in our wardroom isn’t all that bad.”

The Captain pointed towards me and said, “Look at him – he loves the food in this wardroom – see how prosperous, happy and healthy he looks – I’d rather believe him ­than all you skinny emaciated guys – yes – if he says the food is good – then it must be good.”

(I was probably the “healthiest” officer on board – nice and chubby – just short of the “10% above ideal weight” limit required to maintain my S1A1 medical category).

Then the Captain looked at everyone and said, “So all you cynical and pessimistic guys better stop complaining and learn from him how to enjoy good food.”

The Captain and PMC then gave “sermons” to the assembled officers to stop complaining and give constructive suggestions instead.

With that – the wardroom mess meeting ended – to be followed by the customary PLD.

My wardroom shipmates were furious with me.

“How can you say that this horrible food is good?” they all said in unison.

“I really like the wardroom food,” I said.

“There seems to be something wrong with you – how can anyone actually like this terrible food?” they all said in disgust.

A few days later – when we were in harbour – I invited all my wardroom shipmates to my home for dinner.

After “relishing” the inimitable “delicious” food at my place – no one ever asked me why I liked the food in the ship’s wardroom.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This blog post 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 story 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.

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