Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Humor in Uniform – Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife

Humor in Uniform

A Fictional Spoof

Circa 1977
Office of the XO of a “Stone Frigate” (Navy Shore Establishment)

Part 1


“I am warning you – you better mend your ways – or else…” the Commander shouted at me.

The Commander was the Executive Officer (XO) of the “Stone Frigate” – a Naval Training Establishment located at an isolated place in the back-of-beyond.

“I don’t understand, Sir…” I said to the XO.

“You bloody well know what I am talking about…” the XO bellowed.

“No, Sir – I don’t know what you are talking about…” I said, calmly.

“So – you want to play innocent – do you…? Okay. We will do it the proper way. You sit down…” the XO said to me.  

“Thank You, Sir…” I said.

I pulled a chair – and – I sat down opposite the XO – on the other side of the table.

The XO placed a writing pad in front of him – and – he took out his pen from his pocket.

“I will ask you some questions – and – you will answer those questions truthfully…” the XO said.

“Sir – is this some sort of inquiry…?” I asked the XO.

“You can say that…” he said.

“Sir – I didn’t get any written intimation about this inquiry…”

“The Commanding Officer (CO) has told me to personally conduct a discreet inquiry since the matter is “delicate” in nature – do you understand…? Or – do you want me to march you up to the CO so that he can tell you himself…?” the XO said angrily.

“No, Sir…” I said.

“So – I will ask you some questions – and – you will answer truthfully – and – I will record my questions and your answers on this writing pad – and then – you will sign each page and at the end…”

“Sir – why don’t you get your stenographer…?”

“Because this is a “discreet” inquiry about a “delicate” matter – and – whatever happens here between you and me – it stays within the four walls of my office. Do you understand…?” the XO said.

“Aye, Aye, Sir…” I said.

“Shall we begin…” the XO asked.

“Yes, Sir…” I said.

Well – it was more of an “interrogation” than an “inquiry”.

Dear Reader: I will try to reproduce below the “interrogation report” for your perusal (to the best of my memory).

“Q” indicates “Question” – asked by the XO.

“A” indicates “Answer” to that Question – given by me.

Part 2


Q: This morning – at about 0600 Hours – you were seen leaving the house of Lieutenant “P”. Is that correct…?
A: Yes, Sir. That is correct.

Q: Lieutenant “P” is away on a course – so – Mrs. “P” and you were alone in the house for the entire night. Is that correct…?
A: Yes. Sir – that is correct – only she and I were in the house.

Q: What were you and Mrs. “P” doing the entire night…?
A: We were playing “Scrabble”…

Q: “Scrabble”…?
A: Sir – it is a “word game” – you have to make words from letters written on tiles by placing them on a scrabble board…

Q: You shut up…!!! Don’t try to “Bullshit” me. I know what “Scrabble” is. Are you telling me that you and Mrs. “P” were playing “Scrabble” the entire night – right until the morning…?
A: Not the entire night, Sir. We played “Scrabble” till around 12:30 – maybe 1 o’clock – and then – we went to sleep…”

Q: Oh – so you are admitting that you slept together…?
A: No, Sir – we did not sleep together – Mrs. “P” slept in her bedroom – and – I slept in the spare room…

Q: Are you sure…?
A: Why don’t you ask Mrs. “P”…? She will tell you what we did all night…

Q: You don’t worry about Mrs. “P”. The NOWA ladies are talking to her. You just answer the questions I am asking you. Do you understand…?
A: Aye, Aye, Sir…

[NB: NOWA (Naval Officers Wives Association) – a social organization – was renamed NWWA (Navy Wives Welfare Association) in the 1980’s – in a nutshell – it is a “parallel hierarchy” of Navy Wives and deals with “welfare” issues – like it was trying to do in this case – by “counselling” Mrs. “P” on LLQ (Lady Like Qualities)]

After this aside – let us continue with the “interrogation”…

The XO paused for a moment before he asked me the next question…

Q: Do you know the meaning of the term “Stealing Affections”…?
A: Yes, Sir – “stealing affections” is military euphemism for a “seductive love affair”, most likely an “extramarital affair” or “adultery”.

Q: That’s right. Are you aware of that “Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife” is an offence…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: Let me reiterate for your benefit that “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife” is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and naval discipline and is considered a serious offence. Do you know this…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: Would you say that Lieutenant “P” is your “Brother Officer”…?
A: Of course, Sir – Lieutenant “P” is 3 years senior to me – but – he is certainly a “Brother Officer”…

Q: So – Mrs. “P” is a “Brother Officer’s Wife” – isn’t she…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: So – will I be correct if I say that you are trying to steal the affection of a brother officer’s wife…?
A: What nonsense, Sir…? Are you saying that playing “Scrabble” is tantamount to “stealing affections”…?

Q: Cool down. Talk properly. I am your superior officer.
A: I am sorry, Sir.

Q: I will ask the questions – and – you will answer my questions. You will not ask counter-questions. Do you understand…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: Do you accept it – or – do you deny it…?
A: I did not understand, Sir.

Q: Do you accept that you are guilty of stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife…?
A: No, Sir – I did not steal her affections…

Q: Well – the fact that you accept spending the whole night with Mrs. “P” in her house is enough “circumstantial evidence” from which your guilt can be inferred – but – if you want me to elaborate – we have more “circumstantial evidence” about your immoral intentions. Do you want to hear it…?
A: Sir – you have a wrong opinion about me – I have no immoral intentions…

Q: That we will see. You just answer my questions. Do you understand…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: Is it true that Mrs. “P” visits your cabin in the Officers’ Mess quite frequently...?
A: Not frequently, Sir – but – yes – she has come to my cabin a few times…

Q: Did Mrs. “P” visit your cabin last evening…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: You took her to your cabin…?
A: No, Sir – when I returned to my cabin after playing squash – I found her sitting inside.

Q: Sitting inside…? Does Mrs. “P” have the keys to your cabin…?
A: No, Sir – the steward had the key – she must have asked him to open it…

Q: What was Mrs. “P” doing when you came back after playing squash…?
A: She was sitting in the balcony…

Q: Was she wearing “hot pants”…?
A: “Hot Pants”…? Sir – I do not understand.

Q: What was Mrs. “P” wearing…?
A: She was wearing T-Shirt and Shorts. They were not “hot pants” – she was wearing shorts.

Q: Oh – she was wearing shorts – do you feel that it is an appropriate dress for a lady to wear in a single officer’s cabin…? 
A: Sir, she played a game of squash with me – then – I wanted to play another game with an officer – so – she left…

Q: Are you aware that as per the Mess Rules – Ladies are not permitted in Single Officers’ Cabins…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: You knew this rule – still you took her to your cabin…?
A: Sir – I did not take her to my cabin – she went there on her own…

Q: Is it true that you two were drinking liquor in your cabin…?
A: Sir – are we under surveillance or something…? You even know what we were drinking…?

Q: Answer my question. What were you two drinking…?
A: Rum and Coke – both of us were drinking Rum and Cola.

Q: Are you aware that as per Mess Rules you are not permitted to drink liquor in your cabin…?
A: Yes, Sir.

Q: And you two were smoking too – isn’t it…?
A: Sir – we were smoking tobacco cigarettes – not “hash”. Is smoking banned in officers’ cabins too…? Or – are you implying that if a woman drinks and smokes – she is automatically presumed to be promiscuous…?

Q: Isn’t that leading to “circumstantial evidence” of stealing the affections of a brother officer’s wife…?
A: What nonsense, Sir. It is your “opinion” – and – opinion is not evidence.

Q: You two – Mrs. “P” and you – you two were drinking and smoking till around 2100 Hours – then – you went to the Mess – you picked up some packed food – and then – you both walked down to her house – and – you were seen leaving her house at 0600 Hours in the morning. We have recorded statements from witnesses. Are you still denying that you tried to steal the affections of a brother officer’s wife…?”
A: Sir – you can throw the book at me – but I don’t care. Yes – I broke Mess Rules – but – I did not “steal her affections” – I told you – we were playing “Scrabble”…

Q: Since you refuse to admit your guilt – I will put up the report to the CO and let him decide what to do with you. Till then – with immediate effect – you will have no contact with Mrs. “P” whatsoever – do you understand…?
A: Sir, you cannot interfere in my personal life. Mrs. “P” is a friend of mine – and – our friendship is none of your business. And – by the way – has Lieutenant “P” complained that I am stealing his wife’s affections…? It is only he – Lieutenant “P” who can object to my friendship with his wife – not you. And – for your information – it was Lieutenant “P” who asked me to look after his wife during his absence.

Q: You don’t worry about Mrs. “P” – she will be looked after well by the other ladies – in fact – the NOWA “office bearers” are with her right now to give her any help that she wants. As far as you are concerned – I am ordering you not to meet Mrs. “P”. You will give a written undertaking to that effect. Is that clear…?
A: Sir – I am not going to give any written undertaking. I am not going to sign anything which casts aspersions on my character – because – I have not done anything wrong. I will continue my friendship with Mrs. “P” – as long as she wants it. Sir – you can tell the CO to do whatever he wants – but – I will fight it out.

With these words – I got up from my seat – I put on my cap – I saluted the XO – and – I walked out of his office.

Part 3


At 1700 Hours (5 in the evening) there was a NOWA Ladies’ Meet in the Officers’ Mess – and – Mrs. “P” had been “ordered” to attend the NOWA Ladies Meet.

So – ideally – at 1645 Hours – Mrs. “P” should have been walking with other ladies to the Officers’ Mess – to attend the Ladies’ Meet.

However – instead of walking to the Officers’ Mess – Mrs. “P” was sitting behind me on my motorcycle – dressed in Jeans and a rather skimpy Top – her legs astride – her arms around me – as we drove to town to see a Movie.

In fact – as we crossed the Ladies – Mrs. “P” clung onto me – holding me tightly – and – I drove slowly near the ladies – making sure that everyone saw us – in the “compromising position”…

As soon as the office opened next morning – the CO had a private “conference” with the XO.

The XO told the CO what had happened during his talk with me.

The XO also told the CO about the evening’s episode (about Mrs. “P” clinging to me tightly on my bike) which he had had learnt about from his wife.

Of course – the CO had already been briefed about it by his own wife – with “masala” added.

“So – what should we do…?” asked the CO.

“Sir – he deserves to be court-martialed…” the XO said.

“Are you crazy…? The whole world will come to know – and – I can’t afford any scandal under my command – especially now – don’t you know – ACR time is coming up – and – my promotion board is next year. It is a huge batch and there are hardly any vacancies – and – just one small blot is enough to ruin me – so – I can’t afford to take any chances…” the CO said.

“Yes, Sir…” the XO said.

“That bugger wanted a transfer from this place – didn’t he…?” the CO asked the XO.

“Yes, Sir – he had put up a formal request for a transfer to Mumbai saying that as a bachelor he found it difficult to live in this desolate place…”

“I think he had approached the Captain Commandant also…”

“Yes, Sir…”

“Okay – let’s transfer him out – ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’…”

“Sir – let’s send him to “Kala Pani” – we’ll post him to some remote island – that will serve him right and bring him to his senses…”

“Are you crazy…? If you do such a stupid thing – he’ll raise a bloody “shindig” – he’s sure to make “noise” and raise a “stink” – he’ll put up a “rep” or complain to someone higher-up that he is being “victimized”. I told you that I want the matter hushed-up. We’ll give him his choice transfer to Mumbai – so he will keep his mouth shut…”

“Sir – you’ll speak to…?”

“No. I don’t want to get involved in this affair. You get it done at your level. You can do it – can’t you…?”

“Yes, Sir…”

“I want the officer out of here by today – he should be on the evening train to Mumbai…”

“Yes, Sir – I’ll see to it. And Sir – let’s get rid of Mrs. “P” too – so the whole issue will be forgotten once and for all…”

“What do you mean…?”

“Sir – I’ll ask them to transfer Lieutenant “P” to Delhi…”


Mrs. “P” is from Delhi, Sir – Lieutenant “P” has given Delhi as his choice station – so that his wife can start working again…”

“Oh – so that’s the root cause of the problem – these career women get restless in small isolated cantonments like this – and they create all sorts of problems – okay – go ahead – tell them to issue the transfer order effective next month – so we can pack off Lieutenant “P” and Mrs. “P” to Delhi the moment he returns from his course…”

“Aye, Aye, Sir…”

“I want the transfer orders issued immediately – can you get it done – after all – both of them are piddling Lieutenants…”

“I will get it done, Sir – both transfer orders – and – that officer will be on the evening train to Mumbai…”

“Very Good…” the CO said, “organize a farewell PLD for him…”

“Aye, Aye, Sir…” the XO said.  


3 Months Later

I had settled down well in my new job in Mumbai – and – I was sent on a Temporary Duty to Delhi to attend a conference.

On my very first evening – I “called on” Lieutenant P and Mrs. “P” – in their small flat in Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi.

“So – the “slam-dunk” worked…” Lieutenant P said to me.

“Yes, Sir – I must especially thank your wife…” I said, looking at Mrs. “P”.

“Actually, I must thank you,” Mrs. “P” said to me, “I quit my job the moment I got married – so that I could live with my husband – but when I landed up in that godforsaken place – it was a terrible shock for a “city girl” like me – and then – he was sent away on that course – and living all alone in that lonely miserable place with nothing to do – I was going crazy. Now – I have got my job back – the same job I had quit when I got married – and – I am enjoying working so much…”

“So – it is “win-win” for all of us…” I said.

“Yes – let’s say “Cheers” to that…” Lieutenant P said.

And – we – all three of us – we raised our glasses to celebrate. 

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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, 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.

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