Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sarcasm should have been home by now ~ Conclusion

At 7 AM, the ship was moored, and I watched my ride land in all of it's glory. It whisked me off to my ship and we went on about our days, and the birds of paradise flew out my nose. That is what *should  have happened, and would have happened to any one else.

[*Should: Comes with an evil laugh from the universe and a twenty thousand foot tall neon sign blinking a bright red "BLESSED"]

As it happened, I stood on the deck of the ferry and watched the helicopter land and take off as the rest of the fleet pulled in ahead of us. When we finally docked, I went to the French command vessel and they did not know how I was getting home. That was my ships problem, not theirs, even after I explained that their decision that all of the mine sweepers should dock first cost me my ride. Not their problem. So, after going to some of the larger ships I found myself back with Swedes, trying to figure out a way back. They pulled out their liberty van from their storage, and then hired a polish cab driver to drive me the six hours to Gdan`sk.

Cab drivers around the world are some of the most awesome people I have ever had the opportunity to meet. Knowing a good cabby in a foreign country gets you to some of the best places you never knew were there. Being nice to cab drivers is important. Tipping well (usually included and be careful for those who rip you off with a smile), and giving them additional business usually gets you the inside scoop. Normally I pick the elderly cab drivers. they are honest and love to talk about their home towns. This particular cabby was not exactly made of the same stuff as other cab drivers.

The first hour or so was fairly normal, with a lovely ferry ride along the way. Then, the suck happened. I was wearing my coveralls with my name, rank, and military affiliation on them. I was also wearing my command ball cap. As we are driving on a four lane highway, people are passing us every now and then, and looking into the window, and promptly throwing stuff at the van. There are some people in Poland who do not care for the US. It is not like we attacked them or something. However, we did liberate the shit out of them in WW2. Guess helping to stop the extermination of millions pisses people off. So, a couple of hours in, needing to wash the rotten vegetables and other stuff off of the van, needing gas and few other things, we pulled over. I went to the restroom, and removed the patches from my uniform. Then, I traded one of my command ball caps for a gas station cover, and went back to the now clean van. We jumped in, and proceeded on our way to Gdan'sk. Then, the cabby offered me a Coke.

I took the dirt covered can. By dirt covered, I mean the gas station we stopped at must be the only gas station in the world that grows its own Coke. Seriously, there was so much dirt it took awhile to get it to a point where I felt comfortable drinking it. I am not afraid of germs. I grew up on a ranch. I spent many summers cleaning lodges and chicken coops. I have drank from rivers with full knowledge that at some point an animal used the bathroom in it, or died in it. But, dirt from a gas station, in a foreign country, on something I am intending to ingest is where I draw the line, especially since I know some of the chemicals used in World War 2. So, after cleaning and finishing the soda, we are 3 hours into the drive, when I notice the driver is dozing off. Seriously, like major full on sleeping hits. Dude is jerking upright, then dozing off again. He has had three of the drinks and they are not helping, so I try to have a conversation. I am not conversational in Polish. I am not even conversational in English on most days. But, we muddled through........until he pulled over, handed me the map and got out.

And, there I was, driving in Poland, with nothing but a map (in Polish), a sleeping driver (also in Polish), and praying to god (in English) that I wasn't pulled over (by the Polish). Three very tense hours went by, and, finally, I arrived at the edge of the Gdan'sk city limits. I pulled over in front of the sign, nudged the driver awake, and pointed at the sign. The driver gave me a thumbs up, and started to get comfortable again to go back to sleep. I nudged him again, handed him the map, said "Port!", and got out. We swapped places reluctantly, and went to the local naval base. Only after trading another one of my command ball caps, did we learn the ship was not there. We bounced around for a while, traded this and that for information, and finally.....Finally......ended up back at the ship. MY ship. I did not tip the driver. However, I did give him one command ball-cap, my gas station hat, and a bag of Swedish candy cars. I was temporarily detained at the bottom of the pier while a first class petty officer, who had no idea who I was, lectured me on being late to a working party, being out of uniform, and why hadn't I shaved recently, when someone on the working party finally recognized me, and stopped the flow of trash long enough to let me on.

On the quarterdeck, a new lieutenant was so happy to see the strange, unshaven, sloppy dressed person showing a dead sailors ID that he pulled his gun on me (again post 9-11 common sense here). He commanded me to slowly set my rucksack down, and put my hands on the bulk head. Before he was able to call a security alert, the hatch opened, and there was my friend Kilo Papa, who was on watch as well. Inside the hatch was my chain of command, the supply department chain, and a few others all talking with the Captain and his Executive Officer about where the missing sailor was. Kilo Papa leaned his head in shouted that I was there. I grabbed my stuff, and ran inside before the lieutenant could decide whether or not to shoot me.

And that, my friends, is how I died. Thank you for reading this far. I know it was a long time to get here, but we made it. I had to work, as usual, the next day. I happened to have spare patches for my coveralls, and luckily no one contacted my next of kin to alert them to my death. There were a few rumors about possibly getting Kilo Papa to do it, but thankfully, it didn't come to that.

Now, for the first Evil Greeting Card this week.


If you only knew...


How many times I have let you walk around with your fly down. 

No comments:

Post a Comment