Friday, December 16, 2016

Barracks Life, 1970-1

  I've been getting GIFs from friends lately. GIFs are those little two second videos that keep repeating endlessly. Yesterday I got a sparkly wreath. Today it was a set of hands pouring stars into another set of hands which pass the stars to a third set, or is it just to the first set again?
  Ennaways that GIF reminded me of an incident from my Navy days involving a lava lamp and five shipmates. I was never on a ship during my four year hitch, but I still consider my fellow tars as shipmates. One of my fellow shellbacks received a lava lamp from his mother to add a bit of charm to his barren barracks cubicle.  There were two double bunk beds in each cubicle, but there were enough cubicles so that only two swabbies had to share a cubicle. Almost everyone slept on the bottom berth and hung a sheet from the upper to provide a bit of privacy, though a sheet did not protect you from the idiotic dj blaring from your neighbor's wireless at six a.m.
  Back to the lava lamp. Most lava lamps had a lightbulb in them. Jim's device however sat on a heating element and once it got warmed up, you could remove it from its base and if you were foolish, you would allow your fellow sea dogs to pass the cylinder from hand to hand as they stood in a circle. These lamps contained colored oils and it was hypnotic how the colors mixed and unmixed as we passed the tube around and around until we got very very sleepy and  someone let the cylinder fall from his hands. One of the bluejackets was of Hispanic origin and he said either ¡Ai Caramba! or ¡Ai Chihuahua! I can't remember which. It was a slimy mess either way. Amazing how the magic can rush out of a thing so quickly. Jim was kind of a crazy guy and eventfully received a discharge for mental health reasons. I hope the loss of his lava lamp had nothing to do with his breakdown, for Jim was a fine circumnavigator.


Joe said...

I'm emailing you a gif that shows my idea of how each swabbie emotionally responded to the hapless butterfingered birdbrain.

Chairman Joe said...

OK folks, I tried to copy the gif her but Boooger won't let me so here's the link: