In our last episode, Mom dropped me off at AFEES. And headed to breakfast.
WARNING: The following contains what is commonly referred to as “salty” language. Get used to it, because that’s pretty much how it will be from here on out. Or did you think someone just made up the expression “swear like a sailor”?
New Haven, Connecticut
|"With liberty and fraternity for all. |
Only this time I knew to keep an eye out
|Hey, good luck with that Navy thing. |
Instead of heading back to class, Bill Metzler, Buddy Fulton, Paul Arnold, and I were finally on our way to the Midwest. Joined by two others from Guilford and Derby, we knew the biggest difference between this morning and January was that now we’d get jail instead of detention if we decided to just go home.
We were ordered to pick a group leader who’d be responsible for carrying our orders, transportation tickets, and meal vouchers. Realizing this was a position of limited responsibility, zero privilege, and even less prestige, nobody was eager for the job. We mostly stared at each other, hoping someone would be stupid enough to volunteer.
Finally, after being told to “get our candy asses moving,” we opted for a thoroughly democratic round of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Luckily for us, five of us threw “rock” while Jimmy Banfield from Guilford unwisely elected to go with “scissors.”
|"Shoulda thrown paper. |
So, who knows? Far be it from me to dispute the indiscriminate randomness inherent in “RPS.”
In any case, Jimmy now had to lug six large manila envelopes to Illinois.
Within the hour, we were on a train headed to Springfield, Massachusetts. Once there, we’d get on a second train which would take us to Chicago. Upon arrival in the Windy City, we were to board a third train for the final leg to boot camp.
All told, this little trip would take a
day and a half. On technology invented in the 19th century.
When I mentioned to the processing petty officer (the same one from January-except this time he wasn’t wearing dirty scrubs) that, since the airplane had been around since 1903, the Navy might want to take advantage of that technological innovation.
He stared at me like I had two heads. Thinking briefly (briefly is actually all he was capable of), he barked,
|Like this. |
But not in camouflage.
And with more spittle.
And he wasn't black.
“Quitcher yer fucking bitchin’ and moanin’, ya fucking piece a shit! I’ll put ya on a goddamn fucking donkey if I fucking feel like it! Now, get’cher sorry ass on the fucking goddamn train with the rest of those pussies before I lose my fucking temper, ya whinin’ douchebag!”
I learned two things that morning:
1. Navy petty officers aren’t warm and cuddly like my recruiter.
2. Apparently, “fuck” is a pretty popular word.
NEXT: Hell is in session.....