Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Now Hear This

February 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 190

Our ship had pulled into Dego because she and the men who manned her were kind of tired. She was a small ship, just a destroyer escort. But, she had done a good job and a total overhauling was the order of the day.

I was a Pharmacist Mate at the time and had charge of the closet -like room they called sick-bay. It was a hot day I remember. And Jim Gahagan and I were sitting around sipping one of our favorite concoctions. You see, Gahagan was a cook and had access to the galley. So, he supplied the orange juice. I was a Pharmacist Mate, as I said before, and getting the alcohol was easy. Consequently, we were inseparable buddies. I remember quite clearly how the conversation was going when we heard the news...

"I don't know how the Nips can hold out much longer ", said Gahagan. He had a habit of stroking his Van Dyke beard while talking. It had grown along with a pair of Confederate side burns while we were at sea. Jim was an artist by temperament and a cook by trade. He was what we used to call, "Strictly Asiatic". He loved to paint and sketch and run around barefoot.

Rules to him, were insults to his integrity and personal freedom. And he ignored them as much as he could. Consequently, it would not be seldom that the P. A. system would snap on and the dull, droning voice of Mother Hubbard, our executive office, would fill the ship with...

"Now hear this. Now hear this... All P.A.L. 's and Gahagan with the side burns... lay down to the M.A. shack for muster."

Which in civilian terms meant that Gahagan was a prisoner at large again, and had to report every hour on the hour to guarantee that he hadn't sneaked out on liberty, Or,if we were at sea, to convince the Master-at-Arms that he wasn't asleep under a bunk somewhere instead of doing extra duty.

"I don't know, " I replied. "The Japs are a pretty stubborn people. I can't see them quitting until we get them by the backs of their necks and force them into submission." We let it go at that.

From there we got into a discussion, as all men did at that time, about our post-war plans. "First" Gahagan said quite seriously, I am going to get so drunk, so drunk, that they are going to have to pick me up with a sponge and pour me into my bed. Then about a week later, I am gonna get a fishing pole and take off.. I'm gonna stroll around in those beautiful Vermont woods and fish and sleep. That's the life! " He sighed. Then he frowned and stroked his beard some more. "But this damn war is never gonna end. We'll still be here and the Ninety-two will be here and Mother Hubbard will be here a thousand years from now. We're never gonna get out of this stinking Navy. Look at your I.D. card." He said. "Know what it says, 'void after'? It says, 'indefinite'. Boy, that's one time they told us the truth."

"Yeah", I kidded. "I guess I'll have to listen to you gripe for all eternity. I don't know why I didn't join the Army or Marines. I'm getting sick of this rotten tin can I have had to call home for three years. It seems to get smaller and more cramped every day."

Just then, a deck ape, I forget his name, came in.

"Hey Doc, how about some of that purple stuff for my jungle rot? It's ichin like hell"

"Help yourself buddy, " I said. "You know where it is".

"Say", Gahagan asked him, 'What are you gonna do when you get out?"

Our shipmate looked up and said, " Me? Nuttin... Ya know why? Cause I'm never getting out. Not me."

We looked at him in amazement and asked, "You mean you're shipping over?"

"Sure", He said. "I'm a twenty year man."

It was Gahagan that asked why.

"Well", he answered, putting the cork on the Gentian Violet he had applied. "It's a cruel world out there. I'm gonna stay where I'm sure of three square meals a day and a place to sleep...

Well thanks Doc, gotta get back before the chief blows a fuse... see ya."

We watched him go and said nothing for a long time.

Finally, Gahagan laughed and said, " I always thought that guy was a psycho case. Now I'm sure... Twenty year man. Boy! All they have to do is turn me loose. That's all I ask. There'll be a swoosh and a zoom and they won't see me no more. No sir!"

Just then, and I remember this most vividly,the P. A. system came on with a squawk and some static. Gahagan twitched instinctively as Mother Hubbard droned his, Now hear this," twice and said...

"Men, the Captain has asked me to inform you that the Japanese have surrendered! The war is over!"

I looked at Gahagan and he looked at me.

He got up and made himself another drink.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Gahagan With The Sideburns

It is true that a photo booth hire cannot actually replace a camera but you will never run short of photographs if you think of photo hire.It is true that a photo booth hire cannot actually replace a

By: Simon Liva l Arts & Entertainment > Photography l November 21, 2012 lViews: 268

Well-known director Pascal Laugier is once again all set to frighten his fans with another dreadful affair, The Tall Man. The spooky thriller has been produced by Clément Miserez, Kevin DeWalt,

By: rose jasmin l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l November 02, 2012 lViews: 262

The Good Wife is an American legal drama series. It was first broadcasted on CBS on 22nd September, 2009. It is the creation of Robert King and Michelle King. It is produced by the Kings, Ridley and

By: Monu Mani l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l November 01, 2012 lViews: 258

ICarly in an American teens show created by Dan Schneider who is also the executive producer of the show. this show is about a girl named Carly Shay who along with her best friends Sam and Freeddie

By: elvis l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l October 25, 2012 lViews: 265

Love stories are supposed to be full of romance, seduction and enduring love. As these funny love stories show, however, these stories can also be filled with laughter. Fortunately, shared laughter

By: Jasmine Montford l Arts & Entertainment > Humor l October 25, 2012 lViews: 311

Lost is an American television science fictional series that is full of mystery, adventure and supernatural drama. It was originally broadcasted on ABC from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010,

By: ramandeep l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l October 25, 2012 lViews: 337

The Dream Series are writings inspired by experiences and activities encountered in the course of my dreams, plus the interpretations and revelations I receive about each dream. The essence of the

By: Boyewa T'Oritshe Nunul Arts & Entertainment > Short Fictionl April 11, 2012 lViews: 168

Global warming causes a huge ice floe to break free from the Antarctic continent and float from McMurdo Sound into the Antarctic Current. As it melts, the ice liberates a virus that has been hidden

By: Michael E Sedgwickl Arts & Entertainment > Short Fictionl April 10, 2012 lViews: 185

A Minnesota fisherman, Russ, goes off to Racine, Wisconsin, with his buddy, Bugs, to participate in the annual contest held by Salmon-A-Rama. First prize is a top-of-the-line fishing boat loaded or

By: Michael E Sedgwickl Arts & Entertainment > Short Fictionl April 10, 2012 lViews: 172

In the annals of the Wayside folklore it is recorded that many had drifted into her abyss, but few, very few have been known to return to the former life. As the proverb of the Way-Side folkes goes,

By: Boyewa T'Oritshe Nunul Arts & Entertainment > Short Fictionl April 06, 2012 lViews: 172

When he had first arrived in the firm someone called him Titch and the name had stuck. He was a short, slight, man, very quiet, but with a keen sense of humour and a total devotion to his job. He was

By: Serena Fairfaxl Arts & Entertainment > Short Fictionl April 05, 2012 lViews: 169

Rasselas and Nekayah both are the offspring of Abyssinia royalty who escaped from a happy valley with Imlac in search of happiness. They reach Cairo, the centre of commerce. There travelers as well

By: Ali Oyo Asghar Jl Arts & Entertainment > Short Fictionl April 04, 2012 lViews: 232