Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pine Oil Miracle! Episode Two: The Pain of the Miracle Whip!

"What in the HELL were you thinking?" Chief asked.

Chief had no idea. Pity. It was up to me to convince Chief that he was lookin' at it all wrong. Up to me to help Chief to see the intoxicating power we now had at our command!

"Well, you see, I know what it looks like, but..." Rick replied, tryin' to work his crowd...the Chief.

Up to me and Rick! Afterall, we were a team!

"I not only know what it looks like! I know what it smells like! The XO will be here in...20 minutes! What am I going to tell him?" Chief asked after ranting.
This wasn't going well.

"It was an accident?" Rick offered.

Looks like Rick and I were no longer a team on this one. Rick had lost sight of my vision. I was on my own.

"An accident?" Chief asked, increduously, like he couldn't believe his ears.

Way to soften him up, Rick. How am I goin' to get Chief to listen after that lame excuse?

"An accident? Are you retarded or brain damaged? How many gallons did you open up and spill?" Chief asked, with more bulging blood vessels than I had ever seen on him. "And why are you both covered"

Rats! Chief was pissed! Rick glanced at me with a horrified look for some help. Although Rick did turn on me and it was tempting too watch him squirm, I decided to take the high road and take the fall, if it came to that.

"Uh, excuse me, Chief? I..." I began.

"WHAT!" Chief yelled, now glarin' at yours truly.

"Rick had nothin' to do with it, Chief. I did this on purpose so that..."

"You did this on...PURPOSE!?" Chief looked like he was gonna blow a gasket or kill me...or both. Once he got over the sheer disbelief that is.

The pressure was intense! I felt like I was tryin' to stop a bomb from explodin', and I only had 5 seconds left on the timer. Do I cut the red wire or the green? Or maybe even the white?
There were too many wires and not enough time, even if I knew which wire to cut, and besides that, I had no wire cutters, thanks to Ricks witty response.

"Yep!" I said, with the steady nerves and confidence only a bomb disposal specialist would dare exude. "Wait 'till you hear why," I continued, smiling.
I would diffuse the bomb (Chief) with confidence and a smile. Once the bomb was disarmed, then surely Chief would listen to reason. In fact, I was certain he would thank me after he heard the details of my super-genius plan.
How could he not?

"Not another word! We will talk later. You standby and wait for the XO!" Shouted Chief. I coulda swore he called me a moron as he stormed off. I couldn't decipher the rest of the mumbling.

Damn! Guess I shoulda cut the red wire...

"Does this mean I have to stay too?" Rick asked.

"How should I know? Why don't you ask him?" I replied, frustrated.

"Hey, I tried to talk you out of it," Rick said.

"Yeah. Sorry, man. I guess it was a stupid idea. If only I had used a little less, then maybe...I dunno," I said, feelin' down.

"Yeah, you did use way too much," Rick said.

"Yeah. Look, why don't you go take a break or somethin'. It was my fault, not yours," I said, lighting a smoke.

"No, I'll stay," Rick said, patting me on the shoulder.

I felt much better now. What a pal! What a true friend!

"Besides, I wanna see what the XO does," Rick said, laughing.

What an assh*le! "You ass!" I exclaimed, laughing along with Rick.

"What did you guys do?" A familiar voice asked.

Rick and I turned around to see OS1 Mike.

"And what is that...slime? Oil? Oh sh*t! Is that pine oil?" Mike asked, backing up and wiping his eyes.

"Uhuh," Rick replied.

"It was my idea," I said, getting it out of the way.

"What are you doin' here, Mike? I thought you were supervising the mast," Rick asked.

"Chief told me to be here for the XO's inspection. He also said that you screwed up the inspection," Mike said, looking at me.

"Not exactly. I had a plan," I said, defensively. "I just got carried away."

"I'll say," Rick said, chuckling.

Not helping, Rick!

"Let's have a look," Mike said, tryin' not to laugh.

I entered Combat and held the door open. Mike followed and Rick joined us.

"Looks clean," Mike said, checking for dust.

"Smells clean," Rick offered.


"Damn!" Mike exclaimed, wiping his eyes again. "Damn!" He repeated, heading for the door. Rick and I followed him. Rick was laughing his guts out.

"What the? Is that why Chief is pissed?" Mike asked.

"Yep," I said.

"Lucky guess," Rick said.

"But...why?" Mike asked, trying to make sense of it all.

"It's really a good idea. I just had some...difficulty, with the execution of my plan," I said, turning red.

"That's an understatement if I ever heard one," Rick said.

"Yeah, okay. But what was your plan?" Mike asked, trying to hold back a smile.

The hatch to the weatherdeck opened and the XO entered the passageway.

Terrific. Mr. Chuckles is here.

"Good afternoon sir. OI Division, ready and standing by for inspection," Mike said.

"OS1," said the XO curtly, acknowledging Mike. The XO ignored Rick and me. "Let's get started."

Mike followed the XO into Combat. Rick and I followed.
The XO checked for dust in high places, moving quickly. I noticed he was wearing a white glove!
I could hardly believe it! Was he for real? He pulled his mirror on a stick thingy out and looked under the first RADAR repeater. His nose wrinkled up and twisted.

"Smells clean," the XO said, walking a few more steps.

Ya think?

After a very cursory, 30 second inspection, the XO cleared his throat.

"Outstanding!" He exclaimed, quickly departing Combat.

After he left Combat, the XO turned to Mike. "You have the cleanest spaces on the ship! Well done!" The XO said.

Yeah right. Give Mike the credit. What, is this guy blind?

"Thank you sir," Mike replied, glancing at Rick and I. "Conrad and Atwood did all the heavy lifting," he continued.

Way to go Mike! You da man!

The XO glanced at Rick and me. He squinted his eyes then raised an eyebrow when he saw the slime.

"Very well. Carry on," the XO said, then turned to leave.

Once the XO was out of sight, Mike said, "This is the first time I ever heard the XO say outstanding! We got no hits at all! I can't believe it!"

"Neither can I," quipped Rick.

"Stunned, I'm sure" I deadpanned.

"So this was your plan," Mike said, then laughed.

"Took you long enough to figure it out," I said, sniffing. "Smell that? That's the piney smell of vindication! Yes!"

"Chief is not going to believe this," Mike said.

"We did it! We found the holy grail for quick, outstanding inspections! The anti-XO, pine oil!" Rick exclaimed.

"What's this "we" sh*t, Watson? It was my idea," I said, laughing.

"Hey, Sherlock! I fell for your idea, twice! That counts for somethin'!" Rick replied, rubbing his backside.

"Is that your British accent?" Mike asked, laughing.

"Southern Britain," Rick drawled.

We cracked up over Rick's antics.

Later...much later, Chief returned to Combat.

"Conrad, Atwood. I owe you guys an apology," Chief said. "I'm sorry. I over-reacted and didn't give you guys a chance to explain everything," Chief said.

"No probelem Chief. I understand, considering the slime and all. I'm just glad it worked and I couldn't have done it without Rick," I said.

"Ben is right. Without me his plan would've tanked," Rick said, smiling.

"Keep your lips sealed about this," Chief said, laughing. "I'm the envy of all the Chiefs, because the XO gave us an outstanding score! Not to mention how happy the DivO and Ops is! I would like to see that continue. Therefore...whenever the XO inspects, you both will be elected to do the honors," Chief said, smiling.

"I don't recall voting," Rick said.

"This isn't a democracy," Chief said. "I'll remember this when the evaluations are due," he continued.

"Thanks Chief! I think." I said, smiling.

"Oh! And Conrad?" Chief queried.

"Yes?" I replied.

"Next time you come up with a brilliant idea, do me a favor and tell me about it. Before you get it all over yourself, okay?" Chief asked, smiling.

"Roger that, Chief!" I replied.

"Alright, you clowns get out of here! I'll see you tomorrow, at muster," Chief said, chuckling.

Cool! It was only 1530. Early liberty! I was no longer tired, but I took a long shower. After drying off and getting dressed I waited for Rick.

After Rick got dressed Rick asked me "how do I smell?"

"I dun't know. Everything still smells like pine oil. Use extra aftershave. That's what I did," I offered.

"Good idea. I don't want to ruin my chances with the ladies," Rick said, splashing on more aftershave.

"What ladies?" I replied, chuckling.

"I have a feeling that tonight is my lucky night," he answered.

"You always say that. When was the last time we saw a chick anyway?" I asked.

"Hmmm...I wish we had fake ID cards. The EM Club isn't cuttin' it," Rick said, in deep thought.

"Yeah, well, good luck with that," I said. "What was it you said about wishes?"

"That's cold, man. Using my sailor wisdom against me," Rick said, as we made our way to the quarterdeck.

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