The things that
grown men will do to pass the long hours at sea! One afternoon the
three Bs, as we were called, all happened to be in Lt. Rules
stateroom. Lt. Rule was a mustang (someone who rises up from the ranks
to officer); we called him Chief or Snuffy.
He was a short, roly-poly, lovable guythe senior officer of
our group. The three Bs were Lt. Ferree (Tremendous-Butt), Lt.
Landtroop (Tiger-Butt) and Lt. Jarvis (Tiny-Butt). Into this gathering
came Ensign Hotchkiss; he never had a nickname other than Hot
Kiss, a moniker he picked up in the Philippines.
Rule was lying in his bunk, trying to adjust to the bumpiness of the
ship. When Hotchkiss walked in, Rule said,
Hotchkiss, call the captain and tell him to get this boat back
on the road, its disturbing my rest.
Hotchkiss, without any hesitation, picked up the sound-powered voice
phone, called the bridge, and gave a message to the captain, Lt.
Rule says to get this boat back on the road, its disturbing
With scarcely a moments delay, the ships loudspeaker system
sternly announced, Now hear this, Lt. Rule, report to the bridge.
The message was repeated, Lt. Rule, report to the bridge.
Rule looked up at Hotchkiss with a sickly smile on his face. Hotchkiss
was his junior officer but was a full head taller than short Snuffy
Hotchkiss defensively said, All I did was carry out your order.
Rule stuffed his khaki shirt in over his roly-poly stomach. Steadying
himself against the roll of the ship, he smoothed his few strands
of black hair over his round, balding head, put on his officers
cap and made his way out of his cabin to the bridge. When he came
back shortly thereafter, we heard all about his unpleasant conversation
with the captain on the bridge. Finishing his story, he suddenly grabbed
Ensign Hotchkiss, folded him and stuffed him bottom first into an
oversized trash can. Ensign Hotchkiss had a time getting himself out
of that trash can, but even at that he knew he had gotten off easy.
Hearing all the commotion, in came Willie Lump-Lump, the supply officer.
He enjoyed the scene more than anyone. Willie Lump-Lump, 6 feet 4
inches, was always bumping his head on the hatchways of the ship.
No one cared to pronounce his last name, Mullenmeister.