At my day job, for various reasons
even an emergency head call takes about 15 minutes. We were talking about that earlier this week, and it reminded me of a sea story I told here
about five years ago. It's so funny (to me at least) that I'm recycling it:Los Angeles
-class submarines, unlike Seawolf
s, do not have a urinal in the Engine Room. When you're standing watch in back there, you're not allowed to go forward. As a result, you normally have off-watch guys come back and do "short reliefs" to allow their buddies to head up to take care of business during their six hour watches. During the midnight to 6 AM watch, though, it's harder to get people back to relieve you, so Submariners, being an enterprising bunch, have figured ways around this problem.
In Main Seawater Bay on a 688, there's a fairly large drain funnel that is right beside the walkway, about 2 1/2 feet above the deck. It's an relatively isolated area, so one can expect a little privacy there. I'm not saying that all nukes on 688s use that funnel to answer nature's call; only those whose tours take them past the funnel do.
So, there I was, doing field day on the good ship Topeka
. Our XO comes back to see how we're doing. At this point, I should add that this XO spent almost his entire JO and Dept. Head tours in the shipyard, and didn't have much at-sea experience. Anyway, he sees this funnel sticking out that's clearly dirtier than the rest of them, and decides to inspire us. "Can't you guys see how dirty this funnel is? Here, I'll show you how to clean!" With that, he started scrubbing away with great vigor, even using his fingernails to clean especially mungy parts, and I'll tell you, we were doubled over with inspiration...