General Hospital and the A-Team
by: Garland Davis
It was one of the FF’s I served in. I don’t remember which one. We had an extended availability in Yokosuka. I had a relatively untrained Galley crew and was spending most of my time in the Galley training the cooks in proper procedures and trying to get them up to working without constant supervision. I didn’t spend a lot of time in the CPO Mess. I saw more of the CPO Mess through the window from the Galley than I did as a member. I usually had coffee in the Mess Deck at 0500 and then helped the cooks through preparation and serving of breakfast. After quarters, I would get the cooks started on the noon meal and work on my paperwork in the Supply Office.
In addition to my Food Service duties, I was also tagged with overseeing and coordinating the SRF and contract worker’s efforts rehabilitating the forward and after crew’s heads. If I wasn’t in the Galley, I was in the Supply Office or walking around with a sheaf of blue prints and work orders attempting to control the work in the heads. Hard to believe, but I was mostly discouraging them from doing the work. A major weapons department cable run had to be accomplished first. The cables were to run through the heads. If I had let the head rehab go forward, the contractor doing the cable run would have just ripped it out to do his work. At the same time, I inherited supervising the head cleaners.
During lunch, I was again in the Galley supervising the serving of the meal and the operation of the mess deck. I was almost never in the CPO Mess during meals. During the availability, some of the operations department Chiefs became hooked on the soap opera, General Hospital. Didn’t make me no never mind, I didn’t watch it and wasn’t forced to sit through it during meals. The snipe Chiefs were into getting their “nooners” and didn’t watch it either. The most time I spent in the mess was during the evening movie.
The availability ended and we left for paradise, Subic Bay to the uniniated, and then on to the I.O. The first mail call after entering the I.O the Chief Signalman received a package from his wife containing a VHS cassette with five episodes of, you guessed it, General Hospital. The Command Senior Chief acceded to the request to show General Hospital instead of the movie. It seemed as if every time I entered the mess someone was watching General Hospital. About the time everyone had seen it another cassette would arrive.
I wrote my wife and asked her to copy as many episodes of the A-Team as possible. I had overheard some Chiefs saying that it was the silliest show on TV. The Chief BT and QM felt the same way I did about General Hospital. I told them that I had an A-Team tape coming. I received a cassette with five episodes. The BT, the QM, the MM, and the EN and I decided we would watch it one at a time. Of course, there was a chorus of Chiefs complaining about having to watch the A-Team. I appealed to the Command Senior Chief and he overruled them. He told them that if they could hog the TV watching General Hospital then those of us who wanted to watch the A-Team could do so.
By the time the IO was over and we were back in Subic, there was no more General Hospital or A-Team. Well, some of us were busy playing doctor with the girls in the Barrio.