By: Garland Davis
There was a post on the Asia Sailor Face Book page about farts a few days ago. Brought back a memory of an incident that I thought was pretty funny at the time.
MS2 Tree was a six foot four-inch-tall gangly fellow from Arkansas. He was my Jack of the Dust in one ship. He oversaw three storerooms a freezer and two chill reefers. He made breakouts to the Galley and received and stowed food stores. He was a conscientious sailor. He could usually be found in one of the storerooms or reefers. I always knew that his spaces were neatly stowed, clean and squared away.
Tree was crazy about hardboiled eggs. I always offered them on the breakfast menu. Tree would always take the leftovers and stuff them in his jacket pockets and snack on them throughout the morning. I guess you can tell where I am going from the title of this article. Tree could drop a series of protracted farts that would gag a dung beetle.
I was in the Food Service Office when the XO opened the door and said, “Chief, the port storeroom hatch is open. There must be something spoiled. There is a foul odor coming from the storeroom. I don’t think I have ever smelled anything that that terrible before. Could you check it out? We don’t want anyone getting sick.”
I said, “Aye, Aye sir.” and went forward to the storeroom. I dropped through the hatch into the storeroom. Tree was there restowing some stacks that had shifted. I told him what the XO had said. He said, “Chief, there ain’t nuthin’ spoiled. I cut a little old fart right under the hatch just before the XO stuck his head in through it.”
Later in the day the XO asked if I had discovered what was causing the smell. I told him that the situation was under control and the source of the smell was no longer in the storeroom.
Another story about Tree: I had a fourth storeroom aft that was used to store paper plates, charcoal, and etc. Reeves was scheduled to go from Yoko to Subic. The Chaplain asked if I had any extra storeroom space. The Chaplains from Yoko had donated items they wanted to get to the Chaplains at Subic. Between the SKC and I, we were able to load a considerable amount of the items. It was mostly disposable diapers, feminine napkins, and tampons. All had passed their expiration date and had been donated by the Exchange. (who knew that stuff had expiration dates).
Tree came to me and said, “Chief, that is woman’s stuff. I don’t want to touch them boxes. They make me feel dirty.”
I just said, “Okay Tree. If we have to get anything from that storeroom, we’ll have a mess cook do it.”
Another time Tree was Watch Captain on one of the Galley watches. CS1 Destefano was the Division LPO and Galley Captain. I made a tour of the Galley and gave Destafano a list of items that needed special attention. I told him to give particular care to the two Galley garbage cans and to make sure they were scrubbed out when they were emptied. A short time later, I overheard Destefano telling Tree to make sure the Mess cooks scrubbed the garbage cans and to make sure they did a good job.
Later that afternoon, I walked into the Mess Decks and heard Tree speaking in a loud voice from the Galley. I walked around the drink line and saw Tree holding a mess cook by the ankles with his head in a shit can. Tree was saying, “Now ya’ll take a closer look and tell me if that sunufabitch is clean.”
Tree, just one of the characters I ran across in thirty years as an Asia Sailor.
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A native of North Carolina, Garland Davis has lived in Hawaii since 1987. He always had a penchant for writing but did not seriously pursue it until recently. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, where he majored in Business Management. Garland is a thirty-year Navy retiree and service-connected Disabled Veteran.