By Garland Davis
The hoarding and shortage of toilet paper during the recent Chinese COVID pandemic reminded me of a chain of events that took place on a Guided Missile Cruiser when the Navy disguised them as Destroyers because congress decided that in the modern Navy with super Aircraft Carriers, Battleships and Cruisers were an anachronism. They redesignated them as Cruisers to create a shortage of Destroyers when congress balked at providing funding for new Destroyers.
It was BT1’s month in the barrel. It was B Division’s turn to provide a Petty Officer to oversee the MM/BT compartment and the Engineering head. That meant, instead of concentrating on events in his fireroom, every morning, he had to corral the compartment and head cleaners and oversee their work until the Executive Officer’s Messing and Berthing Inspection. Afterward, he had to make sure all discrepancies were corrected before he could concentrate on his Fireroom.
Every morning as he did a walk through of the berthing compartment, he began to see rolls of toilet paper adrift. Although he lived in the compartment, he had not noticed it before. Every day there was more toilet paper. He instructed the coop cleaner to gather it and store it in the locker designated for that purpose.
The Fireman cleaner told him, “BT1, there ain’t room in the locker. It is full of shit paper.”
BT1, “Where the fuck is all of it coming from.”
“Everybody is getting’ ready for the toilet paper shortage.”
“What toilet paper shortage,” asked BT1
“BT2 said he heard it from a YN who is on 7th Fleet staff the other night at the P.O. Club. The Navy has got a shortage of shit paper and an order is coming telling us we can only use four of them little squares when we take a dump. That slick Navy shit paper don’t remove much shit unless you get a big ass wad of it. Gonna be a lot of hash marked skivvies when that message comes down.”
BT1 passed the word through B and M divisions that there was no shortage of toilet paper, that its use was not going to be controlled or curtailed, and there was no reason to steal toilet paper and hoard it.
The BTC asked BT1, “What’s this thing with the toilet paper about?”
BT1 said, “That damned BT2 is able to get these fucking kids to believe anything. You remember he had them going to church and Devine Services in Subic because he convinced them that if they prayed before getting pussy, they wouldn’t catch the clap.”