By Garland Davis
I was Watch Captain in the Galley. BT2 stopped by after lunch and asked, “Hey dude, what are you doing this afternoon? The Chief cut me loose for the day. I know you get relieved in a little while. I saw the other CS2 a few minutes ago.”
“I don’t know. Thought maybe I would run by the exchange and then park my truck at the P.O. Club, have a few in the Asshole Locker and then grab a cab for the Honch.” I answered as I finished making notations on the daily Galley Worksheet.
“The exchange? I need a favor. You see, I promised Junko that I would get one of those small refrigerators that the exchange has on sale. Can I go with you and use your truck to carry the reefer to her place on Chuo Hill?”
Junko was his current girlfriend. He had recently set up housekeeping with her. She was a cashier at the Commissary Store. I didn’t think the relationship was tenable for very long. Junko seemed to be pissed at the Snipe most of the time. But then, BT2 had that endearing quality that usually caused women to ask, “What the fuck am I doing with this asshole?”
I agreed to take him to buy the reefer and take it to her place.
After my relief and I went through the galley turnover routine, BT2 hung around the cooks berthing while I showered and got into my dress canvas.
NOTE: These events happened in the days before civilian clothing was permitted aboard Navy ships. Most sailors kept civvies in a locker club and changed there after leaving and before returning to the ship. END NOTE
We left the ship and went to the exchange where he bought his refrigerator while I made my purchases. We loaded the reefer in my Datsun pickup, covered it with a tarp I kept in back, tied it securely and started for the gate.
BT2 said, “How about stopping at the Club so I can get a case of cold beer to put in my new reefer. I’ll buy you a couple!”
We did that. Had a couple, bought a case of cold Oly’s and headed for Chuo Hill where I helped him carry the stuff into the apartment. Actually, the reefer was small enough that he carried it after we unpacked it. I carried the case of beer. He plugged it in and assured himself that it was cooling. He opened the case of beer, grabbed an opener popped a couple and began to stock beer in the reefer.
After I finished my beer, I left him there and headed for the club for a few and then a run out to the Honch to see Sumiko. I wouldn’t stay over tonight. I promised the Chief that I would help him go through the books to get ready for the supply inspection next month.
The next time I saw BT2 was after I was awakened by the Messenger of the Watch at 0400 and told that the OOD needed me on the Quarterdeck. I got up, dressed, and went topside to the quarterdeck where I found the BT and his refrigerator.
The Chief standing OOD said, “Dave. The Shore Patrol brought him back. Just a ride, no charges, but he has this refrigerator, half full of beer, and I can’t let him bring it aboard. He insisted that I call you to put it in your truck. Can you do that?”
“Yeah. Come on asshole, you cause me to lose sleep, you can carry your fucking reefer to the truck!”
He sheepishly hefted the reefer and carried it down the pier to the truck where we secured it under the tarp and headed back to the ship for coffee. There was no sense in going back to bed at this late hour.
This is how I pieced together the events that transpired after I left him at the apartment and terminated by him storing his reefer in my truck:
While we were having coffee, I asked, “What the fuck happened? Why are you here with the refrigerator?”
“Well, it’s like this. After you left, I decided the reefer would be better out in the apartment instead of in the kitchen, so I didn’t have to walk far for beer. I had to move some stuff to make room close enough to the plug. When Junko got home, she got pissed because I had fucked up some of her stuff. She told me to leave. So, fuck her, I took my reefer and my beer and left. I caught a cab. He was kinda pissed because I wanted to put the reefer in his trunk, but I gave him a couple of hundred extra yen. I remembered that there was a electric plug in the alley beside the Club Alliance. I had him take me there. I plugged the reefer in, sat down with my back against the wall and proceeded to drink some beer.”
A BM acquaintance told me the rest of the story. He was night dispatcher at Shore Patrol Headquarters. It was a slow boring night. He was looking across the street toward the Club Alliance when he saw a light flash in the alley alongside the club. He didn’t give it any thought until he saw it twice more. Curious, he called for a unit to check out the alley.
There they found BT2 with his reefer and a pile of empty cans. It seemed that the dispatcher was seeing the reefer light each time BT2 opened the door to get another Oly.
BT2 reconciled with Junko but she did eventually threw his ass out for good. She kept the reefer!