Bacon, the Ultimate Motivator

On this post on the squeezy bottle of bacon, Ex Bootneck had a story about the HMS London’s storage space. And a special delicacy:

Just cancelled the order for 200 piglets, as well as a 40-foot container (that would have been buried in a secret location as part of my ‘prepping’ program)!

The not so stupid thing is all you need is a hair brained idea, as well dedication for it to work in a ‘niche’ market. It could have, would have, taken off except in the most obvious countries (Allahu Akbar)!

But seriously… squeezable bacon?

Which reminds me…

On board HMS London the RM Detachment’s storage space was registered as a ‘half store’; not in length but in height. The measurement from the deck to the deck head above was only 5 feet. It was literally used for storing items that were considered for occasional use.

My marine storeman was suffering from ‘delhi belly’ after our Port visit to Gibralter; just as the ‘Jack Dusty’ Chief presented each department with a 100% stores muster. I was given a young ‘short’ RN stores scribe to assist me in the delicate task of moving around the store on shuffleboards, whilst counting ‘bullets, beans and bayonets’. (The store also had 1 inch cleats welded everywhere, which must have been a throw back to its original build. They were all painted white to blend in with the interior, which lent itself to the fact that the ‘half height storage area’ was an after thought for the RM Detachment.

The vertically challenged scribe was ‘very keen to see every thing green’, as he had aspirations to apply for the RM’s. With the store temperature at 90 deg’s (with no air con) I was rapidly losing the will to live. I could hear the ‘wisssshhhhhhh’ of air pouring from the punkah louvers and went to sit by one for respite, just as my head made contact with a cleat, full contact; the noise and echo of which must have scattered the pod of dolphins skimming alongside the ship!

I used the universal ‘fast-action-magic-hand-rub’ to take the pain away as I swore through clenched teeth. I now knew why my marine storeman was nicknamed ‘lumpy’!

The scribe fell silent (suppressing a smile) until I had finished my rant; He then stated the bleeding obvious in his cockney twang, (which I will convert to Queens English); “that must have hurt Colours”?

(The rank of Colour Sergeant = Colours. Each ships detachment required a Colour Sgt as its Detachment Sergeant Major).

We continued counting maps, compasses, bayonets, mags, torches, etc, etc. All the while the scribe kept saying “eer Calars, wossis, wossat (he was a Londoner, a true cockney; what he was really saying in Queens English was “here Colours, what’s this, what’s that”)!

A metal shelf locker draw had become stuck, so I levered my knee against the half locker and pulled, it gave way swiftly as I flew back onto a white camouflaged cleat “yoo awight Calars” (“are you alright Colours”)… It took me against the lower temple, again I used the universal ‘fast-action-magic-hand-rub’ to take the pain away as I saw the universe explode in front of me. The draw was full of “wossis, wossat” items that the scribe was mystified and intrigued by.

I could see he was quietly enjoying himself, he would have a few ‘dits’ to spin later back in his mess deck, as he and his fellow scribe’s quaffed their ‘tinnies’ of ale.

The morning progressed quickly and painfully and I was ready for ‘stand-easy’; the traditional 30 minute mid morning break also known as cavalry time as it starts at 10-to-10, (repeat it several times and pitch the sound up and down; imagine John Wayne asking for the bugler to play the cavalry charge).

Having recharged my batteries, as well as counted lumps, I once again jumped into the fray, supported by my trustee side-kick; the scribe. The morning rode into lunch offering a further respite from the half hellhole.

The afternoon started well; with the exception of my scribes incessant chatter of “eer Calars, wossis, wossat”. Each time a locker was pulled open I dreaded it being an object green, as opposed to navy blue. I pulled myself around a corner unit to view the last half locker, when I misjudged distance and took (not a direct hit) but one of those nasty ‘top of the head scrapes’ that you occasionally sustained when you enthusiastically jumped through a hatch opening.

My eyes closed with the pain; I rubbed furiously back and forth; the ‘fast-action-magic-hand-rub’ had run out of power…
A little head popped from around the corner and piped, “wot agin Calars”. I wanted to tear the half locker away from the bulkhead and reach up to force the deck head another foot higher.

The draws and shelves within contained paraphernalia for use in escape and evasion as well as ‘odds & sods’. “Cor wassat en Calars’? (Meaning; Wow, what is that then Colours), the scribe’s eyes lit up once again at some thing green. I looked at him and casually picked up an olive green, palm sized squeezable tube of ‘dark olive’ camouflage cream, and said “its jungle chocolate”! I screwed the top off and said, “here try it”.
He opened his mouth and I placed the end of the tube on his lower lip and squeezed a big portion of ‘jungle chocolate’ into his yawning orifice.

The scribe’s brain was telling him it was ‘jungle chocolate’; his taste buds were telling him that it was tasteless odourless goo that was most certainly not edible. I replaced the top and handed the container to him.

“There you go mate, that’s yours, you can now secure for the day, don’t swallow that until you read the directions on the pack-then decide”.

His face was a picture; we were equal in our ‘dit’ for the day. He scurried off as I secured some high vis paint and paint brushes from the Bosun’s mate. Upon his recovery young ‘lumpy’ was detailed to paint every cleat within the ‘half store’.

For all of those who have served aboard a ‘man of war’ you will understand the unforgiving feeling of flesh-covered bone against hard steel. The school of hard knocks.

Sadly the vertically challenged scribe fell below the regulation height required of the Corps.

For any teens or children looking in, I would say that eating camouflage cream is not recommended, it is not jungle chocolate; though it could possibly taste like squeezable bacon without the bacon flavour.

Yours Aye.