Drink like a sailor

by Guest Blogger

September 1, 2007

After seeing Amchitka, one really wants to drink like a sailor. A bottle of rum would come in handy around now. But no. On this ship, we drink only wine and a brand of beer from Korea which promises "Fresh Taste Brewing System". If this is fresh, we would hate to see stale.
The Korean beverage is a brand called "Hite". We only need to add the 19th letter of the alphabet before "Hite" to title it even more appropriately. No doubt this extraordinary drink was scientifically concocted to function for drinkers just as the nicotine patch functions for smokers.
There is also something called "wine", but that is even a sadder tale. The really frightening aspect of all this is when admittedly, after consuming a liberal portion of dark chocolate, which seems to alter taste buds considerably…the Sh…I mean, the Hite, starts to taste not so bad. We may drink like Espy sailors, but we hope to soon drink like landlubbers.
There are other peculiarities on this boat. Why are there only butter knives in the mess? Is it dangerous to have a little serrated knife for cutting your apple, because if the sea takes a sudden notion to mess your boat around on the ocean, you might slice your neighbour’s eye out? Or is it because ALMOST everyone here has massive muscles and cutting slices of cheese for a snack or chicken for dinner is not exactly a problem for THEM? Why are everything from the mirrors in the cabins to the giant can of peanut butter in the mess placed at a height that, for those not over 5’4", necessitates toe-dancing? (Note to balletic niece Rachel: it will come in handy). Why are there only large plates, no small ones? Why does the toaster toast on one side only? What does the cryptic instruction in the mess to "clean the elephant skin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays" mean? Why would a Greenpeace boat be carrying elephant skin? What does the scrawled note "Might as well jump" on the board the morning after the zombie party in the bar in Adak mean?
Despite these unanswered questions, newbies soon fit in around here. They swab decks, come to understand what bulkheads and bullards are. One day they realize they haven’t sat in a chair for days, only on the benches in the mess and (sprawled across) the cushioned benches in the lounge. They walk like Charlie Chaplin. As for swearing, some may never catch up with whoever has written on the Campaign Room blackboard: "Individually we are one small drop…Together, One Big F…ing Drop" (there was no "…" but my mother-in-law might be reading this). They smoke like sailors, i.e., whenever they want to enjoy the fresh air. And they miss the land when they’re at sea, and the sea when they’re on land.

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