11 Jan 2018

And Then, The New Model Army...

A couple of days ago I noted that the NHS, and how it’s being plugged up by the elderly deciding to live forever, had been temporally knocked off the number one news spot by news of the new army recruiting campaign. This sent me on a voyage back in time to my early days on a semi-sub in the far north of the North Sea which actually lies to the east of us although, to be fair, it does also stretch north the ways; but, on reflection, also south. The Enouth Sea? Let’s give that no never-mind and I’ll keep the preamble to the bare necessity so as not to bore you, okay? Oh, you’ve gone. For me then.

At the time of this incident I was working as a Watch Stander having recently been moved to the Control Room and marine operations after roughnecking for a year or so. A period when I was never fitter either before or after by-the-by.

One of the Crane Operators I had close dealings with was a fellow named Dave who’s big name is long forgotten in the haze of daze past. A very pleasant, polite chap of no great stature who was always cheerful and willing to help. Looked like your typical never say boo to a goose sort o’ fellow.

On the day in question we were walking from the Control Room down the ally to the galley when we saw before us a new to the rig young guy being harangued by a couple of man-mountains who, it was alleged, were two of the hardest fellows in Dundoo at the time and who also, allegedly, did a little bit of baseball bat assisted debt collecting, for another bad boy, on their days off.

Anyhoo, Dave, upon seeing this, without missing a beat, lengthened his stride and inserted himself between the young lad and the two hardest fellows from Dundoo. I was locked in time and space waiting for the demise of both Dave and the young chap. Then magic took over and in a heartbeat, in total silence, the two hardest fellows from Dundoo backed off a step. Then another step; their eyes dropped, their shoulders drooped and they turned and skulked quickly off never to trouble anyone on the rig again until, shortly thereafter, they departed the rig never to return.

Back in the Control Room after a hearty nosebag, I enquired of Dave what the magic was he’d worked on the two hardest men from Dundoo and he informed me it was all in the message projected from within via the eyes. He also informed me he was ex military and SBS. This put Dave up many notches in my respect-o-meter.

He then slowly raised his right arm and extended his forefinger in my direction. As he did this his demeanour changed and as I looked into his eyes, and trust me on this, I understood what had struck such fear into the two hardest men from Dundoo. “Yup,” he said as his demeanour normalised, “Trained to kill with one finger.” Then, rather than the Kung-Fu move I was expecting, he proceeded to make rapid trigger pulling motions with his extended finger while making popping sounds.

Realising I wasn’t going to be damaged from the blow of a lethal finger and the fear instilling stare had lifted, I relaxed and laughed as the relief ran rampantly down my right leg.

Dave left as he’d either purchased a pub or was heading to manage a pub – which, I can’t remember - but I’ll guarantee one thing; Dave’s pub  was never ever witness to a barroom brawl.

And now? A place to lay their prayer or bath mats, pick a gender for the day and a safe space complete with a shoulder to cry on? You think that’ll work Dave?

Quote;  Roseanne Barr.

"My hope is that gays will be running the world, because then there would be no war. Just a greater emphasis on military apparel.”

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