mlah The culture that has evolved here isnt conducive to sissies

February 10, 2004

Clubbing in Turkey

Filed under: Sea Stories — mlah @ 11:22 pm

me aboard the Scott in Antalya, Turkey

back in the day….

i was in the Navy for 9 years. i have lots of sea stories. y’all are going to get to enjoy them.

My first trip out to sea was on the USS Monterey (CG-61). it was a good ship. i didn’t know it then, but ships have personalities.

The personality is developed when the ship is being built. when the ship is first built and the first crew begins to arrive, they get to set the ships personality forever. so if all of the dudes (and now girls too) who arrive at the new ship happen to be assholes, and are assholish to each other…. then every single time a new person checks aboard, the conduct of all the assholes will begin to rub off on the new guy.

and as i said, the Monterey was a good ship. everybody was cool.

but then one morning i got a helicopter ride over to a destroyer. the USS Scott (DDG-995). it was a bad ship. everybody was pissed. everybody was pissed all the time.

i was pissed.

i found out the hard way when i got there that some genious in the supply corp had decided to save storage space by rationing toilet paper. he alloted one roll of toilet paper per stall per day. at first, that doesn’t sound too bad, but realize that operations berthing (where i was berthed) had some 90 guys in it, and the bathroom for all 90 of us, had only 3 toilet stalls.

yeah i was pissed. i found this toilet paper rationing thing out the first day.

once they ‘alot’ the daily toilet paper, whoever sees it first, takes the WHOLE roll. so everybody onboard in effect had their own secret stash of tp.

except me.

then we got a port visit! we stopped in lovely Antalya, Turkey. and it really is pretty. some friends of mine and i hit the town. we had dinner, at a sheraton, they had a casino and i won 200 smacks at blackjack. i still have the lambskin coat…

you don’t know where this is going? wait for it…..

and then we were off. we had found the discos. they were reportedly full of german and swedish tourists. and we were making steady progress in that direction. we were cruising up the main tourist drag, doing a little shopping along the way. i still have my turkish cd, and a turkish playboy.

then i saw it.

we almost walked right by this little crappy shoppette. not i. i stopped dead in my tracks, for lo and behold there it was. top shelf, way up high in the back. the super deluxo 24 pack of toilet paper. yeah baby, that’s right. i scored some tp. cost me all of 2 dollars. they didn’t have a sack big enough to hold it, so i had to hand carry it.

so go back to the story.

we got to the disco, backpacks and stuff in tow. and there i am! the super deluxo 24 pack of nasty, grey, turkish clint eastwood (because it’s rough and tough and don’t take no shit off nobody) toilet paper on my shoulder like a boom box! and i was smiling, ’cause i knew who was going to be splurging that night. it actually turned out to be a decent ice breaker too. for the russian girls….

a week later and i was selling that toilet paper for 5 bucks a roll.

i ran out of toilet paper tonight and had to make an emergency run to safeway. oh, charmin double ply only for me…… brought back memories.


  1. Is this why you are always so full of crap? 😉

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — February 11, 2004 @ 11:03 am

  2. You know, we made just be readin’ your blog and have nothing to say….some of us are shy.

    Marcos de Alexandria

    Comment by drunkin sailor — February 12, 2004 @ 10:51 pm

  3. and too drunk too spell…

    Comment by marcos de alexandria — February 12, 2004 @ 10:54 pm

  4. what are you still doing up? and i doubt whether you can spell sober….

    Comment by mlah — February 12, 2004 @ 11:03 pm

  5. Great story!!! Reminded me of several times I had to carry enbarrassing things into social settings.

    Most recently my b-day dinner — a friend had bought me plastic hangers because I’m always bitching about not having enough.

    She made me carry them into Beverly Hills restaurant where I had to wait for almost an hour and deal with the snobby folks’ glances.

    Comment by Moxie — February 13, 2004 @ 12:48 am

  6. Yeah, my first trip to sea was on a tub (DDG) called the USS Connolly. She (ships are supposed to be female, right?) was a real Bee-atch! But, I learned that the Navy frowns on Sailors sleeping in their liberty attire! GR

    Comment by NAMster — February 13, 2004 @ 12:51 am

  7. I guess, since you only rode ships you can maintain that idea. I did three tours of dirsup and pretty much had the same mindset.

    Just coming off a full tour on one of those big gray things — I will say the personality of the ship changes with the Captain. When I first got there, the CO was something very close to Darth Vader, people would definitely hold their breath when he walked through, in fear of him stopping it for them. He also had hands the size of Arizona AND New Mexico. He halted one of my guys in the “p-way” one night (While we were hiding down by Abu Dhabi — he was “short” and didn’t want to get in any trouble before he left the ship, Anyway…) He stops my guy and says

    “…Aren’t you one of those CT’s?”

    CTR3 possibly takes his last exhale “ummm, yes…sir,”

    “So tell me … what are you people doing on my ship, eating my food, and sleeping in my racks?”

    And walked away from the wide-eyed, slack-jawed sailor.

    Needless to say, everybody hated that son-of-a-bitch.

    He was relieved by a pipe-smoking (“inside the skin of the ship”) Jed Clampett-type shortly after that. This guy would do donuts at flank speed after every “Unrep.” We lit an Iraqi Oil Smuggler on fire after they tried to ram us, and invited the crew of an Iranian Corvette aboard for a “Steel Beach Picnic” (they politefully declined). When we came within 50 ft of running over a Finnish Patrol Boat, the embarked Admiral stood at the bullnose yelling at the Finns while Jed stood on the bridge and laughed. When we went into the yards (perhaps the lowest part of the surface Navy), the crew maintained their newfound good attitude through the whole thing.

    He left and was relieved by a Nuke Officer with a God Complex. I gladly left at that time, I still chat with the ship weekly and it’s morale is at a new low.

    The sea-going rates (OS, FC, etc) will confirm this too — the ship’s morale-attitude-personality, depends on the Captain. So what you were seeing was a little slice of life on the ship — that personality you were seeing was really because of the leadership, good, bad … or indifferent.

    P.S. I’ve learned each ship’s individual personality is it’s list (they all have one, no matter what is done to correct it), that shudder at a certain speed, that 400hz converter that goes down every time a big gun fires, or the gas turbine that just won’t stay lit.


    Comment by BruceWayne — February 14, 2004 @ 7:30 am

  8. i rode boats too (subs for you non-navy types).

    i stand by my earlier assessment.

    Comment by mlah — February 14, 2004 @ 7:57 am

  9. You are the owner of this blog, You have that right to embellish and dramatize. I rode “boats” too … I wasn’t impressed.


    Comment by BruceWayne — February 14, 2004 @ 5:02 pm

  10. i rode a dutch boat. there. happy now?! 🙂

    boats rule. always will

    Comment by mlah — February 14, 2004 @ 7:59 pm

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