Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reverse logic with illogical people

Okay, so I've wanted to tell this story for a while, but I refrained. Now, I think I've put enough time-distance-and-shielding between me and the event to provide an adequate level of anonymity and protection from retribution.

Wait, how do sea stories start again?

Oh yeah, "So there I was..."

I was on a boat that had a pretty decent command PT program. We used to meet three mornings per week and do warmup stretches and calisthenics in formation. Then most of us would go for a run, but there was a group of guys who preferred to swim and went to the base swimming pool next to the barracks.

One morning, we were surprised to discover the gate to the swimming pool was locked, and there was a sign that said something to the effect of:

Swimming Pool Closed
by order of the Base XO

First, the COB got involved and called the base CMC to find out why the pool was locked down.

Apparently, some knuckleheads decided to have a mixed-gender "naked party" in the swimming pool the night before, so the Base XO declared the pool was to be shut down and NOBODY was allowed to use it.

As usual, such stories are grossly over-inflated and exaggerated. Pulling the string, I think the actual story was more like a few people were at the pool and ONE girl thought it was a good idea to go skinny dipping, and none of the guys around the pool seemed to have any problem with that (go figure). Of course, as the story got retold, it evolved into a "naked party" as if a dozen or more hooligans were hanging out around the pool in the buff and posting signs declaring the area a nudist colony.

The COB wasn't able to get the base leadership to listen to reason or allow access to the pool for PT, so the CO went to bat for us. The CO called the Base XO directly and asked that the pool be reopened for our Command PT purposes in the mornings.

The Base XO didn't see eye-to-eye with our CO and basically said, "Pack sand."
Aside: In Navy speak, "pack sand" is an in-your-face way of saying, "Go fly a kite," or "Take a long walk off a short pier" or "go piss into the wind" or "go play on the freeway." For the origin of the term, see definition 2 at this website.
The Base XO said that our guys who lived in the barracks were just as guilty because they lived next to the pool, so they HAD to have known what was going on at the pool and they CONDONED it and ALLOWED it to happen, so therefore they ALL lost the privilege of using the pool.

My CO was much more witty and able to think up creative responses on his toes than I ever was.

He took the Base XO's logic, flipped it around, and threw it right back at him. He said, "Well, I'm sorry to say that I observed somebody jay-walking on base the other day, and NONE of us - me included - did anything about it, so based on your logic, you're now going to have to outlaw all WALKING on base." (It may not be an exact quote, but that was the jist of it anyway - I was standing there listening when the CO made the phone call.)

The Base XO didn't like that much.

Yyyyyyeah, so the pool remained closed for a loooooooong time after that.

Even so, I think the HIMYM fans in the audience will agree the CO's response was pretty legendary. :-)


JoLee said...

Funny! I just flew off in the face of someone being illogical this morning! Wonder if you caught that gene from me¿ Chuckle.

Future Chaps said...

You have to remember that this Base XO is the same one who personally went to traffic court to ensure no leniency for offenders. He once told one of my chiefs to not bother seeking leniency for our best sailor. I still don't understand his attitude towards sailors.

The Silver Fox said...

That sounds like something I would have said. By any chance, is the CO Irish (like me)? There's an old quote, "More Irishmen are hanged by their tongues than by ropes." Great story.