Thursday, June 22, 2006

Navy floor buffers

In case you might have forgot, I have included this photo to refresh your memory about Navy Buffers.

Reading Bothernook this morning gave me an idea for a post. It should be brief and too the point but it tells a horrible story of life in the US Navy. In his post he said “i went from A school in Great Lakes (Machinist Mate A school) straight to Mare Island, and nuclear power school. not to go to school though. i spent 7 weeks learning how to run the navy's finest floor buffers and how to properly scrub shitters in the various barracks used by the nuke school.” This was fairly typical of what the Navy did with us when we had a few spare moments. In boot camp in San Diego I was screwing around and chose to toss a bucket of ice cold water on a friend of mine taking a hot shower [ha, ha, ha,]. He instantly retaliated by trying to hit me with a scrub brush as I headed for safety. Well the floor was Terazo, you know those little 1” square tiles, and they had soap and water on them and I had shower shoes on. The inevitable happened, my feet went out from under me, went into the air and my head tried to break up some of those Terazos. I left the shower that evening in the custody of Navy Corpsmen who were on duty that night to keep a few thousand, stupid, boot camp scum, from dying because of “Lollygagging” [Interesting term, to us sailors it meant screwing around, playing grabass when we should have been reading the Blue Jackets Manual or something]. I was removed to the hospital via ambulance to have my head sewed up. I remember very little of that evening except lying on my stomach while a couple of corpsmen cleaned and sutured my head and they were a little concerned because I was bleeding out my ears and nose. The other thing I remember is running a buffer to polish the floor in the waiting room while I ‘waited’ for the Dr. to read my x-rays. This incident occurred during the week the rest of the company had fire fighting school and A range. I had gotten light duty and so they found things for me to do during that week. Ya you guessed it – I spent the week running a floor buffer and polishing my cleaning skills working on toilets and urinals. After a week I went in to have my stitches and big head bandage removed and while I waited to see the Doc I buffed the floor of sickbay. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the U.S. Navy for teaching me how to properly clean a urinal with a toothbrush [usually my personal one because I had gotten a demerit at an inspection or something], helping me to learn the fine art of polishing; copper, brass and porcelain, but also teaching me the intricacies of the common floor polisher or buffer. All of these skills have proven invaluable to me in civilian life.

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