Thursday, July 09, 2009

Perils of the Noon Meal - Part 2

The following continues a reprint of an article originally published in the April-June 2001 Issue of American Submariner Magazine, the official publication of the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. and reprinted with the author's permission.

Perils of the Noon Meal
Part Two
By Maurice Lee Barksdale CS2(SS)

USS Razorback (SS-394

One day I was cooking pork chops for lunch. We were submerged, and everything was peaceful and nice. I was seasoning the pork chops with a two-pound can of pepper that had a lift off top with holes. As I was shaking the can of pepper, the top came off, and I heard something go “whoosh”. The galley exhaust system had completely inhaled the can of black pepper, and it was now making its rounds through the ventilation system. I heard coughs and sneezes immediately, in the Forward Engine Room, followed by Maneuvering, After Torpedo Room, Forward Torpedo Room, Forward Battery, Control, Conn, Radio, Sonar, and finally my pepper returned to me in the After Battery. Tears were streaming down numerous eyes, and I became very unpopular fast! Next came the “Surface, Surface, Surface” klaxon, and the smell of fresh air as the boat was ventilated. Then came a visit by the COB, Exec, and the Captain. The Captain always called me, “Barks”. Through eyes as red as tomatoes, he said, “Barks, are you a communist agent, or are you trying to sabotage this boat?”

“No sir”, I replied. “I’m just trying to cook the noon meal”. Two-pound cans of black pepper were no longer allowed on the U.S.S. Razorback.


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