Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oops! Blammo! Foon! The Summaries of Mishaps

Those are just a few of the adjectives that you'll find in the Navy's Summaries of Mishaps, which I read weekly during my Defense Department days. I was reminded of these when I found a web page devoted to an old high school classmate who is now the executive officer of the USS Harpers Ferry.

Not that I think he's a mishap waiting to happen or anything of the sort! In fact, I recall him having a wit not too far removed from the admiral who wrote these every week. These were signed (and apparently written) by a Rear Admiral F. M. Dirren, Jr. in Norfolk, at least until his retirement after 37 years of Navy service in 2001. I reckon his cohorts in the Navy Safety Office are collectively keeping this going.

Until now, only a few of these had leaked out from behind DoD firewalls for public consumption, but they're not classified . . . and they're hilarious. And probably a lot more read and heeded than just a list of mishaps.

Now, hey, how 'bout that? The Navy has a site with compilations of the more recent SOMs. It's better than nothing; thanks, John Paul Jones! (No, not the one from Led Zeppelin.)

Here's an excerpt from the SOM:

It always starts so harmlessly. An EM3 from a carrier invited a shipmate over to his apartment, the report says, to "drink some beers after work." Happens all the time, throughout the fleet, around the globe. The only question, really, is your definition of the word "some."

The EM3 started early, and when his buddy arrived, they got serious. They had one, and then they had another. And then they had another. And then they had another. And then they had another. And then they had another. And then they had another. And then they had another. And then they had another. Note: Using your cut-and-paste feature, please fill in enough "anothers" until they get to twelve beers apiece.

At about 0200, toss in a bourbon-and-orange-juice for the EM3, just for old time's sake (yum!). He then asked his buddy to rustle up some food, while he got a breath of fresh air out on... (Gene, cue some of those impending-doom sound effects--use that clip from the shower scene in "Psycho" if you have to)... the balcony. From there, he no doubt got one huge breath of fresh air en route to the ground. He then got a broken arm, an ambulance ride, a lost day of work and two weeks of light duty, in that order.

Read the whole compilation of fun with your BAC titled, "Totally Blotto." Oh, and think about it this New Year's. We teetotalers thank you.

Of course, I never do anything worthy of making a publication such as this. :-D