This is a really, really long post and I should probably break it into two parts but I suck so I’m going to tell you when part two is, and you can walk away and come back tomorrow if reading more than 10 paragraphs bothers you. Except I just made this longer by adding this prelude. Awesome. Also, if you’ve never read me before, don’t start now because this will confuse the shit out of you.
You know what’s awesome? When you write a bunch of posts about something but never fully explain it and so your 4th post in you kind of have to start from the beginning and answer all the questions that you should have answered the first time, except you realize it really doesn’t matter because your readers all have ADD too so they’ve forgotten what you posted before anyway. That’s what’s awesome.
So…the whole Navy trip. Many of you have asked how I got to go fly out and land on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean and the answer is that I gave Guy Kawasaki a hand job. Kidding. I don’t like Asian men. Kidding again. Ha ha. I just pissed off my husband, Guy Kawasaki, and also 4 percent of my blog readers in one paragraph. So “yay” me, because this is an improvement. Technically I’m not sure how I got invited. All I know is that the Navy brings out people all the time to see what it’s like at sea because (according to them) “It’s your Navy because you as a taxpayer pay for it” and I’m all “Hell yeah, I do“, and then I remembered that I don’t pay taxes. Kidding again, IRS. Please don’t audit me.
So I was with a bunch of other bloggers who are all professional and awesome and some were ex-military and all were very smart and well-respected, and then there was me. And I was even worse than normal because I am so terrified of water that I was on a ton of xanax the whole time I was there. But I also had a lot of caffeine so it evened out like when you take speed and heroin together. I assume.
We went all over that damn ship from stem to stern (even though I don’t know where the stem of the boat is because you never hear people say they’re there). We met Charlie Brown the first day and I know I said that he was like the head of the ship but turns out that I was wrong and he’s all “I’m totally not the head dude and you’re going to get me fired”, except he said it in Naval-ese so it sounded more professional. Also I showed him a bunch of sex toys I’d brought along and mentioned the inflatable sheep and he visibly paled. It was adorable. Also, I was really relieve to hear that Charlie Brown was not our Admiral, because although I absolutely adore him he does not have a name that instills trust, but then we actually got to meet the Admiral whose name is “Fozzie”. Like the bear. I am totally not kidding. Also we met the Captain whose name is “Nasty”. Like, that’s embroidered on his Captain’s chair. Nasty.
Then I mentally cursed Victor for convincing me that the Navy was uptight, because Fozzie and Nasty and Charlie Brown were all kick-ass and so was everyone else on the ship except for the one enlisted guy who looked anxiously at our group when we came in like he was looking for someone famous and it turns out he thought Hannah Montana was with us and was very disappointed. True story. But after that I made sure to stand next to this guy because he looks exactly like Clint Eastwood, and I thought I could pretend to be in his entourage and it would be less disappointing for the military people. On the second day on the ship I confessed to him that I was standing next to him all the time because he looked exactly like Clint Eastwood and if we got attacked he would probably be the only one who survived, and he kind of grunted just like Clint Eastwood would do and then someone else was all “Seriously, you do look EXACTLY like Clint Eastwood” and he admitted that he’s Clint’s body double and stuntman. Also I think he’s like the Mayor of Malibu and he has a Grammy. Or an Emmy. Something cool. I was a little high.
And then I said that I also planned on sticking next to Lex too because he used to be a fighter pilot himself, but admitted to him that my hopes were really pinned on Not-Clint-Eastwood because Lex just looked too nice to survive if we were attacked by Russians. But I assured him that in my head he’d die heroically trying to save me, and I could tell that he was cool with that or that he’d just stopped listening.
Then we had a briefing with the Captain and a “shooter” whose name was “Freakshow”. This is the part where I just nodded because everyone else was asking important questions about fuel consumption and political ideologies and I’m all “How many Cylons do you think are on this ship?”, “How many mermaids and/or UFOs have you spotted?” and “What’s the biggest secret that you’re not supposed to tell us?” but the answers were something like “What’s a Cylon?”, “None.” and “Nuclear blah blah blah” I can’t really remember because I lost interest. BUT THEN! Freakshow (so named because he used to work in the circus – I shit you not) took us out onto the aircraft carrier to watch jets take off just feet in front of us. We had to wear earplugs and headphones since it was so loud so Freakshow told us to pay attention to his hand signals or we would get blown off the ship by a jet, and he said that when he got down on one knee we needed to do the same because we were ducking from the exhaust of the jet engine and that if we stood up we’d burst into flames or something. So we went out and I. was. floored. Honestly, it was amazing. Even with the headphones on it was so loud it felt like it could stop your heart. I was utterly in awe and that’s why I didn’t notice Freakshow take a knee until I felt the heat and then I quickly took a knee, except I’m naturally clumsy and the hot blast coming off the back of the jet blew me completely over and so I just sat on my ass while Freakshow laughed at me and the others looked like they were proposing to him.
This is the end of part one for people with short attention spans, or who can’t read books or who actually have work to do.
Then we met the XO (who is like the Spock of the ship, I think?) and I told him that I’d heard that our Governor recently said that Texas might consider seceding from the rest of America and I asked him if they had the accuracy to bomb just his house or did I need to just move out of Texas altogether? He assured me that they could hit a single house with accuracy so I told him to get on that, and he kind of has to because they just said that it was *my* Navy, so if they don’t bomb our Governor it’s like peeing on the constitution. Or something. Then I begged Public Affairs to let me go to the brig and they were all “Uh. That’s not really part of the tour” and I’m all “So what do I need to do to get thrown into the brig? Because I have an inflatable sheep and I know where the captain sleeps” and they kind of looked at me, and I’m all “It makes real sheep sounds too!” Then they said, “We’ll see what we can do” and next thing you know, I was behind bars and for the first time ever it was not for prostitution. Kidding again. I’m not a prostitute. Although while I was there I totally pitched my idea for my Navy Hooker Business Proposal (Remember? I was gonna call it “Captain Hookers”?) and all the Navy people looked a little stunned and told me that it was illegal and that “pirate law” was something that I’d apparently just made up, but I think they just said that because they realized it’s an awesome business model and wanted to do it themselves.
Then, toward midnight they took us to Vulture’s Row where we watched the jets land and take off in the darkness. We were outside and even from the balcony the noise was extraordinary and I could feel the engines in every part of my body, almost cutting off my breathe with the sheer vibrations and power. We all wore our earplugs and noise-canceling headphones on top of the earplugs, so we were essentially deaf as we each listened to our own pulse in our ears, watched the smokey haze settle over the tarmac and took in the smell of the jet fuel. The blackness of the ocean stretched into a dark sky as we were forced to watch in silence while we all experienced our own unique moment, untainted by others. And in the stillness I realized that I could fart as loudly as I wanted and no one would ever know. And it was very freeing.
We went over ever inch of that ship, and when we finally got to bed at 1am (3am Texas time) I was exhausted. Then a few hours later they woke us up and told us we had 20 minutes to get ready. Then I considered calling in a bomb threat but I couldn’t find a phone and also since technically the whole ship is covered with bombs I didn’t think they’d be distracted enough by it to let us sleep in. After more exploring we got ready to leave the ship and were told that the take-off would make us shit ourselves. Or that it would be “dynamic”. I think they mean the same thing. Basically you can’t get up enough speed to take off before plunging into the ocean so they catapult the plane over the edge of the ship with a giant slingshot and then it flies off. This is when I started taking xanax. Then I took another one. Then they said “dynamic” again and I went to the bathroom because I was going to pee myself with fear because honestly, I am terrified of the water. I’ve always had a feeling that I will die drowning, and when I was in the bathroom with the other chicks I apologized to them in advance because if we ended up hitting the water it would probably be because I was onboard. They were very understanding and supportive and assured me that we would be fine so I sucked it up and took another xanax got mentally prepared. Then the Captain came in and opened up a certificate. We would each get one back on land, but by chance this one was mine and he read it out loud:
And I sat there, kind of beaming stupidly, because I realized that “TailHooker” was even better that “Captain Hookers” but also because for the first time in a long time I was really proud of myself, for pushing past what I thought my boundaries were, and for (with a little medication) taking hold of my anxiety disorder and gaining a little more control of my life. After the plane catapulted off (which felt a little like God grabbed you by the neck and threw you into another State) and when we finally landed I felt like I could breathe again and I suddenly realized that in facing my fears I’d loosened some constraints I didn’t even realize were holding me so tightly until they were gone. And it was beautiful.
PS. There isn’t a joke there. Sometimes there just isn’t one. I’d suggest going back and reading the fart joke again if you really need it.
Comment of the day: The real reason you could fart as loudly as you wanted is because when on board a naval ship such as yours, when you fart, it magically sounds like “Highway To The Dangerzone” by Kenny Loggins. ~HA Guy