Submariners Assocation of Canada Easti

Take George Byzewski for example

by on Jan.05, 2013, under Stories over the ages

Submitted by Jim(lucky) Gordon

However, idle amusement, at 300 feet, was not always at the expense of the rookies. It was much more heart-warming to take on a specialist in the field of fellow folly.
Take George Byzewski for example. The Bazoo was a master of mockery and a capable comedian. One of his favourite expressions in a round of mess deck absurdity was “can’t crack me!”
To set the scene, as technology advanced we eventually installed stereo sound systems in our mess decks, for leisure listening or ballroom dance parties. We had just replaced our 8 Track with a brand new cassette tape player deck. With 18 to 20 senior rates in our mess, music taste varied from cultured to crude. Many brought their favourite music with them from home and played it in turn with choices of others. At times there was good-natured dispute over music taste but nothing too serious.
When George Sullivan and I, both very vocal, sh&t chucking seamen, found ourselves largely outnumbered by stokers on one particular trip in Ojibwa the stokers decided that they ruled the tape deck and wouldn’t let us play our favourite music. Right up front we were informed that anything we tried to play would be immediately replaced by stuff we didn’t like. Dah! With child reverse psychology applied, we enjoyed our music and denied them of some of their favourites for over three months until we could no longer contain our triumph and announced how easy it had been to choose our “like” and “unlike” entertainment. Stokers are easy!
On another trip Bazoo, fellow Dib, brought his all time, absolute favourite compilation of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson hits. And we were listening to “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” every chance he had to
bang it into the cassette deck. One day at noon Bazoo was sitting at a table reading a paperback novel with “the Boys” crooning sveltely in the background when big Ron Kolodij entered the mess. He reached in over the heads of a few mess members and loudly hit the cassette deck eject button. The mess went suddenly quiet. When Bazoo looked up from the other end of the mess, (the sweet spot for full stereo effect), Ron, with a cassette tape grasped firmly in two huge hands announced, “I’m f*#king sick of this crap”, broke it in half, stripped out a few yards of muted cellulous tape and tossed it on the deck in front of Bazoo. Everyone in the mess was dumbfounded. Bazoo looked shocked and extremely hurt as he reached down and delicately fondled a few strands of Willies “Always On My Mind.” He let it silently track through his fingers back to the deck and without a word, head down and avoiding all eyes, returned to his novel. After all, no one could “crack” the Bazoo. And to disclose a chink in the old armour was just begging for a tireless attack of relentless ridicule. As the mess deck routine resumed to its’ normal absurdity Ron was inserting a cassette tape into the machine. Out came the tender tones of “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”. All eyes were turned to the Bazoo as a sheepish grin emerged through the grizzly ‘skers on his face. It was then that everyone, including the Bazoo realized that, for the last couple of minutes, he had been staring down at his upside down novel. The broken cassette tape was a fake. Ron had gotten through, cracked our Polish Prince a fine one, and this one would resurface over and over for decades to come.
We’ve all been had, more than we would like to admit. But we all knew that if we weren’t loved we weren’t included.
Buddies in Boats!

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