27 June 2008


My old shipmate Blunoz ('scuse, please, I mean Mr Blunoz - he's an O-ganger) was reminiscing last month about where he'd been and what he'd been doing on each of the anniversaries of his commissioning. For 1998, he said:
4 Years: USS PROVIDENCE (SSN 719), Groton, CT. While my fiancee, LW, is back in Boston planning our wedding, I'm now on my second deployment. This time it is to the Persian Gulf as part of the JOHN C STENNIS battle group. I pin on LT soon and let the extra pay accumulate in my bank account to pay for our honeymoon and stuff.

This led to the following exchange in the comments on his post:
RM1: I seem to remember a #10 can of corn somewhere in there.... 8)
Blunoz: RM1 - I'm surprised you remember that. Man, that creamed corn gets into EVERY bodily crevasse!!! That was extremely nasty. Thanks for the memory

Corn? Yes, corn. I've talked before about Halfway Night, the celebration that marks the midpoint of a deployment. One of the traditional events during Halfway Night is "Corn on the COB."

The corn, in this case, is a #10 can* of cream-style corn, which is auctioned off to the highest bidder.** The COB is the Chief of the Boat, the senior enlisted man on board (the submarine equivalent of a skimmer*** command master chief or an Army command sergeant major). After the auction is completed, the COB reports to the mess decks if he's not already there, the can of corn is opened and the winning bidder gets to pour the whole thing over the COB's head, to much applause from the rest of the crew.

So what does this have to do with Mr Blunoz? Well, during the '98 Halfway Night the bidding for the can of corn was so intense that they decided to auction off a second can - and then announced that the target could be anybody in the crew (only the CO was exempt). The winning bidders for this second can were a pair of JOs, and their target of choice was none other than Mr Blunoz. Something to do with his having missed the first month or two of the deployment, I believe....

I had hoped to post a picture here of Mr Blunoz in all his corn glory, but my pics from that deployment are packed away in one of the boxes in the basement, and my accomplice didn't get one. Oh, well....

* A #10 can holds around 12-13 cups (US measure), or around three litres.
** The money raised in this manner goes to the Rec Committee, to be used on the next ship's picnic, Xmas party, or what-have-you.
*** Surface fleet.

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