Zach Taylor wasn't getting along with Admiral Felon either. "They're like oil and magnesium," the gator said from his barber chair on the starboard side, late one night, after flight operations had secured and Zach had gone off the bridge. "Or vinegar and water. Or whatever."
The only reason the gator was still up was because Gary had the watch, and Zach didn't trust Gary on the bridge at night unless he or the gator was around to keep an eye on him. Jack had stayed up to make sure Gary didn't doze off and fall down the night hood, and wake up tits up on the deck with blood on his blouse, and get shit canned.
"Admiral Felon is on the phone with Zach every ten minutes, bitching at him about one thing or another," the gator said, starting a sea story to keep everybody awake.
Rear Admiral Phillip "Fix" Felon commanded the Constellation battle group, and was living on Connie (and in Zach Taylor's ass) for the duration of the NORPAC deployment.
"Plus," the gator said, "whatever the hell's up with Zach and his wife. Guy's been married to her thirty years. You'd think they'd have learned to get along by now. I just thank God my wife had the good grace to walk out on me before I married her. Easier that way. Cheaper. Faster. Funnier too."
Jack nudges Gary. "Never got married to his wife?" he whispers. "Don't you just wonder what that's all about?"
"I bet we can get him to tell us," Gary whispers back "Careful, though, let's not spook him. He's probably so tired, he doesn’t realize he blurted that one out. Let's get him talking about something else, and then pull a switch on him."
Jack grins, and nods.
Buzz walks on the bridge.
"Oh good," Jack says. "Buzz is here. What's the buzz, Buzz buddy? What brings you all the way up here to the nosebleed level? Why aren't you racked out in your stateroom? They fumigating it or something?"
Gary chimes in:
Buddy Buzz, he had no hair.
Buddy Buzzy, was he there?
He might be white. He might be black.
He might be sleeping in his rack.
"Stow it," Buzz says. "I just got off watch in combat, so I came up from my dark hole to take a look out at your dark hole. So pipe down on the Buddy Buzzy bullshit, okay?"
"Roger that, Buddy Buzzy," Jack says. "Hey, come over here a second."
Gary keeps the gator occupied while Jack conspires with Buzz over by the helm console. "We're trying to milk some good shit out of the gator about his ex non-wife," Jack says, "so we can pitch him shit about it forever later. But we don't want to spook him, and we're afraid he'll know we're up to something if we say anything. So you get him ranting about Fix Felon, like you did last time, and we'll see if we can change the subject on him."
"Fuck Fix Felon," the gator says. "I flew with that asshole in my last squadron. An NFO who started out as an intelligence weenie, and then became a ship driver, and then became an NFO, and then became a pilot."
"How did he pull off a stunt like that?" Gary says.
The gator says he'll tell them the whole story, but it's convoluted, so if they want to hear it, they'll have to shut their pie holes and listen, and not interrupt him. But, he promises that this is one of the top ten sea stories of all time. What's more, when he gets to the end of it, if they don't agree it's one of the top ten sea stories of all time, he'll kiss all their asses on the corner of First Street and Orange Avenue and give them half an hour to draw a crowd.
"Sounds like a deal to me," Gary says.
The gator begins:
Next: the legend of Fix Felon, as only the gator can tell it.