The Old Navy
Then – If you smoked, you had an ashtray on your desk.
Now – If you smoke, you get sent outside and treated like a leper, if your lucky.
Then – Mail took weeks to come to the ship.
Now – Every time you get near land, there’s a mob topside to see if their mobile phones work.
Then – If you left the ship it was in Blues or Whites, even in home port.
Now – The only time you wear Blues or Whites is for ceremonies.
Then – You wore bell bottoms.
Now – Bell bottoms are gone and 14 year-old girls wear them everywhere.
Then – You wore a cap/hat with every uniform.
Now – It’s not required and you have a choice of different hats.
Then – If you said “Shit,” people knew you were annoyed and avoided you.
Now – If you say “Shit,” you’d better be talking about a sewage plant.
Then -The Ship’s Office writer had a typewriter on his desk for doing daily reports.
Now – Everyone has a computer with Internet access and they wonder why no work is getting done.
Then – Your girlfriend was at home, praying you would return alive.
Now – She is on the same ship, praying your condom worked.
Then – If you got drunk off duty, your buddies would take you back to the ship so you could sleep it off.
Now – If you get drunk off duty, they slap you in rehab and ruin your career.
Then – Drinking mugs were made out of steel and you could heat coffee or hot chocolate in them.
Now – Drinking mugs are made of plastic; you can’t heat them because they’ll melt, and anything inside always tastes like plastic.
Then – Officers were professional sailors first. They commanded respect.
Now – Officers are politicians first. They beg not to be given a ‘wedgie’.
Then – They collected enemy intelligence and analyzed it.
Now – They collect your pee and analyze it.
Then – If you didn’t act right, they’d put you on extra duty until you straightened up.
Now – If you don’t act right, they start a paper trail that follows you forever.
Then – Medals were awarded to heroes who saved lives at the risk of their own.
Now – Medals are awarded to people who show up for work most of the time.
Then – You slept in a barracks block, like a soldier.
Now – You sleep in a dormitory, like a college kid.
Then – You ate in a mess hall or cafeteria. It was free and you could have all the food you wanted.
Now – You eat in a dining facility. Every slice of bread or pat of butter costs, and you can only have one.
Then – If you wanted to relax, you went to the Rec Centre, played snooker, smoked and drank beer.
Now – You go to the Community Centre and can still play snooker, maybe.
Then – If you wanted a beer and conversation, you could go to the Junior Sailors’ and Senior Sailors’ messes or Wardroom.
Now – The beer will cost you heaps and someone is watching to see how much you drink.
Then – The canteen had bargains for sailors who didn’t make much money.
Now – The canteen competes with David Jones Food Hall.
Then – If an Admiral wanted to make a presentation, he scribbled down some notes and a Flag Lieutenant spent an hour preparing a bunch of charts.
Now – The Admiral has his entire staff spending days preparing a Power Point presentation.
Then – We called the enemy things like ”Nips”, “Gooks”, “Commie Bastards” and “Reds” because we didn’t like them.
Now – We call the enemy things like “Opposing Forces” and “Aggressors” or “Insurgents” so we won’t offend them.
Then – We declared victory when the enemy was dead and all his things were broken.
Now – We declare victory when the enemy says he is sorry and won’t do it again.
Then – A commander would put his butt on the line to protect his people.
Now – A commander will put his people on the line to protect his butt.
Thank God I was in the “Old Navy” – and proud of it.