Then and Now…

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.

About Lazy Larry

Just a woodworker sharing some of the things learnt the hard way... so you don't make the same mistakes...
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2 Responses to Then and Now…

  1. Christian says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. My dad and uncle are old navy too, albeit from the Netherlands the same applies here. The stories my dad used to tell…

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