Friday, 15 February 2008

The HMS Apollo Incident









Some months after the Argentine surrender in the Falklands, Idle was commanding a settlement called Fox Bay West on West Falkland. This was a relaxing role, as a mile of cold South Atlantic water separated us from the company headquarters at Fox Bay East. I posted a soldier as lookout, and we sprang into action only when a RIB started bouncing across the bay. By the time any boat containing the company commander arrived, we were behaving busily and looking efficient and soldierly. Otherwise, I preferred intense periods of relaxation; we were never more than a fortnight away from a live-firing exercise in the bogs and hills.

One day, at the weekly Orders Group across the bay, the company commander announced that the Royal Marine detachment on HMS Apollo was going stir crazy and needed to come ashore to do whatever it is that Marines do. One officer, an NCO and six men were invited by HMS Apollo to take their place for a few days. This was a plum opportunity to get away from sheep-shearers' accommodation and army cooking, and everyone wanted to go.

The three platoon commanders were invited to give their reasons as to why they should be chosen. I kept shtum until the others had spoken, and then quietly offered the fact that my father had been First Lieutenant on board HMS Apollo about thirty years previously. (Now, this Apollo was almost certainly not the same boat, but a modern destroyer or mine layer or something, but I left that bit out).

To cut a long story short, I found myself one evening playing poker in the officers' mess (they call it a wardroom) after dinner on HMS Apollo, somewhere in the South Atlantic. A knock came on the door, and a Petty Officer requested the presence of the infantry officer in their mess. The RN officers smirked.

As we entered the PO's mess, the fellow asked me my christian name, which struck this Highland officer as unconventional. He said the rules were that I walked in and walked out of their mess as an officer, but niceties were suspended whilst they entertained me.

We got drinking and chatting and I was closely quizzed about my Aberdonian credentials. The Royal Guard at Balmoral came up. Suffice to say that I foolishly backed myself to remember the first dozen heirs to the throne, in order. I got it right, I think, but had to toast every one of them with a shot of navy rum (that dark and pungent stuff, not the delightful golden nectar of Mount Gay or Appleton). Soon, I was gibbered.

At this stage, they said, it was time to play a game. A teaspoon was produced, the end of its handle tied to a length of string. I was instructed to take off my trousers and underwear, and the string was passed round my waist and tied in such a fashion that the bowl of the teaspoon hung about two inches below my dick. Then they stood me legs well apart on a coffee table, introduced me to their mess champion, facing me in the same exposed condition on his own coffee table, and produced two lit candles in their sticks, placed between our legs. Then they blindfolded us (or was it only me?)

On the command "extinguish!", I crouched down and swung my equipment back and forward, in an attempt to douse the flame. Go too far, singed gonads and bell-end. You can imagine it, I'm sure. I swung and missed like a hopeless golfer, and suffered several discomforts. In my panic and confusion, I could hear the click of cameras amongst the roars of laughter. Best of five, the PO won 3-0 and I was reintroduced to my clothes.

I walked out of the PO's mess and embraced life as an officer again, albeit a nauseous one. Nothing was said about my ordeal, not even by my sergeant, who was in the PO's mess throughout.

When I am returned as the honourable member for Chichester, having won a shock victory for the No Nonsense Party, I am sure the photos will emerge, at least in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer, maybe even the Petersfield Post. Until then, my modesty is intact.

12 comments:

45govt said...

Brilliant tale idle!

I look forward keenly to your election.

Anonymous said...

The News of the World will outbid the Sun.

Tuscan Tony said...

Excellent!

There's very little one can add to that, other than, on the return trip to base, I suspect you were thanking your lucky stars you weren't born a red sea pedestrian - oy vey!

electro-kevin said...

I wonder what did happen to those photos. Probably matelot porn by now, "Ah me hearty, another unsuspecting army officer for our archives. Ooooh aaargh !"

It's a good thing that they didn't have ladies in the Navy in those days - you wouldn't have stood a chance, Idle. They would have simply blown those candles out. (Wrens have very well developed pelvic floor muscles so I hear.)

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Oh dear Idle! the mind boggles at that salty tale! Talk about the right hon. member...

Lilith said...

Ah, that explains why you produced daughters ;-) The more pendulous the scrotum, the better cooled it is, the better the quality of the contents...

idle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
idle said...

Merms, thank you for the double entendres.

Lil, I have no idea if your theory stands up, but it seems just as credible as Roald Dahl's idea that it depended on whether the hon member was pointing towards, or away from, the moon.

Barnsley Bill said...

I hate reading posts like this.
it just serves to remind me how dull my vacuous existence has been.
I must go and do something unusual.

Scroblene said...

Brilliant Idle!

This must have been before digital photography, so only hard copies will exist, unless there is a new trade in RN scanners now...

A variation on this came from a pal in the RAF. After a severe session resulting in unconsciousness, the unfortunate member was tied to the foot of the slumbering unfortunate man, with a piece of string which was just a bit shorter than necessary...

What's the first thing you do when you wake up after a heavy night on the sauce...?

Stretch uncontrollably...?

Aaaargh....

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