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August 2014 #5: Here’s Hoping That Shed Was Insured

1. Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, where things could always be even worse. Of course, they could always be better, if certain unnamed personnel had used their heads for something other than hat racks.

A. An airman was heading north on a Florida interstate around 0400 one morning. He needed to consult his GPS. Couldn’t wait for a rest area or a handy exit. Nope, needed to check his planned route of travel or E.T.A. or whatever right that minute. And that, in turn, distracted him just enough to allow his car to navigate its way off the road and into a parked truck.

I always wonder what the GPS does in those last few seconds before it is totaled along with the vehicle it was supposedly helping navigate. Does the voice alert get real fast and high-pitched and frantic?

B. Just before midnight, three officers from an aviation training command and a civilian were making a U-turn. According to the mishap report, they were “hit from behind by another vehicle that was about to be pulled over” by a police cruiser. Their car was totaled. EMTs had to cut off the roof, but only one passenger was injured (cuts and bruises on his back).

Y’know how you sometimes ask, “Where’s a cop when you want one?” They didn’t have to say that.

C. Underway on a carrier, a fireman was looking for a pinhole leak in a chilled water pipe. The leak was somewhere in that cluttered, pipe-and-cable quagmire known as the overhead. Visibility-wise, the E-3 was relying on red lights and vanity lights. He was using the berthing racks for a ladder. With one hand, he was trying to steady himself, and with the other hand, he was using his pocket knife to slice the lagging around the suspect pipe.

Hmm, what could possibly go wrong?

Directly he had produced a leak in his right index finger, thanks to the aforementioned knife. This leak was much bigger than a pinhole (he would need stitches and a splint) and much easier to find, since it hurt and was spurting corpuscles onto the deck.

D. With all due respect to the vegans of the world, I think grilled meat is delicious. Not 3-times-a-day delicious, and not 20-ounce steak delicious, but a summer without a few gatherings around the grill would be a summer needlessly diminished.

Which brings us to a Sailor who had checked the block for the grilling and had finished eating. All that was left was to take care of the bed of hot coals.

Several options here. Option A, leave the grill out in the yard, lid up or down, and let the coals either go out or burn out. Option B, shovel the coals into a metal fire bucket and hose them down. Option C, just hose down the coals in the grill.

The Sailor chose option D: Shove the grill into a shed beside your motorcycle where it can sit, out of sight and out of mind. Out of mind, that is, until the local fire department sends a fire engine screaming down your street and skidding to a halt in front of your house. Later, when two of your neighbors get mad because you burned down their sheds along with your own, and you or your landlord has to replace some melted siding, you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on the basics of fire safety that they drummed into your noggin in kindergarten but that somehow leaked out since then.

2. That’s all for this week, amigos. Until we meet again, when you hear that little voice in your head asking you a what-if question, listen up. I have plenty of material.


Got a Funnies-worthy yarn? Need to get something off your chest? We welcome your feedback: nrfk_safe_funnies@navy.mil.

Read the author's blog, "Beyond the Friday Funnies." If you have a question about some of our odd terminology, become an insider by studying up on our Glossary. And if you have even more time to kill, here's the exhibit list from the Summary of Mishaps Museum.


Last Revision: September 2, 2014