THE OCEAN, THE WORLD – Claiming it’s not their job or admitting that they simply can’t be bothered, sailors on the bridge of the carrier USS George H.W. Bush report that not a single man or woman among them has any idea where the ship is going, how fast it’s moving, or, for that matter, where it’s even located in the world.
“I suppose you would expect me to have at least a tenuous grasp on what’s happening right now,” said helmsman Tim Peeler, “but the truth of the matter is I’ve been asleep for basically this entire watch… which I’d say is pretty normal, actually.”
“Why, did I miss something?” he added, yawning. “Is it almost dinner?”
According to the individuals who have spent the last few hours tallying farts, belching song lyrics, and one-upping each other’s mostly-false sex stories, bridge watches like this can be a “major drag.” What’s more, finding ways to pass the time that don’t involve incidentally absorbing any details whatsoever about the vessel or its whereabouts reportedly proves a daily challenge.
“You know, I’ve never totally understood the difference between heading and bearing anyway, so I try to steer clear of conversations like this,” said the Bush’s navigator, Lt. Allen Thompson. “I’m sure somebody up here’s paying attention, though, so wanna see if I can count to a billion?”
Despite being virtually surrounded by radars, nautical charts, and satellite-enabled positioning devices, the twenty-something-year-olds entrusted with this nuclear, multi-billion dollar warship’s safe passage further confirmed that each of them would be hard-pressed to correctly identify the body of water plainly visible through the bridge windows in front of them.
“Heck, I couldn’t even tell you which ocean we passed through to get here,” junior officer of the deck Ensign Kristen Yun said, posting a picture of “the beautiful Adrianic at sunset” to her Instagram. “Which is pretty ironic and hilarious, when you think about it.”
While some have criticized the bridge watch of inexcusable laziness and even dereliction of duty, most sailors on the Bush say they empathize with the team’s utter disinterest in anything related to the naval service.
“Keeping up with the myriad diversions for my generation is work enough for ten men,” said Engineman Second Class Fred Meadows, who hasn’t picked up a wrench in days between Skyping with his mom, binge watching Game of Thrones, and finding remote compartments of the ship where no one will catch him playing Xbox. “And I haven’t even started Breaking Bad!”
Back on the bridge – where nobody could quite say the difference between port and starboard – the watch standers were embroiled in an intense game of Kill-Fuck-Marry. “We’re all torn about who on the ship we’d fuck or marry,” said lee helmsman Joshua Trotter, “but the XO’s basically as good as dead.”
At press time, a poll of the Bush’s bridge team had revealed that each oblivious member was acutely aware of how many days were left of their deployment.
“143,” said officer of the deck Lt. Paul Knight. “Unless we get extended, in which case they won’t get a lick of work out of me.”
Editor’s note: The Bush’s commanding officer, Capt. Lawrence Ryan, could not be reached for comment because even he was too busy kissing the admiral’s ass to really give a shit.
Check out After Action with Max & Paul, an awesome new podcast featuring the creators of Terminal Lance and Duffel Blog.