KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Calvin Marshall was enjoying a quiet post-deployment dinner with his family when he became awash in pangs of crippling self-doubt, Duffel Blog has learned.
“I’m pretty sure I turned the oven off before I went on leave. Oh, God, I hope so,” Marshall mumbled under his breath, picturing his San Diego-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyer ablaze in the fires of his hypothetical negligence.
“But what if the knob didn’t click all the way? No, no, it definitely clicked. But what if it didn’t? What if the internal mechanism snapped?” his mind obsessively speculated, weaving a web of anxious uncertainty, our sources say. “Ah, jeez, what if the damage control crews are too sick to fight the fire because they ate that chicken I think I might have undercooked last night?”
Marshall attempted to contact his associate, CS3 Walters, but was sent straight to voicemail, inducing a fit of hyperventilation.
“What if the fire spreads to the other ships on the waterfront, eliminating a significant portion of the U.S. Third Fleet thusly creating an advantageous position for China to fill the power vacuum and rapidly expand its sphere of influence?” Marshall babbled, fearing the far-reaching geopolitical consequences of his maybe forgetting to turn off the oven.
Marshall tried to put the ridiculous notion out of his mind by watching a movie with his wife, but Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” proved a poor choice.
The sailor reportedly caved at 1:30 a.m., rose from bed, and drove 32 hours to the pier to check that the ship’s oven was indeed off. When he arrived, however, Marshall discovered that the vessel was nowhere to be found.
According to defense officials, roughly a thousand miles away, fast-asleep in his warm bed, was the guy who forgot to tie up the boat.