Laughing And Crying Essay, Research Paper
Laughing and Crying
The bridge between laughing and crying is not long. During submarine deployments, it is customary to tell sea stories on those long boring mid-watches. During one particular mid-watch I told an amazing story that happened to me ten years earlier while stationed on my last submarine. This story shouldn t be told when your boss is part of the group because there could be repercussions that you may feel later.
My story begins when I was on a submarine that was home-ported in Vallejo, CA. Like most naval bases it also has a McDonald s. The submarine was delayed for a scheduled underway this particular day and my division and myself decided to go to McDonald s for lunch. This McDonald s was laid out as any other McDonald s with a side entrance and a long seating area down the side. Most of the submarine crew was already there sitting on the side seats, and I proceeded up to the counter to place my order. I ordered a Combo Meal that came to $4.85 and gave the cashier a ten-dollar bill. She placed a five-dollar bill and the change on my tray as I was leaving. When I came around the corner to the area my shipmates were sitting, someone opened the doors to enter the restaurant and my five-dollar bill blew off my tray. I quickly glanced down and noticed it fell near the corner table were a lady and her two children were sitting. I continued to the table where I wanted to sit to put my tray down. I placed my tray on the table then turned to go back to retrieve my five-dollar bill. I went back to the area where my money blew off near the table the lady and her two children were sitting. I looked around and didn t see it, so I asked the little boy that was sitting on the end of the table if he had seen my five-dollar bill. He politely said no sir and then his mom asked can I help you and I told her that I was looking for a five-dollar bill that had blown off my tray. She kind of looked a little disturbed that I was bothering her and her family while they were eating. I was getting a little upset; because it was obvious this little boy had taken my money. Then the lady stated, Was your name on it , well this statement caught me off guard a little and made me laugh. Well my shipmates hearing this conversation, started heckling me a little and I decided it just wasn t worth arguing with this lady about the money. I returned to my table to eat my lunch.
Just a little note about this time in the story, my shipmates that are listening to me are very engrossed in the story. I noticed in particular that the Officer of the Deck, which coincidently happened to be from Vallejo and had visited that McDonald s in his youth. He stated that he and his girlfriend even sat at that particular table. Well hearing that I had his attention, I began to make my story sort of directed towards him to draw him closer to my story.
Well when the lady and her family passed my table she leered at me, with my shipmates noticing the look they began to laugh at me. I noticed at the table that she was sitting at there was a J.C Penny s bag left next to which the lady was sitting. Seeing this I decided it was time to get a little revenge. I went and retrieved the bag and placed it near my feet and sat down to finish my lunch. A few minutes later the boy came back in to get his mother s bag. He noticed it wasn t at his table anymore and the bag was now at my table. He approached me and asked for the bag and I asked him was his name on it . Well the boy noticed that he wasn t going to get the bag back and ran out to get his mom I assumed. Well now my shipmates were having the best laugh of the situation, making comments like: Mahaffey, she s going to come back in here and kick your butt and she s going to get you in a head lock and squeeze it out of you . Well no sooner than those comments were made in walks this lady, and boy did she seemed pissed off. She approached me and asked for the bag. Being the smart ass that I am, I simply asked her is your name on it . I was ready to put up my defenses knowing that that statement might put me on the receiving end of a head slap, but she just made the statement I m getting the manager to take care of you . She then turned and walked around the corner, to get the manager. Now my friends and I were beginning to sense this might turn into an ugly situation and decided to just leave out the back door. So I picked up the bag and proceeded to go back to the submarine.
Well now is when my story demands a brief pause to gain a little more suspense. I briefly paused to glance at my story telling audience, and noticed the most intrigued shipmate again was the Officer of the Deck. No other shipmate said a word, then the Officer of the Deck still in suspense asked Chief what was in the bag! Thinking now as I looked back on my next comment, I may have made a different choice of shipmate s to hook into my story. But since I decided to really get this officer, I delivered my punch line. I said Sir, BULLSHIT like I m feeding you! Well that just made everyone in the control room just bust out laughing really loud. Being that this officer was the only one that fell for it, he did not see the laughter in it, especially since he was the brunt of it. He looked at me, looked back at the rest of my shipmates, and I saw him just getting hot under the collar. After taking it in a little his response was Chief get out of Control, you are relieved of your watch station. Now the focus was towards me and I proceeded to carry out the orders that were given to me by this irate officer that had been belittled in front of many junior personnel. I left my watch station and proceeded out of control. I just wanted to cry because I had made everyone laugh and now was about to cry because of the outcome of my story telling.
As you can see the bridge between laughter and crying, is indeed, not that far apart.