Who wrote "Relieve the Watch"? IP: 184.108.40.206 Posted on June 1, 2017 at 08:42:56 AM by Jim L. Corn
A newly minted ITC showed me this poem, asking if I'd seen it before. Heck yeah.. the thing was legendary when I was a CTOSA in 78! But it was always by "unknown". So... does ANYBODY really know who wrote this old gem?
"I just got here to relieve the watch, nothing is happening, at least not much. The man at the desk passed me the word, so listen my friends, here’s what I heard:
"The broadcast is good, all circuits are up, the coffee is fresh, pour yourself a cup. All traffic is out, there's nothing to send, we've got the beach fivers; got a cigarette to lend? Your freqs are all solid, no gear has gone sour, we haven't changed anything for over an hour. The Bridge has been quiet, and COMBAT's asleep, the phones have been silent, nary a peep. The logs up to date, the filing is done, so I'll see you later, and hope you have fun"
And with those fine words he did depart, leaving the watch with a very good start.
A few minutes have passed, or so it seems, when in walks the OPS boss with my first two routines. "They have to go quick, I drafted them late, so treat them as Oboe's, they just can't wait. Yes sir, I replied, we'll get right on them, I don't believe we'll have any problem. I logged them in and said to the tape man, do a good job; go as fast as you can. He said that he would and as I flicked an ash, the broadcast operator yelled "here comes a FLASH!" Route it COMBAT, the Bridge and to OPS, and hurry back here, make no other stops. He grabbed it and ran, wasting no time, and then the phone rang, was the XO on the line. "Got another down here, can you come get it?" Yes sir I replied, be there in a minute. To the wardroom I went for an Oboe no doubt, and when I returned the broadcast was out. Proofed all the outgoings, and got them released, XO had another, it was really a beast. Twenty addee's; can't find half the routers, then in walks the SUPPO with four more damn outers. "When they'll go out I can't really tell, cause right now sir, we're busy as hell. Send those four out and please make it quick, I said to the Ship/Shore Op, who was getting seasick. But he replied that there'd be a delay, for the beach had just gone down for New Day. I wondered what else could possibly go wrong, but lucky for me we didn't wait long. For the next event in this strange episode, came when those glorious "Snipes" dropped the load. We lost a 32, a seven and a nine, oh, why does this happen to me all the time? I called the ET's and let out a yelp, "My gear's burning up; I'm gonna need help!" The Bridge called in, said their circuits were down, "We're doing our best" I replied with a frown. Then COMBAT called to tell me the same, MY GOD! I think I'm going insane. We brought all circuits up, with maximum power, OH! Just remembered. Ain't checked my basket in over an hour. Phones ringing again, the XO no doubt, he wants to know if the traffic's gone out. OPS boss called, he's got two more, and some fool is banging on the door. Broadcast is back, but getting tough, we just hit a storm, the seas are getting rough. Chief came in, wants to see the Pub Check-off List, I told him that during the outage twenty numbers were missed. Things are falling all over the floor, and that fool is still banging on the door. I pleaded and begged, "Please cut me some slack," oooh boy! I wish I was still in my rack. My outgoing backlog now tallies eleven, but the tape cutter has only done seven. My incomings now number thirty-two, boy! This place is just like a zoo. Got six more Oboes to run around, and the seas are really beginning to pound. The storm outside must really be mean, cause my Ship/Shore operator has now turned green. Then all of a sudden the storm had passed, and we got the beach on Ship/Shore at last. The broadcast is now holding in real tight, and everything's beginning to look all right. Cleaned all the traffic and cleaned up the floor, even got around to answering the door. Service came in with all the numbers we missed, and I finally signed off the ol' Pub Check List. Slotted all traffic and routed the boards too, and hey! Believe it or not we're now QRU.
My relief just came in to relieve the watch, now nothing is happening, at least not much. Sitting at the desk I passed him the word, so listen now friend, here's what he heard:
"The broadcast is good, all circuits are up, the coffee is fresh, pour yourself a cup. All traffic is out, there's nothing to send, we've got the beach fivers, got a cigarette to lend? Your freqs are all solid, no gear has gone sour, we haven't changed anything for over an hour. The Bridge has been quiet and COMBAT's asleep, the phones have been silent, nary a peep. The logs up to date, all filing is done, so I'll see you later, and I hope you have fun."