16 January 1956
This will have to be short, since I can’t wait to get up & take a shower. It is mandatory that we wear blues, but we are never in a port long enough or with facilities for cleaning—this set I have on now has just about "had the course."
The long awaited & long feared inspection party arrived today, & do not appear to have two heads & breathe fire as I was led to believe. Everyone’s been going around for the last two days with the air of Joan of Arc eyeing the stake.
Last night we held a special field day, cleaning & dusting & all, to have everything just so when the inquisitors arrived. I’d been warned by Coutre to get all my personal gear out of the way before they came, so this noon I borrowed a large box from the small stores across the way. I didn’t exactly borrow it—I took it. It was full of junk—papers & pieces of cardboard & other paraphernalia, which I tried stuffing in our two already overloaded wastebaskets. Most of it landed on the floor. I’d been keeping several things in a large coffee tin (50 lb. size) & so proceeded to unload it over my desk & several chairs.
The door opened & Mr. Clower stepped in, saying "This is my office, Commander." Oh, well.
Coutre endeared himself to Mr. Clower while the Commander was asking stock questions about the office spaces. Were they adequate? Mr. Clower nodded yes—his head is built on some sort of lever, I believe. Do we keep certain files? Yes. Is the lighting adequate? Mr. Clower was just on the downward stroke of his nod when Coutre said "Pardon me, Commander, but frankly I don’t think this lighting’s worth a damn!" Oh, the silence. "Well," added Mr. Clower after a pregnant silence, "we’ve got overhead florescents & lamps over the desks—you go into a compartment that doesn’t have florescent lights sometime & you’ll notice the difference." He seems to have won on that response, but lost on a technicality—as far as I know, almost all the compartments have florescent lights. (…No, I’ll take that back, but the sentence is too long to scratch out.)
See, I told you it would be short—the shower calls….