Saturday, December 31, 2005

Poetry stirs the high seas on New Year's Eve

You gotta love tradition -- especially when the military's involved, and big ships, and strange poetry. That's the holy trinity of a strange ritual reserved for seafaring officers who draw the short straw and end up pulling the midwatch on New Year's Eve while the rest of the crew's rockin' into the dawn. The best part: Somtimes the officers have to rhyme words that are a wee bit more strenuous than "Hamsterman" and "Amsterdam":

On his New Year's watch on Lake Erie a few years ago, Petty Officer Nyx Cangemi, a spokesman for the Coast Guard in New Orleans, wrote his log out in the common English poetic form of iambic pentameter.

But that was no easy task: "The last phrase had to be: opcon and adcon of comcogardgru Detroit," he recalled. "It essentially meant that the station was under the operational and administrative control of Coast Guard group Detroit."

Now those are some words that are guaranteed to not show up in your rhyming dictionary ...

Happy New Year to all friends of TDA, and to all members of America's military serving here and abroad.


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