Bell Bottomed Trousers Made Of Navy Blue

By W R Jones

    These fellows while making great sacrifices in the interest of our national safety are not helping the national debt.

    I don’t understand these international finances at all.  Who is loaning us money in the trillions?  I expect a huge amount of our debt must be oil.  Why do they keep advancing us oil?  I would think the next time we ask for another tanker they would say NO.  “Why not?”  “Because you owe us trillions.  When are you going to pay up?  Until you pay what you owe, no more credit and no more oil.  And, you have 60 days to pay or we are going to collect your entire country.”

    I’m expecting the notice in the mail any day now.  It will tell me I have a month to move out and I have to leave the country because they forclosed on EVERYTHING.  Where will I go?  I will be a boat people with no country.  Maybe we can have a tiny slice of land next to the Palestinians.  It is going to be crowded.  I should probably stock up on sunblock.

    Here is a skill you would not expect to be so valuable – typing, or I guess it is now referred to as keyboarding.  I wonder why they changed the name?  I still call it typing.  My father owned a printing business so I learned to type as a high schooler.  When I enlisted he warned me not to volunteer for anything.  I didn’t listen and after a few weeks of boot camp, when we were asked if anyone could type, I shouted out HERE SIR.  I had a moments panic when I realized how stupid that was. 

    It turned out very well indeed.  For the duration of bootcamp I only had to type for a few hours a day.  This kept me out of boring classes and all the marching and fiddling around.  After a week, I convinced the chief it would be a good idea for me to have a special pass so I wouldn’t have to wait in a line of 15,000 for every meal.  Every day when the rest of the company returned to the barracks exhausted, I would be there relaxed, refreshed, and reading a book.

    The first place I went after boot camp was the aircraft carrier, USS Midway.  There I quickly got into trouble by telling a superior (which was everybody) that his wife was fat and ugly.  I was sent mess cooking as punishment.  Mess cooking is where you chop onions, peel potatoes, swab the deck, wash dishes, etc.   Each division on the ship must send two men to mess cook for a 3 month stint.  The workday started at 3:00 AM and ended at 9:00 PM with three 10 minute breaks to eat.  In port you had 1 day a week off, at sea it was a 7 day a week job.  This job pretty much sucked big time.  But, it turns out, there are worse jobs.  The apprentice oilers (those who worked in the engine rooms) would sometimes beg to stay mess cooking.

    After a week of this torture, the chief asked if anyone knew how to type.  OH YA – me!  The rest of my 3 months was a vacation.  Get up at 9:00 AM, leisurely breakfast, bit of typing, then the rest of the day in the library.  The person who sent me mess cooking was livid and his wife was still ugly.

    I can still type although I hit many more wrong keys than I used to.  After typing words so many times you would think I would remember how to spell them.  Huh-uh, what happens in the brain?  Do those letters fall over sideways, leaning against neurons and shorting them out?

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25 Responses to Bell Bottomed Trousers Made Of Navy Blue

  1. Hi Bill. That tug coming in from the right gives a nice tension to this piece, especially with that straight profile shot. Fitting for the subject matter.

    About that debt. I wonder why more people are not worried about that up there. It seems like it would be an important issue right now. Is nothing learned from the whole mortgage/ credit card/ debt crisis? That is just a mini version of what could happen if someone wants their debt paid.
    I was brought up to NEVER owe anyone money if it could be avoided. Financial responsibility.
    Fighting a war on borrowed money is just stupid.

    I’ll give you a slice of my yard to set up your tent. Can you garden or take care of chickens?

  2. 100swallows says:

    Nice picture,Bill–the water, the tug, the portrait. I could make a good coin with that head. Though I feel like telling the sailor (a typist?) to stop mugging and look to port before it’s too late.

  3. I’ve noticed I too sometimes forget silly little things, like how to type a word, although I used to be a good speller. I do hit my F7 key a lot (spell check is great, isn’t it?)

    Perhaps the forgetfulness is due to my brain being crowded now with so much information, most of which is useless. Unlike my computer, I can’t delete files from my brain and make more room in my memory.

    So, forget learning a new language or remembering new names. I can, however, quote many oldies’ song lyrics for you.

  4. Melinda says:

    Nice work, Bill. A sense of wistfulness prevails as the sailor contemplates his moment looking out at the sea.
    As to who is loaning us so much money, I’ve heard it is a matter of China lending us money so we can buy oil from Saudi Arabia. Crazy. Crazy. We really could learn to live within our means. I would prefer to be the loaner rather than the debtor any day.
    Frank has a good offer. My family can garden and I love chickens! We’ve got a small property here that could be an artists’ community. Well…Then again, it’s awfully hot here and we’re depleting the Colorado river. Hmm. Maybe we should just lobby for more public trasportation…and a new energy policy.
    Your analogy of letters falling over and shorting out neurons is wonderful. Pure poetry.

  5. wrjones says:

    Thanks, Frank. I may take you up on your generous offer. I think I have the makings of a top notch chicken wrangler. I would be needing a good string of burros, a red leather saddle, and spurs of course.

    Swallows – let’s make some coins. We can ask for donations of old used dirty gold, then create shiny coins to pay off debt. Not the national debt, that is too big, but we could work on my debt.

    Diana – my name is Bill. Try your very best to remember that. At least until Christmas when you write my name on that spiffy present.

    Melinda – you are welcome to wrangle chickens with me. You could rope the head while I lasso the feet. We will drink tequila to clear out the trail dust so we aren’t using up the fresh water resources.

  6. Well you’d be welcome Bill. I can round up all of that stuff for you and the tequila. Red saddle huh? You wouldn’t come dressed like this would you?

  7. Nava says:

    That’s one serious dude you’ve painted here. Nicely done! And they always have blue eyes, don’t they? This one has a fearless look in his eyes, but is more likely to ponder where the nearest pub is.

    About that debt – I am not sure Bush is very concerned, as he is leaving it for the next president to deal with it.

  8. Carol King says:

    Hmmmm, does that sailor have a little “self portrait” in him? Very handsome guy.

    As far as our trillion dollar debt….I believe we owe quite a bit to the Chinese. Maybe that’s why everything they export to us is toxic?

    I remember my sister Alice, the over achiever and brown nose in school was the first one to raise her had when Sister Mary Joseph asked in 2nd grade if anybody had a mother who could type. (In those days men did not type, clearly YOU were an exection, then and now!) Alice’s had SHOT UP and next thing you know my mother was typing for Sister Mary Joseph for YEARS!!!!!!

    Strong image of the sailor….love the tug in the background. You’ve been busy. My feet are still up.

  9. wrjones says:

    No, Frank, I wouldn’t come dressed like that, although he does have some attractive britches. I have a real Stetson – Lisa gives me a ration everytime I wear it. But it is necessary gear for a wrangler. As we both know riding the fence line around the coop is a lonely job. It will be of some comfort to have Melinda as a sidekick. We should be able to make short work during branding.

    That hot iron on feathers can smell bad so what I like to do is pluck some of the feathers off the leg and brand directly on the flesh. This can create another problem with the mouth watering smell of that cooking chicken leg. I got carried away on my last job. Left the ranch with a lot of one legged chickens hopping about. They call me “Drumstick”.

    Nava – It sure sounds like you have some in depth knowledge of sailors. I don’t know as we can blame the national debt on Bush. Isn’t there a Senate and House? What are those fellows doing? It irks me to hear both McCain and Obama blat about how everything is screwed up and they will fix it all. Hey boys, you’ve been in government a long time, what have you been doing? If only the president can get anything done let’s get rid of the Senate and House.

    Carol – I know, I check your blog. I won’t rag on you as I’m not producing enough paintings myself. When you do it part time and try to go big there is a long empty spell with no output.
    Say, would you like to go chicken ranching? If we work hard we might get Frank to teach us some painting.

  10. Well Chicken Legs, I mean Drumstick, I think we can find a spot for you as a ranch hand. You’ll need some running shoes since the chickens are free range and you’ll have to chase em around a bit. Especially after the smell of the first brand gets drifting around. If you save up the feathers we could get you making faux down comforters for export.
    I’ll get another double wide to pull up alongside ours so there is plenty of room for you and the other “illegals” I’ll have working for me.
    I’ll throw in a few painting lessons on Sunday afternoons.

  11. bonnieluria says:

    A very timely piece Bill. Why sailors were bigger heartthrobs than soldiers is pretty evident in this painting. And that wistful gaze makes you want to mail him a care package. Beautiful ear, too ( how hard are THEY!)

    Our debt is so high, that the national debt clock in Times Square, ran out of digits. Seriously.
    We were told after 9/11 to go shopping. Like good little sheep, they did.

    PS- Party at Franks’ place when it all comes crashing down. BYOP. ( bring your own pillow. or pollo ) maybe he offered a place to sleep or a chicken…..

  12. Nice painting and an amusing post. On the serious side. Thanks for serving.

  13. I don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about your damn stint in the service!!! Well…at least you probably don’t get sea sick. I bet you could type (keyboard) on a dinky dingy in a rough sea and not up chuck your lunch! But what about me!!!!!????? I don’t want to be a boat person! I was doin fine minden my own business (I’m an artist and art professor) until you brought up this thing about the good ole U. S. of A owin big bucks for oil!!!! Stop it!!!!!

  14. Bless Frank Gardner! Just read his comment, and I’m hoppin ta be hired…and…maybe I’ll get me sum paintin lessons!

  15. wrjones says:

    I like Mary better.

    David – just cough up your share. You could send it directly to me. I will see that it goes to a debt holder somewhere.

    Frank, free range you say? Bonnie and I should have matching burros to tie to the hitching post in front of Pedro’s Tequila Boutique. After a hard day riding the draws, gullys, and malls we will need to wet our whistles, get the trail dust and chicken feathers out of our throats.

    Bonnie – I think the only good part of this piece is the ear. I’m going to crop down to it and call it Van Gogh.

  16. 01varvara says:

    Hmm… served in the navy myself. Doing something QUITE different, though.

    Chicken ranch? Why not minks or guinea pigs? The latter are quite nice, crunchy, I’m told and good with ketchup.

    You could always be a moonshiner. Then, they could make a funny movie about you (I am thinking of an old classic Russian comedy film, “Samogonshchiki” (“Moonshiners”) starring the famous clown Yuri Nikulin). You could stand next to the still when it blows up.

    As for the government debt, it is 490 billion and counting. The only reason the US operates is that Russia, China, and Japan by the T-bills. They stop buying… Washington walks about in barrels (NOT oil barrels). A new fashion statement.

    It all sounds like a perfect subject for a cartoon by the “Goblin” (Moscow’s most famous satirist).

    BTW, glad you like the paintings by the Tkachev brothers I posted on my site. I’ll have to put up some more. There’s a lot by them, they put on their grubbies and painted every day for the last 50 odd years (no joke!).

    Cheers!

    Vara

    PS
    Oh, do pass me something with a lemon twist in it, if you would, BIll. Does a nice adult beverage sound fun?

  17. wrjones says:

    Vara – it is Frank’s ranch. Chickens make more sense where he is. I don’t think they have much need of mink coats there.

    490 billion isn’t so bad; that is only about $1600 each. I would be willing to pay to get rid of the debt, but everyone in Congress would have to go along with those two running for top job. They and their predecessors put us here.

  18. Nava says:

    Well… living in Haifa for a while sure makes you get to know what sailors are really after. At least those from the Sixth Armada. Quite a rowdy fellas they were. Some places actually refused to let them in after some serious problem they’ve caused at one pub.

  19. wrjones says:

    Oh, Nava – sailors (male) are after what all those other evil guys are after. I doubt, for the most part, that as a group the young sailors are any worse than young college students.

  20. gypsy-heart says:

    Good piece WR..I especially like the eyes. I also like the tug boat only partially showing…makes it much more interesting.

    I would rather type than cook any day! hee, hee

  21. wrjones says:

    Thanks, Gypsy-heart. I’m still willing to come for dinner. You can type in an order for pizza on the net.

  22. Edgar says:

    I think they’ve got the whole 9 trillion dollar debt thing worked out (it’s not 490 billion — that’s what we’re adding each year): Bernanke is sitting on a top-secret project to introduce the new One Trillion Dollar Bill… they’re going to print a few dozen of those babies, pay off China, Japan and the Saudis. Then, we’ll be rolling in dough — and debt free.

  23. wrjones says:

    Edgar – I’m going to lobby to make you the Secretary of Treasury. I always felt we should sell the country piece by piece to pay off the debt. Then when those sand people run out of oil we would nationalize the land and tell them to get out. “Oh, no Mr. Sand Person, we didn’t sell you America, that was a lease. And, by the way, you have excess wear, you owe us, oh let’s round it off to say 9 trillion.”

  24. Forgetting to put his hat on as he stands on deck watching the pier grow closer and closer, the sailor must be deep in thought. Maybe he is thinking is she still there? All those folks on the pier, is she one of them? His heart pounds as the tug approaches to pull the carrier the rest of the way in. The lucky pilots flew off the day before and are already home. Doesn’t matter, in just a little bit he will present his liberty pass and ask permission to go ashore.

    The gang plank is down and after the officers departed, the sailor did as well.

    From a distance she saw him. Wearing his dress blues – God was he handsome. Eight months had passed since she had last seen him. She could not contain herself as she hollared his name.

    He heard her call and turned toward her direction and eye contact was made….

    Great painting WR.

  25. wrjones says:

    “He heard her call and turned toward her direction and eye contact was made…” She had put on 65lbs in the short 3 months they were at sea. He looked for a way out and in utter panic ran off the end of the pier.

    Wow, Preston, what an imagination. You better put down the camera and get started on that novel.

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