“The Conspiracy to Steal Cream Cheese” A story about the United States Navy

I’m not really sure where to start telling this story, perhaps in writing what I just did, I have begun.  I cannot say that I did not enjoy my time in the Navy, for the most part if and when you overlooked the fact that you are responsible, directly and indirectly, for the deaths of many thousands of people and wonders of nature.  I can only say I kind of enjoyed being part of a huge oddly organic/mechanical Floating City of Doom full of the most unhappy and bitter persons I have had the chance to befriend.  My time was not ill spent, I had the pleasure of a “complete” experience, from great freinds, killing foreigners indirectly, being flown off the ship, visiting great countries and seeing amazing things like phosphorescent plankton trails under a full moon in the middle of the Ocean, being on the flight deck as F-14 Tomcats take off and land within feet from me….  I had a wild and amazing time, and I also learned a deeper truth first hand about our country and the men and women who are serving with your money….  This is my short tale of my personal experience, never think that this insanity will be relegated to only me, it is common, it happens daily, and for even sillier or much more frightening things (PFC Bradley Manning)…

I joined the ranks of the disparaged, downtrodden and unfortunate souls right out of high school, my Suzuki Katana and alcoholic binges had done nothing to get me the grades I needed to continue my life of drunken revelry with the other lushes in Uni or even city college.

There I was, raising my right hand swearing allegiance to the machine, My name is Chris Bornstein and I hereby do Solemnly swear to be or better yet, I vow to be another brick in the wall and take out any who seek to dismantle the wall we are creating.

Swore an oath, took tests, went on to Navy Intelligence, did very well in my studies and was placed onboard the USS Independence, an aircraft carrier stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.

It was an old one, the “Indy” commissioned in 1959, the last of it’s kind as it ran on Dinosaur bones and not Nuclear…

Long Story short undramatically and painfully boring trail of events leading up to being chosen to learn to be a fire investigator for our general quarters drills, these are when you get the whole ship to play “We’re fucked” and pretend rescuing people, putting out fires, watching movies, hiding from superiors,  etc etc etc.

Upon looking into a relatively non-descript room, literally another faceless door among literally thousands on this ship…. expecting nothing, actually opening a door for the sake of doing the movement, imagine my surprise when I came upon three, very large, very shiny, stainless steel refrigerators.  Surprising in that most things on this ship were incredibly rusty and seemed to be held together with paint, even the jets left me with a feeling of pity for those chosen to fly them, at any rate, these reefers as they are oft times called, were, in my memory, so epic in size, In my minds eye I even recall the chill mist slowly pouring down and off them.

That part wasn’t real…  Though, at this point, the whole thing seems surreal, and yet, it happened…

I opened one of the fridges and was met with row upon row of neatly lined up boxes of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, now, for me, please understand, this was beyond a shock for many reasons.

My first question, why is this here, and why does someone have access to condiments when we barely even get decent food to eat, and not just condiments, but a brand name topping and numbering well into the hundreds of little boxes…. All three reefers had the same, I turned to the other guys and made a joke about this must be where the money for our food is going.

I put the cheesy delight back and closed the door, not bothering to think of it again….

Meanwhile, back in the Halls of Justice, shit was just getting warmed up, and in a very major way!

The next day I was informed that my faux paux (feel free to help me with the spelling) had been of such enormity and magnitude that the chain of command had NO CHOICE, but to send me to Captains Mast.

Now, you need an education really quickly to understand and make “Civilian” the magnitude of what I am writing.

The Captain is the Numero Uno for this ship, for any ship really, the only person usually above the captain is the Admiral, but for the ship, unless it is the Admirals Barge, the Capitan is it.

This particular ship had 5,700 plus or minus people at any given time, from 80-90 jets and support craft at any given time and enough armaments to topple any average sized city, you need only pick your coast and country and say, “Go”.

It takes, between 1-1.9 million to run ship on a given day.  Given all of this, we NOW see the Captain as a person who is in charge of a 650 million dollar per year floating city of death and doom, and this is a number which has been rounded down, far down, after all, its the US Gov’t…. right=)

So, for you in the regular working world, the Captain is a CEO who is in charge of a Billion dollar per year and upwards business whos’ job it is to make sure the citizens of other countries do as they are told or this CEO unleashes previously mentioned shit storm.  Much like Monsanto would or will do if they ever get their way, which of course is another government owned, or do they own the government…..  rambling, but you follow…

I went through the entire bureaucracy, from the most impish of morons, people who made me ill simply to have to stand there and be forced to have them talk down to me, wanting to rip their spines, if they could actually be found, from their bodies, all the way to the very top of the ever popular, Chain of Command.

I found myself standing before the man who, if he decided one day that he lost his cookies, could do such a horror to the planet,
(reference that movie with Denzel Washington and the Other guy who liked the Lipizzaner Stallions with the Nuclear Sub near apocalypse), this one man literally had the power over millions.

That this one  man would allow the following would ever come out of his mouth, and that it has come out of his mouth, I can only say that I am honored I was there to see the ABSOLUTE rock bottom of what our country thinks it stands for, I am here to tell you country, you are very lost with these keepers at your gates, for what came out of his mouth was the following…

“Petty Officer Bornstein, Do you know why you are here before me on this day…?”

I am being asked this at a full on Naval Court at Sea in front of the Captain of a billion dollar a year corporation responsible for doling out doom and woe to any who do not live or look like us here in the States, flanked on either side by guys with M-16’s who did look as though they would use them as it would be the only power ever granted to them in this lifetime…

“You are here for..”, This part Kills me dead to my funny bone…, “You are here by charged with,  CONSPIRACY, to STEAL, ONE BLOCK, Philadelphia Brand CREAM CHEESE.”

The silence that followed this statement left quite a mark on my memory, I had already underwent one complete nervous breakdown due to my forced restructuring of everything I had been taught about how GREAT our Nation was, the Prowess and Pride of our Military Service Men and Women… I remember looking at the faces of everyone present, remember, these are soldiers, nothing enlightened here, so the eyes of everyone were telling me so many stories, even Dick and Head, the two guys who were watching me, standing a foot from me with M-16’s at the ready should I decide to bring down the Captain of the Good Ship Lollipop, all of their eyes told me things.  Some thought it was a sham, others felt justice was being divinely served, others felt a little more of their own lives, no, not even their lives, what is left of their soul, slip ever so slightly a little further, just beyond their reach, forever toiling at the behest of another.

I did not know what to expect from this man, whom, in my mind, was crazy at this point, for the chain of command to do this, to anyone, shows such a sever lack of, I don’t even know, All I know is a few things happened when this man asked me if I was going to re-enlist:

A.  Peace was the only way, the armed forces of the USA were lost to leadership so far gone from reality that the nightmare we live in all of a sudden made sense, these people weren’t dealing with reality anymore, they had become separated from the truth.

B.  I had sold, for the last time, a piece of my life to men who are fools.

C.  I would never vote again.  It no longer mattered who ran the country as long as this was the primary mode it would be carried out.

I ended up serving 30 days restriction on the boat doing a dress uniform inspection every 2 hours in a different uniform.

The restriction only counted while in port, if we were out to see, the clock stopped, we rarely hit port, this was time that I felt the loss of.

I was fined 300 dollars and given a suspended reduction in rank.

To this day, should I actually be able to remember these men responsible for bending me over so nicely, I may have a spontaneous hallelujah moment and go to my dark place.

That is an honest story of 3 months of my life in Yokosuka, Japan, onboard the USS Independence.  This is not a situation relegated to me, this is a common thing.   I even consider myself lucky to have gotten off so easy…

Dr. Suess….. Oh the things you’ll see…..   Aloha!I’m not really sure where to start telling this story, perhaps in writin what i just did, I have begun.  I cannot say that I did not enjoy my time in the Navy, for the most part, when you overlooked the part fo the scene that you are responsible, directly, indirectly, will god care, for the deaths of many thousands of people, you are part of a big organic, mechanical Floating City of Doom.

I joined the ranks of the disparaged, downtrodden and unfortunate souls right out of highschool, my Suzuki Katana and alcoholic binges had done nothing to get me the grades I needed to continue my life of drunken revelry with the other lushes in Uni or even city college.

So there i was, raising my right hand swearing allegiance to the machine, My name is Chris Bornstein and I hereby do Solemnly swear to be or better yet, I vow to be another brick in the wall.

So I did it.  Went on to Navy Intelligence, did very well in my studies and was placed onboard the USS Independence, an aircraft acrrier staioned in Yokosuka, Japan.

It was an old one, commisioned in 1959, the last of it’s kind as it ran on Dinosuar bones and not Nuclear…

Long Story short, I was chosen to learn to be a fire investigator for our general quarters drills, these are when you get the whole ship to play “We’re fucked” and pretend rescuing people, putting out fires, etc etc etc.

I looked into a relatively non-descript room, expecting nothing, actually opening a door for the sake of doing the movement, imagine my suprise when I came upon three, very large, very shiny, stainless steel refrigerators.  in my memory, they are so epic in size, the mist of a cold object slowly pouring down and off them.

That part wasnt real.

I opened one fo the fridges and was met with row upon row of neatly lined up boxes of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, now, for me, this was byond a shock for many reasons, one of which was, why is this here, and why does someone have access to condiments when we barely even get decent food to eat, I even turned to the other guys and made a joke about this must be where the money for our food is going.

The I put it back and closed the door, didnt even think about it again….

Oh boy, and to think, unbeknownst to me, shit was just getting warmed up, and in a very major way!

The next day i was informed that my faux paux (feel free to help me with the spelling) had been of such enormity and magnitude that the chain of command had NO CHOICE, but to send me to Captains Mast.

Now, you need an education really quickly to understand and make Civilian the magnitude of what i am writing.

The Captain is the Numero Uno for this ship.  This ship had 5,700 plus or minus people at any given time, from 80-90 jets and support craft at any given time and enough armaments to topple a sea board, you need only pick your coast and country and say, “Go”.

It takes, between 1-1.9 million to run my aircraft carrier on a given day.  Given all of this, we NOW see the Captain as a person who is in charge of a 650 million dollar per year floating city of death and doom, and this is a number which has been rounded down, far down, afterall, its the US Gov’t…. right=)

I went through the entire bureaucracy, from the most impish of morons to the very top, I fond myself standing before the man who, if he decided he lost his cookies, could do such a horror to the planet that one would wonder why the following would ever come out of his mouth, and that it has come out of his mouth, i can only say that I am honored I was there to see the ABSOLUTE rock bottom of our what our country thinks it stands for, I am here to tell you country, you are very lost with these keepers at your gates.

“Petty Officer Bornstein, Do you know why you are here before m on this day…?”

I am being asked this at a full on Cort at Sea in front of the Captain of a billion dollar a year corporation responsible for doling out doom and woe to any who do not live or look like us here in the States…

“You are here for..”, This part Kills me dead to my funny bone…, “You are here, for CONSPIRACY, to STEAK, ONE BLACK, Philadelphia Brand CREAM CHEESE.”

The slince that followed this statement left quite a mark on ym memory, I remember looking at the faces of everyone present, remember, these are soldiers, nothing enlightened here, so the eyes of everyone were telling me so many stories, even dick and head, the two guys who were watching me, standing a foot from me with M-16’s at the ready should I decide to bring down the Captain of the Good ship Lollipop, all of their eyes told me things.  Some thought it was a sham, others felt justice was being divinely served, others felt a little more of their own lives, no, not even their lives, what is left of their soul, slip ever so slightly a little further, just beyond their reach.

I did not know what to expect from this man, whom, in my mind, was crazy at this point, For the chain of command to do this, to anyone, shows such a sever lack of, I don’t even know, All I know is a few things happened when this man asked me if I was going to re-enlist:

A.  Peace was the only way, the armed forces of the USA were lost to leadership so far gone from reality that the nightmare we live in all of a sudden made sense, these people weren’t dealing with reality anymore, they had become separated from the truth.

B.  I had sold, for the last time, a piece of my life to men who are fools.

C.  I would never vote again.  It no longer mattered who ran the country as long as this was the primary mode it would be carried out.

I ended up serving 30 dasy restriction on the boat doing a dress uniform inspection every 2 hours of a different uniform.

The restriction only counted while in port, if we were out to see, the clock stopped, we rarely hit port, this was time that i felt the loss of.

I was fined 300 dollars and given a suspended restriction in rank.

To this day, should I actually be able to remember these men responsible for bending me over so nicely, I may have a spontaneous hallelujah moment and go to my dark place.

That is an honest story of 3 months of my life in Yokosuka Japan onboard the USS Independence.  This is not a situation relegated to me, this is a common thing.  This is what your tax money goes to.

One last note…..  I got in a lot of trouble with this and had to do menial chores, clean showers and shitters with toothbrushes, good Navy stuff…

You know what I found regularly when i threw out the trash in the pilots cabins……….

Guess….

LOTS OF PLASTIC ALCOHOL BOTTLES.  Apparently the pure oxygen of the gas mask helps with hangovers, on our non-drinking, no tolerance for dinking ship…….

“In the Navy…!”

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