They made a rhythmic click-clack sound

[You’ll need to watch the video below or be familiar with the novel or movie, The Caine Mutiny for this to make sense, or be humorous, to you.]

We were at sea and I went from the Combat Information Center to the ship’s bridge to match nav fixes with the Quartermaster’s chart. Done with that little bit of duty I walked over to the Captain who was also on the bridge at the time. I didn’t say anything as I stood there next to him. He was tall, about 6′ 4.” He glanced down at me.

“Lowery…” he nodded his head.

“Cap’n…” I nodded back.

We looked out on the Persian Gulf. We’d just transited the Straits of Hormuz. I reached into my pocket and took out two ball bearings I kept handy for the right occasion. I began to roll them in my hand. They made a rhythmic click-clack sound. He didn’t turn to me but I felt him stiffen. Neither of us looked at each other. I knew it was coming.

“Lowery, get off of my bridge…”

“Aye aye, sir.”

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