Chief cook & bottle washer. Or in Naval parlance Mess cook. Indeed not the chef. Culinary expertise was not called upon aboard the Psyche to serve the Cap’n. The guests may have had other expectations, but it was the Capn’s Ketch, and therefore the cook pleased the skipper. On these cruises, cooking was basic. Friday night, I only acted as a steward, serving whatever Cora had prepared in advance. On Saturday, breakfast was the prescribed pancakes with wild Maine blueberries and maple syrup. I’ve been able to cook those since Boy Scout days. Lunch almost any day was King Oscar Sardines, and sea biscuit served with hot tea. Saturday evening, we usually planned to anchor in a harbor and go ashore for a restaurant meal. If we ate aboard, it was B&M Beans and Oscar Myer Franks. Sunday was cold cereal with whatever milk remained in the icebox. Lunch was sardines again.
The guests frequently complained to me about the meal plan, and I just shrugged. They were his children, and they knew from a lifetime of experience how set he was in his ways. They hoped that as a relative outsider, I might be able to persuade him. But I’d fallen for this game a time or two early in my marriage. The Cap’n would put his foot down, and the children would close ranks with Daddy against the interloper. So I just smiled, shrugged my shoulders, and secretly ate from my stash of hidden food items.
I’d learned in the Navy that what geedunks ( sweets and specialty items not served at meals) the ship sold were not necessarily what I wanted. So I had a private stash. As in the Navy, so too on Psyche. You might think that I’d share with my wife, but after she insisted that I share my stash with her brother, I had become cagey. Yes, I know you’re thinking, why didn’t they bring a stash of their own aboard? Great question. I don’t have an answer except perhaps the hunt for mine was so much fun.
She knew the stash existed, and she would ransack my seabag when I was up on deck, but she couldn’t find it. I understand her desire to have some of the goodies, but she had medical issues that made her ill if she ate too much of the stuff. Me? In those days I could eat anything and lose weight.
But I knew she was closing in on my hiding spot, so I decided to get nasty about the entire thing. Before we left for a weekend sail, I hid a few items where they could be found, but not too quickly.
Saturday afternoon, I came below to find that they had located the cupcakes and the granola bars. My wife and her brother were sitting at the table, contentedly munching away. Looking self satisfied and amused. My brother in law generously offered some to me. I refused but sat there watching them eat. After a bit, it occurred to them that there was something odd going on when I reached into the engine compartment and dragged out some of my stash of chocolate bourbon bonbons and started eating. I watched them intently. My brother in law stopped eating, and pulled a strange face, reaching into his mouth, he pulled something from between his teeth. “what’s this?” “Well,” I commented, ” when you eat chocolate-covered ant cupcakes, you have to expect a leg or two.” My wife continued to eat the cricket granola bar but now began scrutinizing it. As one they bolted for the companionway, and then to the rail where, as we say in the Navy, they “chummed the fishes.”
As soon as my wife recovered enough, she began screaming to Daddy about what a jerk I was ( accurate). For once, she got little sympathy from the Cap’n. He fell off course, a once in a lifetime event, because he was laughing so hard.
That evening we had to go ashore for dinner. Nobody trusted me enough to eat anything I might cook.

3 Replies to “Geedunks”

  1. Does this one have a bit of fiction? If not, it is a brilliant trick of sorts.

    Truth, I was going to try cricket protein powder recently. I chickened out! or Cricketed out.


    1. Ahhh, you caught me! This one starts out true but gets a twist, and although my brother in law gets painted as inept he really was a nice guy and a brilliant engineer…he was just caught in a crazy family. I normally use a structure of truth, but then go off on frolicking detours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like your frolicking detours… they are so believable, I find it hard to tell truth from fiction. Keeps it fun and keeps me guessing!


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