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Who's Got The Button?

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The Java Connection
The Skipper's Tattoo
Who's Got The Button?
This and That
None But the Brave


You ever wonder about the officer’s uniforms? Good thing there aren’t any buttons on my jumpsuits. I mean, I’m usually minding my own business, but I’ve seen it happen myself. One minute there’s two buttons and buttonholes on their shirt sleeve cuffs, then the next minute, there’s only one, and vice versa!

The officers haven’t complained about it, at least not in my hearing. Though I suspect Mr. Morton may have. After all, even wrinkles don’t dare mar his uniform! But even he’s been victim to the button anomaly (that’s a scientific word used by the Admiral sometimes to describe  an abnormality). And it’s not just affecting our officers, but the visiting Admiral Starke too, who, when it happened to him, came stomping into the Control Room, showed off his sleeve and roared,  ‘My second buttohole and button are missing! This is a court martial offense, Captain!’

‘Old Blood and Guts’, as I overheard the Skipper call him once,  thought it was a practical joke, that someone had snuck into his guest cabin and altered his shirts. It took Nelson and  a half bottle scotch in the Observation Nose later just to calm him down after the Skip had ‘assured’ him that none of his crew would try anything so juvenile or risk a Captain’s Mast.  Man, oh, man, was Starke livid. One does not sass back to the Commander of Submarine’s Pacific. I thought he’d have the Skipper’s stripes!


After Nelson hustled Starke off to the Observation Nose, and I pulled lookout duty by the view ports- we were investigating some heavy seaweed-it was difficult not to listen in as they had their Scotch…


“Well, as I see it, Jiggs,” Nelson tried to explain, “we must have some kind of poltergeist or alien entity aboard that’s fascinated with buttons and buttonholes and keeps alternating them for its amusement. Pretty harmless really,  until we get the quarterly procurement report about the tab we keep running up for uniform repairs and replacing  the lost buttons only to be found later.  Drives the accountants crazy. Can't say I’m too thrilled with having a paranormal stowaway aboard either.”


“Are you insane?” Starke raised an eyebrow.

“You have any other explanation?”

“Frankly, no, but at least I’m not making up a tall tale to explain it away…hauntings and aliens, Harriman? You’ve been hiding in the bowels of Seaview instead of at your office too long…”

“Perhaps…now, I trust you won’t threaten the Captain with drawing, quartering or keelhauling  his crew again?”

“He does go to bat for them, doesn’t he.”

“Mark of a good commander.”

“All right, all right….but blast it, Harry, look at my cuffs…uh oh…. I swear the second buttonhole and button were missing! Now….”

“Now, it’s back to normal,” Nelson raised his glass,  “some things are better left unexplained, eh, old friend?”

 “Amen to that,” Starke replied and clicked his tumbler with Nelson’s.


Back to normal, huh?  Did I dare point out that over there, on the sideboard, that the half empty bottle of Glen Livet from a few minutes ago was now full?


Nah… I knew when to keep quiet.