P. T.


Lin W.


Spring was in the air and the flowers blossomed with wild abandon, as did the tempers of entire military complement of the Nelson Institute of Marine Research.  It was that time again, when Dr. Jamison and his all-to-efficient medical staff corralled all men and women in active and reserve status for fitness physicals.  The usual suspects attempting to dodge the annual review were Chief Francis Sharkey and Admiral Harriman Nelson.

R.H.I.P., my ass!” quipped Jamie. Dr. William Jamison, Chief Medical Officer of the Institute enlisted the aid of two well-chosen assailants to “convince” the errant gentlemen to acquiesce.  The military had graciously provided several Marine drill sergeants to insure that the Institute regulars were fit for service.

“Not funny Jiggs!” mumbled one very hotheaded Irishman. “He’s going to pay for this one if I have to deliver the payback myself.  Old Navy!  Who does he think he is anyway? He couldn’t do a single pushup without splitting that cut-n-polish in half!  Just wait!”

Harriman Nelson and Jiggs Starke, Head of COMSUBPAC had been friends since Annapolis and Harry had always managed to stay one-step ahead of Jiggs.  But alas, the fates had intervened and Harry was scheduled for PT.  So promptly at 05:30 all reservists and active military reported to a central staging area for their rotation schedule for the annual torture session.

“Morning Admiral” smiled the very physically fit master of the Seaview, Captain Lee Crane, looking as dapper as ever in his N.I.M.R. sweats along with his XO, Lt. Commander Chip Morton, grinning from ear to ear.

“Where is the Chief Sharkey?” Gunnery Sergeant Malone is waiting for the both of you…sir” offered Crane.

“How the hell should I know? I’m the Admiral, not the damn babysitter!” grimaced a very flustered Nelson.

“Walk faster Lee,” chided Chip.  The O. O. M’s Irish is up this morning and we promised Jamie we’d keep the Admiral and Sharkey here for their PT and medicals. Were you trying to get our careers axed? ”

“Chip, Chip…what was I thinking?  Chalk it up to one of Jamie’s blackmailing schemes," laughed Lee.

Both officers, having completed their PT with flying colors had nothing to do now but to make sure the Admiral and “C.O.B.” reported for their assigned duties.  Then quickly and quietly the 'bookends' departed as expeditiously as possible to avoid Admiral Nelson’s wrath.  Finding that Sharkey was already dragging himself to his designated spot, Crane and Morton declared, “Mission accomplished” and decided to watch the proceedings from a discreet distance.

“All right sir…Uh…sir, may we begin?” began the Marine.  Harriman Nelson was no slouch and he was not going to let Jiggs Starkes’ lackey get the best of him.  With boil, boil, lots of toil, and trouble on its way, Admiral Nelson completed his PT and sneered dangerously at Dr. Jamison.

“Be done with this…NOW!” commanded Nelson in his best 'Admiral' voice, which could be heard in the neatly trimmed trees, were Crane and Morton were perched, having decided these provided a better view than the lab's rooftop. 

“Lee, look out!” cried Morton suddenly.  'Snap' went the limb; down went one Captain.  Perfect three point landing in the dumpster next to the building.

“Dumpster diving Lee?” quizzed Chip as he watched a very odiferous Crane attempt to emerge from the garbage.

Little did they know that all the fire and furry Nelson had pent up for Jiggs was expended watching Captain Lee Crane struggle to extract himself from the dumpster with the ever-so-efficient-loyal-to-the-death Chip Morton going in head over heals into the same predicament to assist his Captain in time of need.

 Nelson was laughing so hard Jamie was sure he’d bust a gut.   Sergeant Malone continued with Chief Sharkey without missing a beat, and was enlisted to assist with the ‘dumpster duty’ while Chief Sharkey continued his P.T. At the end of the day when all was said and done, baths were taken, sore muscles rubbed, P.T. reports were faxed to Admiral Jiggs Starke, and the N.I.M.R. was fully operational again. 

As for Admiral Starke and payback, Admiral Harriman Nelson planned a very special event.  He requested that the Chief of Naval Operations require all command personal under the age of 65 to pass P.T.’s annually, beginning with COMSUBPAC.   The C.N.O thought the idea was as usual…brilliant! 

“I certainly hope you enjoy your Marines as much as I did, Jiggs!” thought Nelson as he slipped into his office, opened a bottle of his best scotch, and waited for the inevitable phone call from one very “sore” Jiggs.