I used to torture my Chief when I was in the US Navy, especially while I was on a cruise. My first 'vacation' to the Middle East had a popular Chief as the most senior enlisted person on our detatchment. He had a good sense of humor, and was a chain-smoking maniac.

I was sitting on the flight deck reading some technical manual when Chief D. asked me to get him some cigarettes from the ships store, which was only open for 10 more minutes. He had heard that they were running out of Marlboros, and he detested menthols. Since I was a nice guy (and the most junior person on the flight deck at the time), I agreed to go. It beat reading that damn manual.

When I arrived at the store, the clerk said he had two packs of Marlboro left. I bought both packs and headed back up to the flight deck.

I placed one of the packs in the pocket of my coveralls and found the Chief pacing on the flight deck. I held out the pack to him, but before he took it I pulled it away.

"Ya know, Chief, we all think you're the best Chief to go out on a long cruise with," I said.

He stopped pacing and just stared at the pack in my hand. After a minute, he responded, "Yeah, so?"

"I just can't let you smoke these things, they'll shorten your life, and I bought the last pack." And with that, I crumpled the brand-new pack in my hand and tossed it overboard.

Chief D. just stood there for a few minutes in disbelief. The three officers who were on the flight deck magically disappeared from sight. My fellow enlisted shipmates just stared at the Chief, expecting Death himself to erupt from the Chief's forehead.

"Just kidding," I said, half expecting the same thing. I tossed him the pack from my pocket, which hit him in the chest and dropped to the deck. He hadn't made a move to catch it, as he was still in shock.

Hours later, he was able to laugh stuntedly at it, but he made me promise I'd never do that again. I gave him a carton when we arrived at Bahrain.

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