April 16th, 2011
Michelle asks this question on Yahoo Answers about the end of her relationship:
Why mariners can’t have a normal relationship?
I’ve been with this guy for almost one year. He said , before he will go on ship, he will set me free.Now, he will go on ship and he told me to forget him.Why did he continue this relationship ,even if he knew we will break up?Do they have net or phone service on ship?He promised me an amazing future with him and now he tells me to forget him (because he doesn’t want me to spend my life waiting for him).How’s that?I sent to him 3 mails but he didn’t answer. He wants me to hate him.He’s acting like a child,like he’s afraid talking to me on messenger.What should I do?Please help !
Dear sweet Michelle,
Here’s some very sad news. Please sit down for what I am about to tell you. The life of a mariner (or sailor) is very different from the life of a civilian. Oh, boy, the nautical lifers have a code and subculture that people who sleep on solid ground can’t or don’t want to understand.
Today’s merchant ships are equipped with many of the technological upgrades that we have come to depend on in normal life. E-mail, cellphones, Skype, etc. There is no reason why you would not be able to communicate with your loved one from that standpoint. Shoot, you might even be able to get a telegraph to him if you really had to.
Have you ever heard of the term “in the barrel,” Michelle? I’ll be glad to post this note on “in the barrel” from the good people at Urban Dictionary. This particular definition has 469 likes and 27 dislikes, so it’s safe to assume this is an accepted colloquialism.
A phrase taken from a popular joke. To say someone is “in the barrel” or “taking a turn in the barrel” means it’s their turn to do an unpleasant task or to suffer an unpleasant experience. The joke is as follows:
A sailor on a Navy ship had been out to sea for weeks, and was beginning to go through sex withdrawals. Fed up with the lack of sex, he asked one of his shipmates what he did when the pressure was too much to take. “Well, there’s a barrel with a hole in it near the mop storage. When it gets to be too much for us, we use that.”
So the sailor went over to the barrel and decided to give it a go. Finding it was better than he’d expected, he began using it regularly, and his problems seemed to vanish.
After a couple of weeks, his commanding officer began to take notice, and said, “You seem to be a lot more relaxed. What’s your secret?”
The sailor, embarrassed to give a straight answer, simply said he’d been getting better rest.
“Well good, sailor. You’re going to need it,” replied the officer. “Today’s your turn in the barrel.”
Now, sweet naive Michelle, picture your boyfriend alone at sea. Alone with his pent-up sexual needs. Picture him getting his rocks off in front of a barrel with a hole in it. Then imagine him inside the barrel. Then perhaps you can understand why he can never come back to you. Because of all the ritual sodomy that occurs between men at sea.
How can this man expect you to jump into his loving arms upon docking in the harbor when the memory of widespread shipmate fraternization is on his conscience? How can he embrace you in earnest when he has made love to all those sailors with his mouth? This is why he broke up with you.
But why, Michelle? Why would he even date you in the first place if he knew it would end this way? Why go through the trouble of creating love only to end it so abruptly? Well, dear sweet Michelle, it is because he craves companionship much like any other person, whether on land or on the high seas. The mariner’s life is his, probably for a very long time, and there’s no reason to subject such a beautiful spirit such as yourself to the dark, seedy underbelly of sea life. Especially not for the rest of your life.
You should be dating Tiger Woods. At least he’ll cheat on you with women.