Don't Mess With a Boatswain's Wife
A huge navy boatswain’s mate appeared in the emergency department while I was stationed in Orlando, Florida. He said, “I think I broke my hand.” and held his hand out for me to see.
His hands were large in the first place, but when I looked, the fingers on his right hand looked to be the diameter of sausages or ring bologna. His knuckles were scraped and raw. The back of his hand was edematous and I felt sure that he had to have broken something.
As we got his records and cleaned the scrapes, he told us his story. He said, “I was at the non-commissioned officer’s club, some guy tried to “put the moves” on my wife, so I waited outside until he left the club and asked him, “What the F--- were you trying to do with my wife?
“I didn’t wait for an answer, but punched him in the face. He rolled down into a drainage ditch. I went down after him, grabbed the front of his shirt and held him so I could keep punching him in the head.
“You know, after you punch a guy’s head for a while, something gives a little and it softens, but his head didn’t.
“A couple of guys came down and dragged me off of him. They said, ‘Let go of him. You’re gonna drown him.’ I let go of that dude and they pulled me off and lifted the other guy’s head out of the water. When he came up he was spitting water and gasping for air.
“While I was holding him down and I was pushing his head under water, I was so damned drunk and so damned mad, I didn’t realize that I had been hitting the end of a concrete drainpipe and not his head. No wonder his head didn’t give.”
He gave a small chuckle and looked at his hand. “Just look at this.” Shaking his head, he showed us his hand again.
I was surprised to find out when the x-rays came back, there were no broken bones.