You have to understand that sailors are for the most part a VERY fastidious, tidy lot of people, when viewed as an aggregate. A guy's bunk might be a trash pile of sentimental flotsam, and his sea bag may smell like the apocalypse, but you look at the galley of a tugboat or a ship, and you will generally see a level of cleanliness that far exceeds that of most restaurants. As an example, on the 50-year old, somewhat decrepit S.S. New River, my old haunt, cold or rainy days at sea almost invariably ended up with the deck department soogie-ing (wiping down walls with a warm water/mild antibacterial soap mix) all the bulkheads (walls) inside the crew accomodation block.
Just so. Medical care is hard to come by at sea, so it makes sense to be hygienic.
Now, there is a personality out there, who, when overwhelmed with fury, lets everyone know he's sick of taking shit from others on board. THE PHANTOM SHITTER. The Phantom, along with the Filipino Monkey gag, is a tried and true trope of sailors abusing others to amuse themselves. I'm not partial to the Filipino Monkey thing at all, rather the opposite in fact, although like anyone else, stories of the Phantom just make me laugh.
The Phantom leaves his messages of disgust where they will be seen and smelt, using the tools at hand... the coin of the realm, if you know what I mean. Every navy veteran knows someone who has been on board a vessel that has had a Phantom. My opposite out here, an ex-navy medic, once witnessed an executive officer (the equivalent of a Chief Mate in the navy) go completely apoplectic upon discovering that someone took a shit in his coffee cup while he was away from his desk. My dad had a Phantom on his engineering crew in the USS Moale. That phantom left notes mounted upright in his leavings, bragging about where he'd strike next. Neither of these guys were ever caught.
Well now, it looks like Yale has a Phantom this semester, and this one is partial to dorm laundry rooms... the dryers, specifically. They're calling him 'the poopetrator,' but this is the Phantom's work. Whoever he is, if he gets caught, he's always got a second career available.
And in Washington DC:
Jobs for the boys - a 'brothel investigator'
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