In the era of sail, when the officers of one ship would be invited to dine on another, the crew, with the complicity of the Captain of the mess, would refer to the luncheon as an 'invasion.' The rigid and extremely well-enforced rules of communal dining aboard ship were followed, including the rules which dictated where and when rules could be relaxed.
One thing that stood out, at the time, was that if the hosting senior officer decided that everyone was going to get well and truly stinking drunk, there was little choice in the matter. This led to world-class hangovers and good times, apparently, for the most part.
Well, the days of drinking afloat are dead and gone forever, but the invasions continue. Yesterday we hosted a visiting officer for birthday cake, his 36th birthday having come while his vessel was moored alongside us. As the old doryman's creed of "share and share alike" is still obeyed here, today we're invited over for a lunch of lasagna with peach cobbler for dessert... something to brighten up the day here, which, being a rainy mess of a nor'easter, is eagerly looked forward to.
If we're still here tomorrow, I'm going to make some Brazilian stroganoff, in an effort to one-up our Italian neighbors here in the anchorage.
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