So there's like 2 dozen expressions we use about working around NY harbor that all end in "go f*&k yourself"
"Hey, do you know what time it is, or should I just go ahead and F&#k myself?
"You know what they say, if you don't like the weather, go ahead and F@ck yourself!"
"There's a dead body passing down the port side in case you don't want to just go F*$k yourself like usual tonight."
NY is famous for being crude and rude. And tugboaters call that just another Tuesday, so we don't notice until someone from away makes us notice.
So yesterday evening I was in shorts and a t-shirt out on deck after watch, it was sunny and calm, and today, when I took the watch over at 0530, I'm in a sweatshirt and watch cap because it's 50 degrees out and blowing 40. Our tugboat has a deckhand trainee from Maine who's so new he smells like pine trees still. And the crew of the tanker we were departing from alongside was a little negligent when they cast off our lines- at the first chock, they drop my stern line directly in the water, and a spring line he heaves out the eye directly over my head. I'm standing well out of the path of the line, so it took work to get me in the danger zone. I quickly step out of way and give that 'Hey, hey, hey!' yell that means I am looking for attention- I tell the deckies up above me to be careful dropping lines so nobody gets hurt, and to please drop the lines on my deck, not in the water. I get a wave back, and everything's cool, I think, until at the next chock forward... the guy again fires the eye of the mooring line at my head, sidearming it at my melon.
I immediately cuss him out, hard, calling him all manner of things foul, scattering f-bombs and questioning his competence, before going nuclear and dropping the "Yo momma's a 'ho" in tagalog, which got him pie-eyed. I don't know what the problem was, but he dropped the last two lines like a Christian after that, so good enough.
In talking with the new tug guy, I cautioned him against doing what I did. The guy on a ship up above has all the means and ways in the world to hurt the guy closer to the water, higher ground and all, and the best defense against getting an object thrown at you is to be nice. I normally really, really try to be nice to foreign ships- for one, they're our customers, two, full of guys trying to make a living and getting paid shit for it under hard conditions and 3, to avoid getting hurt. Of those things, #3 is the one that is most self-serving. I have taken part in games more than once where a supervisor on my then-ship promised $25 to anyone who could knock the hard hat off a rude linehander's head below us, with a thrown monkey's fist. Honestly, I never won, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
So, in talking with the kid, out there in a t-shirt and too proud to admit he's freezing his nuts off, I stressed that cussing out someone as I did was a last resort, and not a first resort, which is more normal, sadly, here in NY. I also told him that he might be from the land of ice and snow, but somebody already killed Jesus, so no reason to die for other people's sins, and to put on a damn sweatshirt.
I really do wonder what the hell was going on in that tanker deckie's mind. Maybe trying to brighten up a shitty day by ruining someone else's? Who knows.