Monday, April 11, 2011

Submarine Currency

From a reader:
I am a current JO who just came back from my first underway. One thing that I observed is that energy drinks have become the new "currency" on board. Need a hair cut or some paperwork by the end of the day? A 5 Hour Energy, Monster, or Red Bull will help get the job done quickly. In addition, the value of these items increased as the patrol wore on. I would be interested to hear from the group regarding how things used to get done (cigarettes, coffee, hard candy...)
What was the most popular "currency" on your boat?

16 Comments:

At 7:01 PM, Blogger joshuarat said...

Smokes, Copenhagen, chocolate

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger AFleming said...

Mountain Dew - near the end of mission in 2004 a can would be clearing $15 profit

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Those McLeans said...

Lots of Trident gum, different flavors. It took up less space and a piece of gum was an even trade for a cigarette. I didn't smoke off the boat, but those chaotic turn overs and long patrols brought out my inner smoker.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Submariner682 said...

I stashed a big pound bag of M&Ms in a little hiding place and forgot about it. I auctioned it of for $26 at halfway night.

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Hammer55 said...

Back "in the day" it was cigarettes that fetched the highest price (very few restrictions on smoking back then) followed by M&Ms.

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger dsvpilot said...

A carton of Malboro's stashed in the back of the bunk pan were hot commodities, issued a cigarette at a time. Nothing like having a bit of leverage with the watchsection COW, or my LPO when it came to field day in the AMT I pit. When the spec op got extended because of the Iranian hostage crisis, the value of a single pack rose exponentially!

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Fossil said...

Mountain Dew and M&Ms back in the 1980's.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Boogliodemus said...

Cigarettes. Saw a carton traded for a nice saxaphone and 3 packs for a Martin acoustic guitar. These were back in the barracks of course.

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Joseph Vincent said...

The only currency I knew was hearing the words "I owe you one". As a single man throughout my Navy stint, I found it easier and smarter to have others owe me favors than making money. I still have outstanding IOUs to this day and they have not forgotten.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger pyrut23 said...

We used cigarettes and Gilly Cherries.

 
At 5:00 AM, Blogger Permafirst said...

I made the mistake one patrol to try to quit smoking so I intentionally bought less cigarettes. Figuring this would force me to quit. Needless to say, once I ran out of cigarettes I was was very desperate for nicotine. I ended up resorting to buying a carton of smokes from the captain who smoked Unfiltered Pall Malls. At the time sea store cigarettes cost two bucks a carton, I had to pay 20 bucks to get the nastiest tasting cigarettes ever. I learned the best time to quit smoking was in off crew and on my own term and not forced to quit.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger BoomerUSMV said...

Pistachio nuts. The little cans that had the dyed red nuts. When I was movie PO, I could get any daily from the tender even if it was slated for their Ward Room.

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger BoomerUSMV said...

Permafirst said...
I made the mistake one patrol to try to quit smoking so I intentionally bought less cigarettes. Figuring this would force me to quit. Needless to say, once I ran out of cigarettes I was was very desperate for nicotine. I ended up resorting to buying a carton of smokes from the captain who smoked Unfiltered Pall Malls. At the time sea store cigarettes cost two bucks a carton, I had to pay 20 bucks to get the nastiest tasting cigarettes ever. I learned the best time to quit smoking was in off crew and on my own term and not forced to quit.

I think we may have served together. This happened on my boat. One guy used to follow me around to collect my used butts from the ash tray.

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Gil Kaelin said...

smokes...smokes were always a good trade for anything- papers too if you had copenhagen to make an emergency nasty once all the butt kits had been combed through a few times, but papers always raised an eyebrow.

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger robert kelleher said...

Made five patrols and and 18 month overhaul in the sixties, out of the Holy Loch and NNS&DD. I don't remember ever trading, or needing an inducement, to accomplish anything............we just did our jobs and offered, and received, help when needed.

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Kadmos said...

Pouches. Marlboro or Cope, because Grizzly was nasty and generally only came out after halfway night when people were desperate. I was on my way back to the real world when the order to go tobacco free came down in 2010, but my CO was ok with the smoke pit in ERML aft. I got more check outs done there than anywhere else on the boat.

 

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