How long have you been in the Navy?


All me bloomin' life, sir!
Me mother was a mermaid, me father was King Neptune.
I was born on the crest of a wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep.
Seaweed and barnacles are me clothes.
Every tooth in me head s a marlinspike; the hair on me head is hemp.
Every bone in me body is a spar, and when I spits, I spits tar!
I'se hard, I is, I am, I are!


For generations, upper-class midshipmen have been asking this question of plebes. And every new class of plebes claims this auspicious seafaring lineage. Itís a rate they must memorize.