Post by Random OCW TV Stuff on Oct 11, 2021 17:40:37 GMT -5
Captain Roderick J. Slock enjoyed a decorated career in the United States Air Force, hence the ranking of EL CAPITAN. He enjoyed the structure and goal oriented lifestyle. He also enjoyed the camaraderie that came with the brotherhood of serving. But, above all else, Captain Slock enjoyed aeronautics.
Starting from the bottom, Captain Slock’s fascination for aeronautics evolved into a voracious appetite for knowledge. This, of course, manifested into an unrivaled work ethic which soon saw Captain Slock working in close proximity with aircraft of all shapes and sizes.
“It’s a dream come true,” Captain Slock would often tell people in his signature, dignified cadence. The man didn’t speak much but when he did it was with a soft hammer. Every word mattered and the strength embedded within the low level volume commanded attention.
The man was also a great listener, sitting back amidst a crowd of eager conversationalists, each one fighting over the other to get their story across. Captain Slock would simply listen, gathering information on each individual. The race for conversational supremacy was one he had no interest in winning. This form of temperance forced people to regard him as a man of confidence and power.
His wife, Mrs. Slock, was quite loquacious. She talked day and night. During the mornings she’d go on some arbitrary tangent about how newspapers didn’t showcase the writing talent of year’s past. During the afternoons she’d call Captain Slock and wax poetic about vehicular technology and its seemingly endless need to confuse drivers. And, of course, during the evenings she’d talk over television programming feeling the urge to delve into the specifics of wallpaper and why it should not be out of fashion.
This was the state of affairs for Captain and Mrs. Slock. However, as with anyone lucky to live long enough, aging brought about its share of wear and tear. Captain Slock had been working in close proximity with engines belonging to some of the military’s largest and subsequently loudest planes. He refused to wear protective head gear due to the fact it made understanding his colleagues next to impossible.
Over the course of time the punishing sound of roaring engines wore down his ear canals. It increased the difficulty of hearing. This produced unforeseen issues outside of work.
“Welcome home, honey,” Mrs. Slock would utter when her husband walked through the front door after a long day of work.
“Huh?” he’d ask, unsure what, if anything, he had heard.
“I said, welcome home!”
Pausing, he’d wince before reaching an understanding, “Oh, yea, thanks.”
The rest of the evening he’d remain quieter than usual, for fear he’d reveal his degenerative hearing.
As time passed, it got worse.
“Welcome home, honey!”
“What was that?!”
“I said…welcome home!”
Mrs. Slock began to grow concerned. Her husband showed all the signs of increased deafness. She knew his occupation had run its course and had proven itself to be more personal detriment than professional nourishment. Money wasn’t an issue, they’d lived frugal lives. Captain Slock could retire that very day and barring some unforeseen calamity they would live out their lives in total comfortability.
But, she left it alone. She, above anyone else, understood how important Captain Slock viewed his profession.
More time passed. Captain Slock’s hearing continued to devolve.
“Welcome home, honey?”
“I said…welcome home!!!”
“What was that?!?!”
Frustrated, Mrs. Slock shook her head and returned to whatever it was she did in the afternoons. Captain Slock, somewhat nonplussed, shook his head and attempted to whisper, “Confounded woman.” Unfortunately a Captain Slock whisper, at that point, was room level sound.
Mrs. Slock let it pass. She wasn’t seeking a fight. Instead, she knew something had to be done. Captain Slock’s ears needed a reprieve before they reached the point of no return.
She notified Captian Slock’s superiors. They listened and took note of the situation. As a follow up, they interviewed Captain Slock about his hearing issues.
“Thank you for showing up on such short notice. We know you’re a busy man Captain Slock.” Captain Slock paused in the half-sit down motion with the chair beneath him. He had no idea what the man said, so he made the wise, Captain Slock-like decision to smile and sit. His superior continued. Captain Slock leaned forward, doing his very best to understand what was being said.
“Your wife expressed concern over your degenerative hearing. Is this something we should be concerned with?”
Captain Slock winced, slightly. He thought he understood what was asked but he wasn’t entirely sure. So, he leaned back, nodded once and shrugged as if it were no big deal.
“Ah, okay. So you’re saying it’s not an issue.”
Again, Captain Slock could make neither heads nor tails over what the superior mentioned. All he could hear was the constant ringing and roaring of engines which had made permanent residence inside his head. So, he gave a faint smile, placed his chin within his hand, leaned forward and nodded.
“Well, that’s refreshing to hear. You’re one of our best, keep up the good work!”
Captain Slock remained stoic. His superior stood. Captain Slock stood immediately after and exited the office. He had survived a potential professional execution.
Upon learning her husband had passed some sort of test, his wife became reluctantly relieved. Perhaps she was the one whose body was wearing down. If the military seemed to be fine with his ability to perform then why shouldn’t she? So, life went on.
And it went on.
And it went on.
Until, one day.
“Welcome home, honey!”
The door slammed. Captain Slock marched right past his wife, unaware. She yelled back “I said, welcome home, honey!” He continued marching. She hurried over and tapped him on the shoulder, he twirled around, surprised. He smiled and hugged his wife. He stepped back and looked her in the eye.
Mrs. Slock, a bit unnerved, tried a third time. “Welcome home, honey.”
By now, Captain Slock was well versed in the art of his wife’s welcome home procedure. He didn’t have to hear or read lips. He had the deal memorized. So, he replied, “IT’S GREAT TO BE HOME, BABE.”
Mrs. Slock staggered. His thunderous voice shook her balance. Captain Slock turned and headed toward the back for a shower. He was none the wiser. To him, he was speaking in normal tone.
Frantic, Mrs. Slock called her husband’s superiors imploring them to administer another test. They obliged.
The following day Captain Slock entered into his superior’s office. “Ah, Roderick, so good to see you.”
“GREAT TO SEE YOU SIR!”
Captain Slock’s superior nearly fell into his chair. The room shook from the volume of Captain Slock’s voice.
“There’s no need for yelling, Roderick,” the superior replied.
“I LIKE WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH THE OFFICE, SIR. THAT RUG REALLY COMPLIMENTS THE DESK.”
The superior’s eyes widened. He sat down and began to furiously fill out some paperwork. Captain Slock found a seat and looked around, innocently. He noticed a few books lining a shelf.
“AH GUNS OF AUGUST. I HEAR THAT’S A GREAT READ. IS IT, SIR?”
The superior covered his ears, wincing with pain. Fearful of being rude, he replied, “Uh, yea, sure, Roderick. Great book.”
Captain Slock nodded. He didn’t really hear the reply. A reply wasn’t necessary. He was making small talk. The superior finished the paperwork. He slid it to the side.
“You can go now, Captain Slock.”
“WHAT WAS THAT, SIR?”
The superior motioned for him to leave with his hands. Captain Slock stood and smiled, “IT WAS GREAT SEEING YOU, SIR.” And with that, he left.
The superior picked up his phone, eager to make good use of the newly filled-out paperwork. While on the phone, a view of the paperwork was garnered.
It was an honorable discharge from military service with a high recommendation.
The name of the person being discharged read simply as: Cap. Slock