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What's In A Name? (Lawrence K. Brady)
(smirk, heard it)

[A true story.]

Back in the summmer 1980, some friends and I toured the USS John Hancock, a guided missle destroyer as I recall, when it was anchored in the Chesapeake Bay off of Annapolis. While we were in the forward torpedo room, the sailor conducting that part of the tour talked about the time the Hancock had played a cat-and-mouse game with a submarine on which then-President Carter was aboard. The sailor said that President Carter was a bubble-head, and when the laughter in the crowd died down, explained that destroyer people referred to submariners as bubble-heads. President Carter had been a submariner in the Navy.

A few months later, my friend, Joe Closs, who was on Adm. Rickover's staff at the time, came to visit. I told him about the bubble-head remark and asked him what submariners called destroyer people. He replied, "Well, I always thought that a bubble-head was a hard-hat diver, but, be that as it may, in the submarine service we refer to all surface ships as -- targets."

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