Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sex Lords Rule the City

When I was in US Navy Nuclear Prototype (Nuke) School back in the mid-1980's, my roommates and I devised ways of remembering complex procedure steps for starting up and shutting down a nuclear reactor.  The four of us were reactor operator candidates studying in Idaho.  We lived in Pocatello and rode a bus 1.5 hours to the training facility and 1.5 hours back home after a 12-hour work day, usually 5 days per week, sometimes more if we had exams approaching.
One of our procedure mnemonics was "Sex lords rule the city.  Rude boys vow decadence must stop."  So we dubbed ourselves the sex lords.
One of my roommates was from Nebraska like me.  He is a unique combination of brilliance and bizarre.  I guess that usually goes hand-in-hand with his level of brilliance.
Another was from Colorado.  He is also brilliant.  He is also a man with a golden heart - a true prize of a human being.
The third roommate was, for a time, my best friend.  He is a Texan, a few years older than the typical nuke school kid, like me, and an avid outdoors man.  He used to guide expeditions in Alaska.  His camp was raided by grizzly bears.  He had to flee in a canoe in his underwear.  He had some great stories.  He's the only one of my three buddies I've lost touch with and I miss him.
Bob "Big Bootee" Bradley, if you read this, drop me a line.  Once a sex lord, always a sex lord.
The four of us were like brothers.  We loved to complain about the long hours and snotty instructors and drink beer and play our air guitars to YYZ.  We wrestled in the kitchen until our clothes were torn to shreds.  We had friends over on some weekends.  On other weekends our stark differences showed loud and clear.
JD, from Nebraska, liked to watch TV in his robe while eating instant mashed potatoes from the pan he cooked them in and drinking Boone's Farm wine. Thomas from Colorado liked to sleep all weekend.  Big Bootee and I liked to venture out camping, fishing, skiing, and exploring the Idaho wilderness.
On our outings we frequently had a third wheel named John Lightfoot.  We called him Power Pusty.  He liked to fish in nothing but hip waders and drink Coors beer.  Power Pusty was the son of a preacher.  He must have been brilliant like JD, because he was one crazy SOB.
I miss all those guys and the adventure and the camaraderie.  Maybe that's why ex-Navy nukes that get operator jobs at commercial nuclear plants develop close friendships - they have so much in common.  They're all sex lords of sorts.  Once a sex lord, always a sex lord.

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