Not on the subject of tofu

Thoughts of tofu on the pet hates blog reminds me of the most dreadfully funny story from my youth.

Tofu always makes me think of the below tale, hence my total aversion to treating it as a legitimate foodstuff.

Once upon a time a long, long time ago I had a boyfriend who was the first mate on an oil tanker in the Shell fleet.  He was the son of a city lawyer and had not wanted to follow his father’s footsteps, so literally ran away to sea.  I gather they were pretty old school, with many of the senior officers being ex Royal Navy at the time.  They still took on midshipmen to train who were allowed to use the officers wardroom.

A new batch was taken on periodically, several at a time.  The day they were due to arrive, a condom mysteriously appeared on the wardroom notice board filled with suspiciously milky fluid.  (From the description it sounded like unset tofu to me!!!)  The new arrivals were duly welcomed and during the evening one of the junior officers wandered up to the board, unpinned the condom, stuck his finger in the liquid, tasted it, licked his finger well and repinned the condom on the board.  Nobody else took any notice so the new midshipmen strove not to notice either, carefully looking elsewhere.

Every evening the procedure was repeated. Nobody said a word, nobody looked, everyone carried on as normal.

Came the day!  the officer unpinned the condom, tasted it as usual, turned and declared to the assembled company that it was ready at last, lifted it like a wineskin and consumed the contents.  Several of the midshipmen vomited on the spot, a couple made the lavatories.

The officers laughed their heads off, got out their wallets and paid off the bets as to how many would vomit and where!

It was condensed milk, carefully replaced every evening when the kids had gone to bed! I have to admit that prank nearly 50 years old still amuses me vastly.

A footnote to Nick, the boyfriend of a couple of years when he was in port,  ever the gentleman, he called me from Amsterdam to tell me he had the clap just a few days after he had shipped out.  He thought he had had it from a whore in Hull before embarkation but was not sure so please to go and get checked out!!!!!!  I was so thunderstruck that I did not really speak much, but after a pleasant afternoon at St Mary’s clap house (aka STD clinic) in Paddington.  (Now there is an education for you!)  the next time he wrote he got the “Thank you, but no Thank you!”  Pity, he was a fun guy.

Needless to say, the associations of tofu render it completely beyond human consumption in my book!!  Perhaps everyone should have a mandatory afternoon at St Mary’s, it would render most to be far more fastidious in future I guarantee!

Author: christinaosborne

Landed on one side safely.

11 thoughts on “Not on the subject of tofu”

  1. PS And no, I didn’t have it but was a dammed sight more careful in future!

  2. A nice little story at the end of your post, Tina, which reminds me of a rather similar episode in my early years, although the other way round, of course. I would not dream of telling the story here, for although Boadicea knows all about it, the Chariot is hardly the place for a dissertation on the terrors of potential syph. But the memory made me chuckle, so thanks for that. 🙂

    I am also aware of several acquaintances (of both sexes) who made sudden rapid visits to the local anti-pox shop. All resulted in a comforting ‘all clear’, but I imagine that it took a while for their adrenaline levels to drop back to normal.

    But more recently (well, 25 years ago, roughly) I had occasion, as you know, to apply for Australian citizenship. It’s probably different now, but at that time it was mandatory to be tested, by government medics, for two scourges that were absolute bars to becoming an Aussie. TB was one and HIV/AIDS the other. I was quite surprised how many old friends made long-distance phone calls to casually enquire about the outcome – and it wasn’t TB they were interested in !!

    Thought that might amuse you. 😀 🐻

  3. Cor, Mrs O! This brings back some memories. It could have almost been part of my own entry into the Merchant Navy. To be fair to the newbies, joining your first ship does take you aback. You’re on this vast and highly complex floating machine, you haven’t a clue what it does, how any of it works and even less of the names of any of its individual components, so you just have to take everything at face value. We’ve all spent many happy hours in the bosun’s store looking for Reddun green oil for the ships sidelights and similar periods in a hot and noisy engine room while the engineer on watch goes to locate the long weight you’ve been told to request.

    On my first trip, the senior apprentice came back from a trip ashore with a dose of “crabs” The next time I went to use one of the two loo’s in our accommodation someone had put up a sign saying
    “No use standing on the seat, the crabs in here can jump six feet”
    I know it was silly but, it was just enough to make me think I might just use the adjoining loo. Over this one was another notice which proclaimed that it was
    “No use coming in next door, the buggers here jump six feet four” 🙂

  4. Brilliant story, CO! Once, when living in Hawai’i, two of my flatmates and I pulled many pranks on our fourth flatmate — a Japanese man with the libido of a rabbit on Viagra. One day I picked up a free condom at the university and filled it with a few pumps of creamy hand soap and left it on his bed. (We shared a room so this was easy) His expression still makes me laugh today.

  5. I tell people hereabouts that Tofu is the result of a WWII Japanese attempt to develop “Soylent Green”. This is not very effective discouragement as very few locals have heard of Tofu and none have heard of Soylent Green.

  6. Bearsy, same here for residency. My green card lapsed once and they went through the whole farrago of TB and HIV again, pity they are not so careful in the UK!
    LW now you know what it really is, I suspect the locals might just understand that!!!

  7. Nice one, MrsO, and good tales everyone.

    The only thing I can add to the thread is to take it to toilet level. A prank I used to play (and still do, though it‘s old hat to them) on my children was on a warm sunny day I would buy a bar of chocolate. Unseen to them I would melt it into my hands then tell them my bum was itchy. Being careful not to touch my clothing I would have a right good scratch at the behind. The coup de grace was showing the kids my hand when I was finished.

    Coat, taxi, hand wash.

  8. “He thought he had had it from a whore in Hull” .

    Janus – this looks like a teasing line from of your ‘Northern’ verses!

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