Born to be a Midshipman

Before reading this story, bear in mind that the Naval Academy, in Annapolis Maryland, is the supreme Officer’s College of the Navy. Admission to this cradle of Admirals is very competitive–more selective than Harvard or Stanford–with an admission ritual that begins when the kids are still in junior high, and favors those who’s ancestors attended.

I once worked with an Oracle DBA who was also an extremely humorous man. Among his quirks was that he disliked excessively long variable names. Watching me type a column name, once I got past about the eighth character, he would invariably bring up Mavis Beacon, product name of a then popular computer touch typing instructional program, implying that one had a hunger for lots of typing: “Well, if you want to do the Mavis Beacon thing, go right ahead, but…”

So, one day, he starts excitedly telling us that his son had his heart set on attending the Naval Academy. “Oh, he’s on it, he’s nuts about it!” I asked him how old his son was. With a straight face he responded: “Eighteen months.” I burst out laughing.

He moved on to another job and I lost track of him. I wonder whatever happened. As a father, I can imagine how proud any squid would be to see his son graduate from the Naval Academy.

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