This politics over the last week has resurrected a memory.
When I became a Navy officer in 1984, the Navy was in transition from steam power to gas turbine for ships, discounting the nukes—which only makes economic sense for aircraft carriers and submarines, now. My ships were steam, but Jaguar steam—to borrow a metaphor from one of the engineers on my first ship.
1,200 PSI, superheated—”dry” water vapor. Superheated means that via the gas law, you can make water vapor tantamount to any gas vapor, under extreme pressure. Since water is the medium in which we live and work: duh, right? You use low-pressure but rapidly oxidizable aerosol fuel to get it there—an aerosol, non-gas, to make a gas and be gentle on all the machine bits, like turbines and tubes.
Anyway, when you distill sea water, then introduce it to the engineering plant—four boilers….two online at all times—you get debris. Not talking about flotsam, but particles, microscopic, they accumulate over time.
These boilers have several chambers, lots of tubes; but one chamber is called the “mud drum.” This is where all the sediment eventually ends up. It’s the absolute lowest point in the closed system, thanks to ubiquitous gravity.
…Periodically, it gets too full of itself and we have to hold an election. Since the system is at 1,200 PSI, you only have to open the lowest valve. It’s a lowest-common-denominator sort of thing.
The whole ship rumbles, as though relieving itself from an awful bout of diarrhea.
We call it a Bottom Blow, and the metaphorical jokes that abound over decades are plentiful.
Thank you, Mr. Trump. While not a Navy engineer, or qualified deck officer, you know your bottom blows.
Perhaps you’ll be the first Commander in Chief to get that.