The gunnery officer, using a fork prong for his calculations on the first ward tablecloth, announced,
We average 30 members in the mess; the mess bill runs about $30. That’s $900 a month, about $11,000 a year, call it. You give me $11,000 a year and I’ll feed this mess caviar and crepe suzettes and have a swell month’s leave on the profits at the end of the year.
Exaggeration? Not a bit of it. A professional caterer would jump at the chance of that contract.
Did you ever stop to think how large mess life looms in the average naval officer’s existence? To the bachelors it is “home.” It furnishes all officers three meals a day at sea and even the most confirmed “beach hounds” usually have two meals aboard in port.
In spite of this fact and the fact that while under way the meals in the mess are the chief relaxation and recreation of the day, much is neglected that might make them more pleasant.
Two points are noticeable in most messes. One is that many members who think nothing of spending $25 on a large evening at “Jack’s” or the “Casino de Dance” will utter a low wailing sound if the monthly mess bill is boosted $2.00.