In the Navy, not… #carrotranch #flashfiction

April 20, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a navel story. It can include a belly-button, feature an omphalos (geological or cultural), or extend to navel-gazing (used in meditation or to describe excessive self-contemplation). Go where this oddity leads you.

I learnt camp fire songs in the Scouts, from Ging Gang Goolie Goolie Watcha to Kumbaya.

That was what we were meant to learn, anyway. There were those other songs, hushed songs sniggeringly sung in the tents after lights out.

Like “We’re off to see the Wild West Show, The Elephant and the Kangaroo…’

us? Sing smutty songs? Never!!

Or ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain…’ only with verses such as

‘She’s got a lovely bottom set of teeth,

She’s got a lovely bottom set of teeth,

Oh she’s got a lovely bottom,

She’s got a lovely bottom,

She’s got a lovely botto set of teeth.’

WEven naive me understood that but for the life of me, aged 10 or so, I relaly didnt understand why this caused sniggers…

‘She’s has a lovely navel uniform,

She has a lovely navel uniform,

Oh she has a lovely navel..’

Why, or so my mind had it, did anyone think a belly bottom worthy of such giggling and inclusion in a risque song? Ah me…

And the flash, well, Penny has some embarrassing moments…

Life Gets Complicated


‘Penny come here.’

Penny looked at her form teacher’s stern face, mystified at her tone.

‘Did you call Melanie a freak?’

‘I…’ Penny’s face flushed. ‘I just said her belly button was weird.’ Everyone had laughed, even Melanie. She’d showed them after all. ‘Is she upset?’

‘Melanie doesn’t know we’re talking. Someone else told me.’

Penny felt anger swell inside her chest. Sophie.

Miss Johnstone sighed. ‘She has an umbilical hernia. Just be a little careful what you say. You don’t know who might be upset.’

Penny held her gaze. ‘If Mel doesn’t care, why should anyone else?’


To catch up on Penny and her family, click here

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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15 Responses to In the Navy, not… #carrotranch #flashfiction

  1. floridaborne says:

    And therein lies the point. Gawd…save us from the PC police who can’t laugh at their own flaws and try to make a victim out of someone who is strong enough to laugh with everyone else about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. HA! There is always the class tell-tale!!!
    I remember singing some of those songs too on long car journeys. We also included ” Oh, you’ll never get to heaven…” I remember a Playtex bra featuring in the words somewhere! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. And there was me expecting to see the Village People. 🙄

    Thanks for the laughs, Geoff. Maybe we should sing some of these songs at the Bloggers Bash PJ party?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Charli Mills says:

    Alas I missed the Scout songs but caught up to the ones sung at rugby matches. Did I mention I asked the Hub to stop playing when his children picked up some questionable verses? And I’m glad to hear Penny ask the right question, continuing to think for herself. It’s easy to apologize for an unintended slight, but when others stir the pot, that’s manipulation, not sensitivity.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Gazing at the Navel « Carrot Ranch Communications

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