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Aboard Current U.S. Navy Ships
This guide was designed for the
ex-sailor who misses the good old days and wants to bring a little of his or her
past into their current life. It is also designed for those who would like to
experience living aboard a U.S. Naval vessel for an extended period of time. Too
many people believe life in the Navy is a Top Gun existence and hang onto
every detail of JAG. It is not a glamorous life, but it can be very
enjoyable and eventful.
The following are a few suggestions
on how to experience the real Navy life, right in the comfort of your own home:
1. When commencing this simulation, remember to board up all windows, and lock
friends and family outside, You can communicate only with letters that your
neighbors will hold for two weeks before delivering, losing one out of every
five. Have a friend or neighbor yell "Mail Call" at your door. Four out of five
times, he will snicker and say "You didn't get anything."
2. Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills on every doorway. From this
point on, refer to them as knee-knockers and overheads. Make sure you smash your
knees on the knee-knockers and ram your head against the overhead every time you
pass though one of them.
3. Surround yourself with 5,000 people you either don't like or don't know.
These people will chain-smoke, fart loudly, snore like a Mack truck on a uphill
grade, complain constantly, seldom shower, wear clean clothes, or brush their
teeth and use expletives in speech the way kids use sugar on cold cereal.
4. Unplug all radios and televisions to completely cut yourself off from the
outside world. Have a neighbor bring you a Time or Newsweek
magazine from two or three months ago, and a Playboy magazine with the
pictures cut out.
5. Study the owners manual for all appliances in the dwelling. If you don't have
a manual, have someone who knows nothing about the item write one.
6. Monitor all operating home appliances hourly, recording all vital parameters
(plugged in, light functions when door opens, etc.). If not in use, log every
four hours as "secured." Study the ownerís manual for these appliances and at
regular intervals, take one apart and put it back together again, then test
operate it at the extremes of its tolerance.
7. Do not flush the toilet (s) for the first three days to simulate the smell of
forty people using the same commode. After that, flush once daily. Install a
shower nozzle on a short hose, making sure it is one with a button which must be
pressed constantly to make the water come out. Install a device which
irregularly varies the setting on the hot water heater and room thermostats,
especially at night and while you are showering. During showers, which must be
either ice cold or scalding hot, arrange periodically to have the water shut off
once you are soaped up. Also arrange to have someone steal personal hygiene
products, shower shoes, towels, and anything else not locked up.
8. Only shop at a store which closes at odd times, for no apparent reason, and
is out of stock of important items like personal hygiene products, etc. (See #7
9. Lock the bathroom door twice a day for a four-hour period.
10. Wear only approved coveralls or proper uniforms (no special or cut-off
T-shirts). Even though nobody really cares, once a week clean and press one
uniform in the dark on a broken ironing board (or a towel on the floor) and wear
it for 20 minutes while standing at attention. After this, change back into
coveralls, catch and rip the sleeve of your shirt on a sharp object on your way
to change, curse and yell, then wad it up and throw it in a smelly locker.
11. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time until you are bald or look
like you tangled with a demented sheep-shearer. Have a friend or neighbor loudly
tell you to get a haircut at least once every other week, whether you need one
12. Work in 18-hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a time to ensure your
body doesn't know or care if it's daytime or nighttime.
13. Listen to your favorite cassette six times a day for two weeks, then play
music that causes acute nausea until you are glad to get back to your "favorite"
14. Cut a three-inch thick twin-sized mattress in half length-wise. Place it in
a metal box with one opening on the side. The roof should be low enough to
prevent you from sitting in any position (18 inches is perfect). Place the metal
box on a platform so that it is at lease six inches from the floor. Attach blue
curtains across the opening, making sure they are opaque enough to let plenty of
light through. Place a dead animal under your sheets to simulate the smell of
your bunkmates, the laundry and shipboard life. Whenever possible, and without
warning, have someone take your pillow or blanket (or both) to simulate that
special camaraderie that exist only on-board an U.S. Naval warship.
15. Six hours after you go to sleep, have someone stumble around loudly, whip
open your rack curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble "Sorry,
wrong rack." Set your alarm clock to go off at the five minute "snooze"
intervals for the first hour of sleep to simulate the various alarms of
watch-standards and night crews waking up to go on duty and at odd times just to
wake you up. Place your metal box on a rocker to ensure that you are tossed from
side to side for the remaining three hours of sleep. Alternately use a custom
alarm clock that sounds like a fire alarm, police sirens, and loud punk rock
combined to simulate various drill alarms on-board the ship, so you will get
accustomed to ignoring your regular alarm clock.
16. Prepare all food while blindfolded, using all the spices that you can grope
for, or none at all, to simulate shipboard food. Remove the blindfold and eat as
fast as humanly possible. If the food does not stick to an inverted plate when
cold, use more lard. If the food contains more than one part per thousand of
fiber, dispose of it. Always take more than you can possible eat to keep up the
waste standards of the Navy. Beat your plate enthusiastically against the side
of the trash can when disposing of your leftovers. Remember over-cooking or
under-cooking is preferable to proper cooking. Also combining old food to new
food is also encouraged. Have week-old fruit and vegetables delivered to your
garage between two and four in the morning by helicopter and wait two weeks
before eating them.
17. When making coffee, use 18 scoops of generic coffee per pot and allow it to
sit for 5-6 hours before drinking.
18. When making cakes, prop up one side of the pan while it is baking. Then
spread icing really thick on one side to level off the top.
19. Run into the kitchen and sweep all pots, pans and dishes off the counter and
onto the floor. Yell at yourself for not having the kitchen "stowed for sea."
20. Buy 50 cases of toilet paper and lock up all but two rolls. Give the key to
a friend going on vacation to Tierra del Fuego. Ensure one of the two rolls is
wet all the time.
21. Periodically have a neighbor shut off power at the main breaker and send a
muscle-bound seventeen year old psychopath with a funny haircut and loaded rifle
(simulated Marine) running through you house, repeatedly yelling at the top of
his lungs "Get Down! Get Down!" If, at this point, you don't lie face down on
the floor with your hands on top of your head fast enough, you will be beaten to
a pulp while the psychopath continues to scream "Don't Move!"
22. Randomly start small fires and practice putting them out. When you do this,
have the same neighbor shut off power at the main breaker again. Run around
screaming "Fire in the main space! Fire in the main space!" Do this until you
sweat profusely or lose your voice, then restore power.
23. Prepare yourself for an emergency that will require you to evacuate the
premises knowing that if you exit, the biker gang that you hired will cut off
your arms and legs to simulate sharks. Study an ancient first aid book to learn
how to handle wounds and control bleeding until you can quote it verbatim.
24. Since you will have no doctor or get any medical care, stock up on the
following: Band-Aids, aspirin, antacids, Robitussin, Acti-Fed, Pepto-Bismol,
Motrin, and suppositories. These have been proven as cures for every disease
known to man.
25. Buy a gas mask, smear the seal with rancid animal fat, and scrub the
faceplate with steel wool until you can't see out of it. Wear it for two hours
every fifth day (even to the bathroom) and run rapidly from one side of the
house to the other while wearing it.
26. Remove all plants, pictures, and decorations (except vulgar photographs).
Paint all furnishings and walls gray, white or the green shade of hospital
scrubs. Use a special "fading" paint that will require you to do it all again in
three months. Stencil everything with numbers.
27. Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to "High" to
produce that genuine shipboard smell.
28. To make sure you are living in a clean and happy environment, sweep and dust
twice daily. Once every week clean from top to bottom, working hard all day even
if it is only a three hour job, repeating your efforts as often as possible.
Occasionally, tell yourself that you missed some dust and your floor looks like
crap. When completed, inspect your work, criticizing everything as much as
possible. Never be satisfied with good effort or exceptional work. Twice a day
(or more if there is no need) get several people together in as small a room as
possible (a closet or bathroom should do) and have a meeting to listen to
someone tell you what you did all day.
29. On one lone TV monitor, located in the worst possible place, connect three
channels. The first should play old TV shows that even a "normal" station won't
play. The second channel plays eight movies a month, over and over and over. The
last channel plays "training" films on such engaging topics as small engine
repair, proper blender operation, paperwork routing procedures, etc. Each
channel must randomly go off the air, preferably when there is finally something
you wanted to watch.
30. Once a day, watch a videotaped movie that you walked out on a year ago. Then
watch an episode of Charlie's Angels that you didn't like the first three times
you saw it. Make sure you pause it just at the peak of action so you can sweep
the floor or listen to someone talk loudly about something stupid.
31. To achieve the permanent, smelly, dingy, wrinkled look in your clothes, have
the plumber connect the washer to a sewer line. Tightly cram your clothes into a
nylon bag and wash whole. Throw the bag in a corner for two days and then
without removing the clothes from the bag, dry it. It helps if your clothes are
tied in tight knots before cramming into a bag. For best results, add two or
three ink pens to each bag.
32. Every six weeks to simulate liberty in a foreign port, go out directly to
the city slums wearing your best clothes. Enter the raunchiest bar you can find
and ask the bartender for the most expensive imported beer he carries. Drink as
many of these as fast as you can in four hours, then hire a cab to take you home
by the longest route possible. Tip the cab driver after he charges you double
because you were dressed funny and lock yourself back in your dwelling for
another six weeks.
33. Just for kicks, about once a month try to flush an old tennis shoe, a sack
of cement, or a bowling ball down the commode. Ignore the mess, someone else
will surely take care of it. Call the plumbers, but only if they have no spare
parts, and are notoriously slow and unreliable.
34. Every so often, throw your cat into the swimming pool, and shout, "Man
Overboard, Starboard Side!"
35. For maximum pleasure during the simulation, station people with metal
sheets, sledge hammers, pneumatic tools, paints, and aromatic solvents, with
instructions to use the aforementioned items only when you are trying to eat ,
sleep, or work. Run a loud blender in every room at a constant high speed to
simulate the constant whine of the ship's machinery and have the biker gang you
hired pound on the roof and walls to simulate recovering and launching aircraft.
36. During periods of high heat and/or humidity, shut off all ventilation and
air conditioning. Bring in your lawnmower, and after removing the muffler, fire
the sucker up and let it run for 8-10 hours.
37. Put on the headphones from your stereo, but don't plug them in. Hang a paper
cup around your neck with a piece of string. Go and stand in front of your stove
and say, to nobody in particular, "Stove manned and ready." Stand there for
three or four hours, then say, once again to nobody in particular, "Stove
secured." Roll up the headphone cord and put the headphone and paper cup in a
38. About once a month, just after the first morning squirt, have some people
that are unsure of their sexual orientation gather around you and watch you
hungrily while you attempt to fill a small container with urine. Have someone
else flip a coin, but donít tell you the result for 6-8 weeks. If you come up
tails (uh, oh) hire someone with a Messiah complex to play God with your life
and verbally abuse you in front of you peers.
39. Surround yourself with people who are either unwilling or unable to make it
in the real world. Have them counsel you, and attempt to direct, control, and
influence your life.
40. Finally, hire burned-out 60ís refugees (the ones who took lots and lots of
drugs) and give them full control over your finances, direct payments,
allotments, savings bonds, withholding allowances, etc. If an occasional payment
is late, or your paychecks fluctuate wildly from payday to payday, do not
question them. They know what is best for you little man.
This simulation must run a minimum of six months to be effective. The exact date
of the end of this simulation will be changed no less than seven times without
your knowledge. This is done to keep you guessing as to when you can expect to
get back to a semi-normal life. It is also done in the hopes of screwing up any
plans you have made or would like to make. On the last day of this simulation,
remove the boards from the windows but do not go outside, have your love ones
stand across the street, and you face them while standing at attention for four
hours. This will simulate having duty on the day you return.
~ Original Author Unknown
~ This guide was originally sent to
me by Sam Armstrong, a friend I went to
London Central High School with. Since
receiving it, I have found several other versions and I have combined them into what you see here.