And now, from our haughty nautical department, here is:
Subject: Recalling Shipboard Life
Source: Owen H O'Neill < >
How to simulate shipboard life (aka, Suggestions for the ex-sailor who misses the "good old days")
1.Sleep on the shelf in your closet.
2.Replace the closet door with a curtain.
3.Six hours after you go to sleep, have your wife whip open the
curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and mumble "Sorry,
4.Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of
your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level.
5.When you take showers, make sure you shut off the water while
6.Every time there's a thunderstorm, go sit in a wobbly rocking
chair and rock as hard as you can until you're nauseous.
7.Put lube oil in your humidifier instead of water and set it to
8.Don't watch TV except movies in the middle of the night. Have
your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different
9.(Mandatory for ex-engineering types) Leave lawnmower running
in your living room 24 hours a day for proper noise level.
10.Have the paperboy give you a haircut.
11.Once a week blow compressed air up through your chimney,
making sure the wind carries the soot across and onto your
neighbor's house. Laugh at him when he curses you.
12.Buy a trash compactor and only use it once a week. Store up
garbage in the other side of your bathtub.
13.Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and
jelly sandwich on stale bread, if anything. (Optional: Canned
ravioli or cold soup).
14.Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking
in your food cabinets or refrigerator.
15.Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the
night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get dressed as fast
as you can, then run out into your yard and break out the garden
hose. 16.Once a month take every major appliance completely
apart and then put them back together.
17.Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for 5 or
6 hours before drinking (note: a Department of Defense, not
Naval, specialty RM)
18.Invite at least 85 people you don't really like to come and
visit for a couple of months.
19.Have a fluorescent lamp installed on the bottom of your
coffee table and lie under it to read books.
20.Raise the thresholds and lower the top sills on your front
and back doors so that you either trip over the threshold or hit
on the sill every time you pass through one of them.
21.Lockwire the lugnuts on your car.
22.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
23.Every so often, throw your cat into the swimming pool, shout
"Man overboard, ship recovery!", run into the kitchen and sweep
all the pots/pans/dishes off of the counter onto the floor, then
your wife for not having the place "stowed for sea".
24.Put on the headphones from your stereo (don't plug them in).
Go and stand in front of your stove. Say (to nobody in
particular) "Stove manned and ready". Stand there for 3 or 4
hours. Say (once again to nobody in particular) "Stove secured".
Roll up the headphone cord and put them away.
Here are some more suggestions:
30 Ways to simulate being in the Navy when you're at home
1. Lock all friends and family outside. Your only means of
communication should be with letters that your neighbours have
held for at least three weeks, discarding two of five.
2. Surround yourself with 200 people that you don't really know
or like: people who smoke, snore like Mack trucks going
uphill,and use foul language like a child uses sugar on cereal.
3. Unplug all radios and TVs to completely cut yourself off from
the outside world. Have a neighbour bring you a Time, Newsweek,
or Proceedings from five years ago to keep you abreast of
4. Monitor all home appliances hourly, recording all vital
information (ie: plugged in, lights come on when doors open,
5. Do not flush the toilet for five days to simulate the smell
of 40 people using the same commode.
6. Lock the bathroom twice a day for a four hour period.
7. Wear only military uniforms. Even though nobody cares, clean
and press one dress uniform and wear it for 20 minutes.
8. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time, until you
look bald or look like you lost a fight with a demented sheep.
9. Work in 19 hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a time,
to ensure that your body does not know or even care if it is day
10. Listen to your favourite CD 6 times a day for two weeks,
then play music that causes acute nausea until you are glad to
get back to your favourite CD.
11. Cut a twin mattress in half and enclose three sides of your
bed. Add a roof that prevents you from sitting up (about 10
inches is a good distance) then place it on a platform that is
four feet off the floor. Place a small dead animal under the bed
to simulate the smell of your bunkmate's socks.
12. Set your alarm to go off at 10 minute intervals for the
first hour of sleep to simulate the various times the
watchstanders and nightcrew bump around and wake you up. Place
your bed on a rocking table to ensure you are tossed around the
remaining three hours. Make use of a custom clock that randomly
simulates fire alarms, police sirens, helicopter crash alarms,
and a new wave rock band.
13. Have week old fruit and vegetables delivered to your garage
and wait two weeks before eating them.
14. Prepare all meals blindfolded using all the spices you can
grope for, or none at all. Remove the blindfold and eat
everything in three minutes.
15. Periodically, shut off all power at the main circuit breaker
and run around shouting "fire, fire, fire" and then restore
16. At least once a month, force the commode to overflow to
simulate a 'black water system' boo boo.
17. Buy a gas mask and smear it with rancid animal fat. Scrub
the faceshield with steel wool until you can no longer see out
of it. Wear this for two hours every fifth day especially when
you are in the bathroom.
18. Study the owner's manual for all household appliances.
Routinely take an appliance apart and put it back together.
19. Remove all plants, pictures and decorations. Paint
everything gray, white, or the shade of hospital smocks.
20. Buy 50 cases of toilet paper and lock up all but two rolls.
Ensure one of these two rolls is wet all the time.
21. Smash your forehead or shins with a hammer every two days to
simulate collision injuries sustained onboard Navy ships.
22. When making sandwiches, leave the bread out for six days, or
until it is hard and stale.
23. Every 10 weeks, simulate a visit to another port. Go
directly to the city slums wearing your best clothes. Find the
worst looking place, and ask for the most expensive beer that
they carry. Drink as many as you can in four hours. Take a cab
home taking the longest possible route. Tip the cabby after he
charges you double because you dress funny and don't speak
24. Use fresh milk for only two days after each port visit.
25. Keep the bedroom thermostat at 2 deg C and use only a thin
blanket for warmth.
26. Ensure that the water heater is connected to a device that
provides water at a flow rate that varies from a fast drip to a
weak trickle, with the temperature alternating rapidly from 2
to 95 deg C.
27. Use only spoons which hold a minimum of 1/2 cup at a time.
28. Repaint the interior of your home every month, whether it
needs it or not.
29. Stand outside at attention at dawn and have the poorest
reader you know read the morning paper outloud. Be sure to have
him skip over anything pertinent.
30. Every four hours, check the fluid level in your car's
radiator. Check the tire pressure and replace air lost from
excessive pressure checks. Be sure to place red tag on ignition
stating "DANGER: DO NOT OPERATE" while you perform these checks.
Inform your neighbor as to the results of these checks, have him
tell you to repeat the checks because he did not see you perform
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