Navy Shipboard Simulation
Courtesy of David R.
HOW TO SIMULATE US NAVY SHIPBOARD LIFE IN YOUR HOME
1. When commencing this simulation, remember to lock all friends and
family outside, communicating only with letters that your neighbor will
hold for a month before delivering, losing one out of every five.
2. Surround yourself with 150 people you would not choose to be with:
people who chain smoke, fart loudly and often, snore like a steam
locomotive on an uphill grade. People who use expletives in speech like
children use sugar on cereal are good candidates.
3. Unplug all radios and televisions to cut yourself off completely from
the outside world, but have a neighbor bring you last month's issues of
Time, Newsweek, The Retired Officer, and Playboy (with all the
4. Monitor all operating home appliances hourly, recording vital
parameters (plugged in, light comes on as door is opened, etc.). If not in
use, log as "SECURED." Make line drawing of all piping and electrical circuits.
5. Do not flush toilets for the first three days to simulate the smell of
forty people using it. After that, flush and overflow once daily. At least
every five days, post a sign stating "The Sewage System is Secured Until
Further Notice." It is OK to forget to remove this sign. Take a shower
using only a gallon of water to simulate underway sea showers.
6. Wear only proper uniform attire or approved coveralls in designated
areas. No special T-shirts or other clothing. Once a month, weather not
withstanding, clean and press one uniform, go outside, and stand for one
half hour, after which you may change back into your proper uniform.
7. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time, until you are bald
or you look as though you have tangled with a demented sheepshearer.
8. Work in 18-hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a time to ensure
your body doesn't know or care it it's daytime or night. At random
intervals, announce that you will either add or subtract an hour
from the apparent time.
9. Listen to your favorite cassette six times a day for two weeks, then
play music that causes nausea until you are glad to get back to your
10. Cut a single bed in half lengthwise, and enclose three sides. Add a
roof that prevents you from sitting in any position (18" is a good
height). Replace the mattress with a steel plate and cover it with three
inches of foam to duplicate a shipboard bunk. Place a dead animal under
your bed to simulate the smell of your cubemate's sheets.
11. Set your alarm clock to go off at the "snooze" setting interval for
the first hour of sleep to simulate the various alarms of watchstanders
going off at odd times. Place your bed on a rocking table to ensure that
you're tossed from side to side for the remaining three hours.
12. Prepare all food while blindfolded, using all the spices that you can
grope for, to simulate shipboard food. Add salt. Remove the blindfold and
eat as fast as is humanly possible. Add more salt. If the food does not
stick to an inverted plate when served cold, add more lard. Add more
salt. If the food contains at least one part per thousand of fiber,
dispose of it. Add more salt. Beat you plate enthusiastically against the
side of the trash can when disposing of your leftovers.
13. Periodically shut off power at the main breaker and run around
screaming "Fire in the engine room! Fire in the engine room!" until you
sweat profusely or lose your voice, then restore power.
14. Buy a gas mask and scrub the faceplate with steel wool until you can't
see out of it. Wear it for two hours every fifth day.
15. Study the owners manual for all appliances in the dwelling. At regular
intervals, take each one apart and put it back together again, then test
operate it at the extreme limit of its tolerances.
16. Remove all plants, pictures, and decorations. Paint all furnishings
Haze grey. Stencil everything with numbers.
17. To ensure a clean and happy environment, clean every day from top to
bottom. Whenever possible, repeat your efforts. when finished, inspect
your work, criticizing as much as possible. Never be satisfied with a
good, solid effort.
18. Once a day, plug in your TV to watch a movie that you walked out on
two years ago. Then watch "That's Incredible" for two hours.
19. Since you have no doctor, stock up on as many antacids, aspirin,
Band-Aids, condoms, Robitussin, and suppositories as possible.
These will cure any disease known to Mankind.
20. Prepare yourself for an emergency that will force you to leave the
dwelling, knowing that if you leave, the biker gang you hired will
simulate sharks and cut off your arms and legs. Study "First Aid for
bleeding," and the fire extinguisher owner's manual until you can quote
21. Every three weeks or so, go outside directly to the city slums,
wearing your best clothes. Enter the raunchiest bar you can find and order
their expensive beer. Drink as many as you can pour down in four hours,
then hire a cab to return you by the longest route he can find. Tip the
driver even though he doubled your fare. Lock yourself back in your
dwelling for three more weeks.
22. This simulation must run at least 90 days to be effective. The exact
date of the end of the simulation will be changed no fewer than seven
times without your knowledge. This is done to keep you guessing as to when
you can hope to resume a normal life, and in the hopes that it will screw
up any plans you might like to make.
This guide was designed to assist those who would like to, but haven't had
the opportunity or privilege to enjoy an extended period of time
aboard a United States Navy vessel.