What is a
Between the security of
childhood and the insecurity of second childhood we find a
fascinating group of humanity called sailors. They come in all
assorted sizes, weights and sobriety. They can be found
anywhere, on ships at sea, in shore bases, in bars, in love
and always in debt. Girls love them, towns tolerate them and
the government support them. A sailor is laziness with a pack
of cards, bravery with X tattooed arms and the protector of
the sea with a copy of ‘Men Only’.
They have the energy of a
turtle, the slyness of a fox, the brains of an idiot, the
stories of a sea captain, the sincerity of a liar and
aspirations of a Casanova, and when he wants something it is
usually connected with a request form.
of his interests are;
· Opposite sex
He dislikes answering letters,
wearing his uniform Pussers style, the ‘old man’, the ‘Jimmy’,
officers, Pusser’s grub and ‘Call the hands’.
No one else can cram into one
· A little green book
· A packet of crushed Players
· A picture of his girl
· A comb
· An old ‘station card’
· What’s left of his last fortnight’s pay
He likes to spend some of his
money on girls, some on beer, some on poker and the rest
A sailor is a magic creature;
you can lock him out of your home but not your heart. You can
scratch him off your mail list but not off your mind.
His is your long away from home
love and your one and only bleary-eyed good-for-nothing bundle
of worries, but all your shattered dreams become insignificant
when your sailor docks, looks at you with those bloodshot
bleary eyes and says - “Hiya Honey”.
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How do you know if you're a "Lifer"?
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 trucks going
uphill, and use foul language like a child uses sugar on
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 current events.
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
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 or night.
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
watch-keepers and night crew 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
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 face shield 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 grey, 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
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
25. Keep the bedroom thermostat at 35 degrees 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 28 degrees to 203 degrees.
27. Use only spoons which hold a minimum of 1/2 cup at a
28. Repaint the interior of your home every month, whether
it needs it or not.
29. Remind yourself every day: 'It's Not Just a Job, it's
30. Mix kerosene with your water supply to simulate the
de-sal plant on the ship picking up JP5 in the intake - if a
lit match thrown into your coffee pot doesn't ignite it, add
31. Stand outside at attention at dawn and have the
poorest reader you know read the morning paper out loud. Be
sure to have him skip over anything pertinent.
32. 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 neighbour as to the results of these
checks, have him tell you to repeat the checks because he did
not see you perform them.
33. Paint your house grey (exterior) include windows
except for rooms you do not frequent, paint your car grey,
paint your driveway a different shade of grey.
34. Wait outside your dining area as a family member eats
a meal, then have that person serve you a meal prepared
several hours earlier.
35. Shut all blinds and doors at sunset.
36. Clean your house 'till there's absolutely not a speck
of dust anywhere. Call on a stranger to come inspect your
house. Ensure stranger sees dust that has collected in the
time it took to find him. Stranger cannot leave until he finds
irrational fault with your house/belongings.
37. Hang Christmas lights in June. When the neighbours
ask, say, "deceptive lighting."
38. Hang white lights when relatives visit. When
neighbours ask, say, "friendship lights."
Smallie boy at Navy Days.
"Are you a sailor mister?"
"Sure am son", came the reply
"When I grow up I'm going to be a sailor too"
"You can do one or the other son, but not both!" came the
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