It’s been 15 years since I was discharged from the Navy, but some of these came vividly alive to me:
1. Buy a dumpster, paint it gray inside and out, and live in it for six months.
2. Run all the pipes and wires in your house exposed on the walls.
3. Repaint your entire house every month.
4. Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of the bathtub and move the shower head to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you turn off the water while you soap down.
5. Put lube oil in your humidifier and set it on high.
6. Once a week, blow air up your chimney, with a leaf blower and let the wind carry the soot onto your neighbor’s house. Ignore his complaints.
7. Once a month, take all major appliances apart and reassemble them.
8. Raise the thresholds and lower the headers of your front and back doors so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through them.
9. Disassemble and inspect your lawnmower every week.
10. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, turn your water heater temperature up to 200 degrees. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, turn the water heater off. On Saturdays and Sundays tell your family they use too much water, so no bathing will be allowed.
11. Raise your bed to within 6 inches of the ceiling, so you can’t turn over without getting out and then getting back in.
12. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your spouse whip open the curtain about 3 hours after you go to sleep, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and say “Sorry, wrong rack.”
13. Make your family qualify to operate each appliance in your house – dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc. Re-qualify every 6 months.
14. Have your neighbor come over each day at 0500, blow a whistle so loud Helen Keller could hear it, and shout “Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up.”
15. Have your mother-in-law write down everything she’s going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in your back yard at 0600 while she reads it to you.
16. Submit a request chit to your father-in-law requesting permission to leave your house before 1500.
17. Empty all the garbage bins in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day, whether it needs it or not. “Now sweepers, sweepers, man your brooms, give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft, empty all trash cans and butt kits!”)
18. Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines, and randomly lose every 5th item before delivering the rest.
19. Watch no TV except for movies played in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one– the same one every night.
20. When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting “Now general quarters, general quarters! All hands man your battle stations!)
21. Make your family’s menu a week ahead of time without consulting the pantry or refrigerator.
22. Post a menu on the kitchen door informing your family that they are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for an hour. When they finally get to the kitchen, tell them you are out of steak, but they can have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they ignore the menu and just ask for hot dogs.
23. Bake a cake. Prop up one side of the pan so the cake bakes unevenly. Spread icing real thick to level it off.
24. Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. (Midrats)
25. Set your alarm clock to go off at random during the night. At the alarm, jump up and dress as fast as you can, making sure to button your top shirt button and tuck your pants into your socks. Run out into the backyard and uncoil the garden hose.
26. Every week or so, throw your cat or dog into the pool and shout “Man overboard, port side!” Rate your family members on how fast they respond.
27. Put the headphones from your stereo on your head, but don’t plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove, and speak into the paper cup, “Stove manned and ready.” After an hour or so, speak into the cup again “Stove secured.” Roll up the headphones and paper cup and stow them in a shoebox.
28. Make your family turn out all the lights and go to bed at 10 p.m. “Now taps, taps! Lights out! Maintain silence throughout the ship!” Then immediately have an 18-wheeler crash into your house. (For aircraft carrier sailors.)
29. Build a fire in a trash can in your garage. Loudly announce to your family, “This is a drill, this is a drill! Fire in hangar bay one!”
30. Place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have your family stand in front of the podium for 4-hour intervals. Best done when the weather is worst. January is a good time.
31. Next time there’s a bad thunderstorm in your area, find the biggest horse you can, put a two-inch mattress on his back, strap yourself to it and turn him loose in a barn for six hours. Then get up and go to work.
32. For former engineers: bring your lawn mower into the living room, and run it all day long.
33. Make coffee using eighteen scoops of budget priced coffee grounds per pot, and let the pot simmer for 5 hours before drinking.
34. Have someone under the age of ten give you a haircut with sheep shears.
35. Sew the back pockets of your jeans onto the front.
36. Add 1/3 cup of Diesel fuel to the laundry.
37. Take hourly readings on your electric and water meters.
38. Lock yourself and your family in the house for six weeks. Tell them that at the end of the 6th week you’ll take them to Disney World for liberty. At the end of the 6th week, inform them the trip to Disney World has been canceled because they need to get ready for an inspection, and it will be another week before they can leave the house.