SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The fattest service nine years running, the Navy is seeking a solution to the obesity epidemic sweeping our nation’s military. The service has made it clear, however, that the solution must not entail regular unit physical training or actual, enforced height/weight standards. Leading from the deckplates, the sailors of the USS Laboon (DDG-58) claim they have found the answer.
“Two words, three syllables: ‘SLOW. FEEDER.’” said Culinary Specialist Second Class, Jackson Smith, referring to the fun, puzzle food bowl for pets. “These heffalumps are walking through my chow line, piling their plate with mashed potatoes and chicken fried steak.”
“I actually had to hide the dessert tray in the back because they would just park a chair in front of it and go hog wild.”
Smith said that his breaking point occurred two months back, when he was trapped behind a sailor wedged in a ladderwell. Running back to the mess decks, he grabbed a 10-gallon bucket of standard issue horse grease and buttered up the bulky bluejacket, getting under his haunches and heaving upward until he popped through the hatch like a super Mario brother emerging from a warp pipe.
Smith was awarded a Naval Achievement Medal for his quick thinking but then was sent to Mast and demoted after beating that same trapped sailor with a galley tray when he came back through the chow line for seconds on pizza and wings night.
Holding that twisted, contorted tray in his hands, a light bulb went off and Smith realized how he could save his shipmates from pre-diabetes and salvage the pride of his service. The industrious chef quickly designed a prototype for his newly-patented “Sailor Slow-Feeder” tray and within a month, the entire galley of the Laboon was converted to the new hardware.
“I thought he was crazy at first,” said Lt. Cdr. Jim Daily, the ship’s supply officer, “but PRT scores have gone up by 29 percent and our obesity rate has gone down from the Navy standard of a whopping 22 percent to 17 percent in just a few months. This enlisted man is a genius and I can’t wait to take credit for his work on my next fitness report.”
Yet for all of the invention’s benefits, it doesn’t take a finely tuned ear to hear the grumbling among the ranks.
“It’s not fair, I’m not an animal,” said Seaman Michael Rover, a spunky Boatswain’s Mate with fluffy blond hair, brown eyes, a wet nose, and a propensity to wolf down every meal until his hiccups cause him to cough it back up.
But despite his complaints, Rover’s chain of command has noticed the little rascal getting healthier.
“He has more energy than before. He’ll run on the treadmill for hours if I let him and his bowels are more regular” said Rover’s division officer, Ens. Gerald Wester. “Even his coat is shinier than before.”
At press time, Smith said he plans to get out of the Navy and market his invention in the private sector. Sources say that he’s already locked down Vince from Slapchop and Shamwow as a spokesman.