In recent news, a U.S. Navy minesweeper ran aground off the coast of the Philippines, forcing an evacuation and raising the question of how to get it unstuck. Navy officers working on the project eventually concluded that it could only be removed piece by piece, rather than all at once. The process, of course, is not without its setbacks.
“There aren’t many members of the Navy who are any good at this game,” said Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Anthony Falvo, “My personal record’s about a minute on beginner mode. Some of the majors can do better, but they haven’t really played in a while. We decided it would be better to leave this to the experts, so we brought in some outside help.”
Heading the dismantling effort is 38-year old Ernst Weatherby, a man with no prior military involvement who is reported to have not left his mother’s basement in over a decade. Upon learning of the Navy’s predicament, he is said to have declared proudly that ‘[he] has been preparing for this day [his] entire life’.
When asked about his credentials, Weatherby only replied, “Please. I’ve been playing Minesweeper since before you were in diapers. I can flag a mine with a single mouseclick. I’ve beaten beginner mode in less than five seconds and advanced in under a minute. You couldn’t have picked a better man for the job.”
Weatherby and his twelve-nerdling team were flown out a few days after the decision to dismantle the minesweeper was reached and the removal is expected to take about a month. When asked why it would take so much time, the team admitted, “Well, the interface they’ve set up for us isn’t perfect. The cranes take a while to move each square out of the way, and then we’ve got to wait for the dive team to tell us what the number underneath them was. And it’s been taking us a while to start because you just know the first square we pick is going to have a bomb under it.”
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the minesweeper to run aground, but suspect it had something to do with someone using the ship’s computers to play Solitaire.