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Mental sound collage.

You know the "snow" on television sets when there's no signal? The way it sounds? Turn the volume down in your head, until it's a hiss.

Add in another sound: A flag flapping in a stiff breeze, with the occasional metallic noise as the clips hit the flagpole.

And this one: the sound of your air conditioning unit, from the outside. Turn that noise down in your head until you can hear it, the flag, and the hiss.

The next sound might be a little tricky. Think jets...think about that rumble noise--not the whine--but the low rumble you hear in the airport when the jets are sitting on the tarmac, just idling. Mute that, as if it's on the other side of a very thick wall.

Tuck in the loud and clear sound of a bell being struck eight times (a good brass bell, not a little chimey thing): ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding.

If you can imagine them all together, then you're standing amidships, port side, on a destroyer at sea, most likely at lunchtime or the end of the regular workday. The "snow" is the sound of the water rushing past the hull. The flag is exactly that--the ensign that flies above your head, plus any signal flags. The a/c unit is the ship's ventillation, and the jet engine noise actually comes from the jet engines...except on ships, they're called gas turbines. And the bell? Well, that's telling you what time it is--in this case, 1200 or 1600. (That's noon and 4 pm.)

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