Following a year-long case study aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), medical
examiners have concluded that many Sailors on the ship are showing symptoms of
BROS, otherwise known as Bob Ross Overexposure Syndrome.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) steams in the Western Pacific. (Image created
February 22, 2018 by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Spike Call, March 17, 2007)
Non-lethal by nature, BROS is characterized by a calming, lethargic state in
which the subject shows little-to-no interest in their surroundings while
viewing the popular instructional television program “The Joy of Painting. “
Named after the host of the show, BROS shows many symptoms that came to define
the departed painter. Mild to severe symptoms include soft speech,
uncontrollable urges to paint “happy little trees” and in serious cases,
sporadic permed afro growth.
“There I was sitting on the couch in the supply lounge and I started to feel
this itch on the back of my head,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Bert Orss.
“Next thing I know, I have an eight-inch afro extending from my head.”
Orss said he didn’t immediately seek medical attention because “Bob was midway
through his landscape and I had to see where he was going next.”
While cases like Orss’ aren’t uncommon on the ship, other Sailors are beginning
to wonder about how the show is impacting the daily lives of their shipmates.
“I don’t know man, it seems like a totally relaxed and harmless television show
but I’m starting to see the true side of it,” said Intelligence Specialist 1st
Class Bill Alexander. “This Ross guy seems a little shady to me and I’m starting
to think he is brainwashing us all.”
To this date, no evidence has been uncovered to verify this claim. All
indicators seem to point back towards BROS.
Experts say that while the syndrome may appear to be brainwashing, it is much
more likely that the trance-like state is both voluntary and enjoyable.
“To be honest, the Sailors look positively thrilled to be watching Bob Ross on
television,” said a medical examiner who wished to remain anonymous. “They
willingly become engulfed in the show and just melt away to their own little
Whether viewers are willingly embracing BROS or “The Joy of Painting” is indeed
brainwashing them, it certainly seems to be exactly how Ross thought painting
"I got a letter from somebody here a while back, and they said, 'Bob, everything
in your world seems to be happy,' said Ross. “That's for sure. That's why I
paint. It's because I can create the kind of world that I want, and I can make
this world as happy as I want it.”
Though people around the ship are starting to take notice of BROS, many have no
motivation to stop the spread of the phenomenon.
“Everyone is so relaxed now,” said Chief Hull Technician Linda Brown. “It’s hard
enough being on patrol, so if you ask me, we should have Bob Ross on every
station on the ship if it means we aren’t all at each other’s throats.”
Before becoming an instructional television painter, Ross retired from the
United States Air Force after serving 20 years. Before eventually reaching the
rank of master sergeant, Ross served as the first sergeant of the U.S. Air Force
Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, where he first saw the snow and
mountains that later became recurring themes in his artwork.
Ross was diagnosed with lymphoma in the early 1990s, which eventually forced his
retirement after The Joy of Painting's final episode aired on May 17, 1994. He
died at the age of 52 on July 4, 1995.
Through his engaging painting approach and timid personality, Ross has inspired
thousands around the world. While he may be gone, his spirit is still alive and
thriving in the passageways of Ronald Reagan. For those that need a daily
pick-me-up or that just need an escape for the day, please tune in to SITE-TV so
that you may also contract BROS and maybe relax under your own “happy little
By U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Martin
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