Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Oh, Captain

THE NORTH ATLANTIC, 1914

“Attention, attention! This is your captain speaking! The boat is sinking and we must evacuate. Get to the lifeboats and board them, women and children first.”

“Captain?”

“Yes, Jenkins?”

“The women and children first? What about the physically handicapped?”

“Oh, yes. Good catch, Jenkins.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Attention! Captain again! Slight correction: cripples first, followed by women and children. Thank you.”

“Sir, language!”

“Oh, quite right. Attention! Cripples first please, followed by women and children. Thank you very much.”

“Not what I meant, sir.”

“It’s 1914, Jenkins. The legless bastards are lucky I don’t throw them overboard.”

“Oh, sir.”

“What we used to do in the old days. Why, I remember my first command: crippled a few men with my own cane just aso the men could toss them into the sea. Kept morale up. That and the buggery.”

“Not really time for reminiscing, Captain.”

“No, no. Attention, attention! To the lifeboats, please! Mustn’t dawdle about!”

“Perhaps, Captain, you might use slightly more forceful language.”

“WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”

“Not that forceful.”

“Jenkins, who is the captain here?”

“You’re the captain, Captain.”

“And you will bloody well remember that and stop nitpicking at me.”

“A thousand apologies, sir.”

“This is a very stressful situation and your tone-policing doesn’t help.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Now, Jenkins: after the crippled, and those despised by God enough to be born woman, and the children who should be at a factory instead of on a ship, who gets on the lifeboats next?”

“Do you listen to yourself?”

“Jenkins, I am a powerful white man: it is my duty to speak; it is other’s to listen.”

“That does explain why you ignored everyone telling you about the iceberg.”

“How dare you, boy! That blasted ‘berg dashed in front of the ship!”

“Captain, it was the size of Gibraltar. Not the rock: the town surrounding it with all the monkeys and tourists.”

“Utter bosh, I say! Little scamp ran like a native!”

“Yes, Captain.”

“Attention, attention! This is the captain! None of this is my fault, no matter what Jenkins says: he’s a little twit!”

“Oh, very mature, sir.”

“Now that that’s settled: who comes after the children?”

“Sir?”

“The women and children and then…whom?”

“The men, I would suppose.”

“A bit vague, Jenkins. ‘The men.’ Apt to cause a bother. Should have a proper order.”

“How, sir?”

“Surely, the rich men should be first.”

“No, sir.”

“Then, at least, the Irish should be last.”

“No, sir.”

“Blast your eyes, Jenkins! Blast them!”

“My eyes, sir?”

“No, Jenkins: Bette Davis’ eyes.”

“She hasn’t been born yet, sir.”

“No?”

“No, sir. It’s 1914.”

“I believe she was born in 1908, Jenkins.”

“Sir, please stop checking Wikipedia on your phone. Again: it’s 1914 and Titanic is sinking. Do something.”

“This is the Titanic? I had no idea. Have we mentioned it?”

“No, sir. But, you know: boat, iceberg…”

“Jenkins, every ship I’ve ever commanded has run into an iceberg.”

“You’re an awful captain, Captain.”

“Yes.”

“How did you even get this job?”

“I look good in the hat.”

“You do.”

“Yes.”

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