Tuesday, August 2, 2011

For Sunday Scribblings and ABC Wednesday

“C” is for “Cargo”

“The most important thing is, we must remain calm.”
“Remain calm? What is there to remain calm about?”
“Oh, there’s Mrs. Krumwieser. We wondered where you were.”
“I was checking out the boats.”
“You looked on the starboard side?”
“I don’t know which that is. Is that the side that’s on my left?”
“Depends on how you’re facing.”
“Well, the way I’m facing now.”
“Starboard is right, if you’re facing forward."
"Look, folks, that's all very interesting but to save precious time, did you see any boats?”
“No. There don’t seem to be any.”
“I coulda told you that. I looked earlier. The boats are gone.”
“Are we all here? All eight of us?”
“Yes. Have any of you realized what an incredible situation we’re in? I am steadily approaching a state of near-hysteria.”
“But we’ve got to stay calm.”
“I kept telling Mrs Krumwieser we should take a Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise. But no, she wanted a cruise on a freighter. The romance of life on a small cargo ship! Well, this is the romance – we’re stuck on a small cargo ship and the cargo’s on fire.”
“Read that note again.”
“’Emergency. Fire in hold. Gone for help.’ And it’s signed by – can’t make out the name. Maybe the captain.”
“And he and the crew went in the boats. Could be they know what the cargo is and it’s something that's gonna blow up so they just panicked and took off.”
“Good to know they had a reason. All this was going on while we were in our rooms recovering from that lunch. Migod, those canned Brussels sprouts!”
“Our problem at the moment is a bit more unpleasant than those, though they were unpleasant enough. I didn't know they even made canned Brussels sprouts. What have you got there, Bob?”
“Fire extinguisher. Only one I could find.”
“That looks older than this freighter, if that’s possible. You planning to go down into the hold and fight the fire with that?”
“You got any better ideas?”
“What we should do is get on the ship’s radio and call for help.”
“Who knows how to operate a ship’s radio? You don’t just dial 911.”
“I know how to send ‘SOS’ – three dots, three dashes, three dots.”
“Good. Get Marconi on the line and send it to him.”
“When I think that tonight was to be karaoke night. Frank was dying to do his ‘Moon River.’”
“Afraid we’ll miss out on that pleasure. We may need him to do ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ a bit later.”
“Look, when the skipper and the crew reach land they’ll report the situation, so the rescue helicopters should soon be here.”
“If we’re lucky, before this old bucket blows up.”
“Maybe we should go and see just what kind of cargo we’ve got down below. It could be something like wheat flour, so a fire wouldn’t be all that dangerous.”
“Yeah, we could be sitting on the world’s largest pancake.”
“Situations like this are difficult for Mr. Krumwieser. He has a tendency to suffer from acid reflux.”
“Now, Martha, I don’t want any special treatment. I avoided the canned Brussels sprouts so I’ll be all right.”


mrsnesbitt said...

Oh the mention of the title brought memories flooding back of my late father in law who would recite John Masefield's "cargoes" poem - do you know it?

QUINQUIREME of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Kay L. Davies said...

Looks like Masefield and Mrs. N. beat you for variety in the cargo department, Berowne, but I like your wheat flour for the world largest pancake, and the canned Brussels sprouts were an extra special touch! LOL
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

EG Wow said...

Canned Brussels sprouts sound worse than awful! But a humongous pancake? It must be time for lunch here. :)

Berowne said...

mrs n: Ah yes, I was a big Masefield fan. When I was but a little tad I used to bore everyone with my recital of "Sea Fever."
Later, when I went to sea for some four years, the romance of "the wheel's kick and the wind's song, and a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking" didn't seem so romantic.:-)

Berowne said...

Kay L D: "The canned Brussels sprouts were an extra special touch! LOL"
You must try them... :-)

Anonymous said...

I think my favorite reference was the karaoke and "Nearer My God To Thee." Just the thought of canned Brussels sprouts makes me queasy, let alone trying to eat them! Great job, Berowne!

Berowne said...

A wonderful comment from s.l.pencil -- thanks. :-)

Roger Green said...

Arrgh. Canned. Brussel sprouts.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

You know, I actually like brussel sprouts - steamed...but the thought of them CANNED! Well, I don't think so...Dying to know what happens! lol

lightverse said...

Did they play "Nearer My God to Thee" on the Titanic? I cannot remember. Anyway, the canned Brussel sprouts and the world's largest pancake were brilliant. Maybe this could be an episode of a new mini-series, as shown on the Food Network. ☼

Harry Nicholson said...

I enjoyed that. It is rare to find a sea story these days. At one time I was a radio officer in the merchant navy, Liverpool to India and even sailed on a dirty British coaster beating up the Channel full of coal.

oldegg said...

This was a pleasure indeed to been taken for a ride (oops!) voyage of this class. A laugh on every line.

keiths ramblings said...

A delightful piece beautifully written. Love it.

Anna :o] said...

Excellent tale!

Canned brussel sprouts indeed do exist - not excellent!

Anna :o]

Blog designed by Blogger Boutique using Christy Skagg's "A Little Bit of That" kit.