Wednesday, 29 January 2014
The unsinkable Captain Bill
'I was that close!' mooed Captain Bill. 'That close!'
'Bertha said five hours was long enough for anyone,' replied Horace.
'That's the trouble these days,' said Captain Bill. 'Rush, rush, rush! Nobody cares about doing anything properly any more. There was a time when people would have thought nothing of spending a day or two getting out of a harbour.'
'It's not something I have any real personal experience of,' replied Horace.
'It's a skill,' said Captain Bill. 'You can't teach it to just anybody. It can take years to master. In my opinion the trick is get the front end...'
'The bow?' asked Horace.
'Quite possibly,' replied Captain Bill. 'Try to get that out first and then even if you do clip a wall or two it won't do too much damage.'
'I'll try to remember,' said Horace.
'And here's a tip,' continued Captain Bill. 'When you look at a ship the front end is almost invariably more pointy than the back so you can tell them apart. Makes it much easier.'
'Bertha said our front end isn't very pointy anymore.'
'Nitpicking!' said Captain Bill. 'I'm pretty sure you'd still be able to tell the difference. Anyway it's not crucial.'
'Is that why you made the ship go backwards at one stage?' asked Horace.
'The thing is,' replied Captain Bill, 'a captain has to be willing to take risks, to think outside the box. In times of crisis it marks the difference between your average run of the mill captain and your gifted genius.'
'Norma said she'd never seen anything like it before.'
'There you go then!' said Captain Bill. 'They don't acknowledge it very often but they know when they're serving under someone who's different from the rest.'
'Yes...I suppose so,' replied Horace. 'So would you like to hear my new poem?'
'Err? Love to!' said Captain Bill. 'But the thing is....I really must....find my hat!'
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