Friday Frippery! A conversation regarding whales…

Call me FF…

moby-dick-john-barrymore

Tap-thump! Tap-thump! Tap-thump! FF heard the unmistakeable sound of the captain crossing the deck.

“Ahoy, FF, thou lazy dog! Whyest dost thou lyeth there on that… thing… whilst Ahab practiceth his best cod Shakespearian?? Whatest is that thing, anyway, in the name of the gods above in Heaven, or perhaps the devils beneath in Hell! Or vice-versa. If Gods exist. Eth.”

FF raised her sunglasses and perched them on her golden curls. “It’s a sun-lounger, sir. Don’t you like it? I ordered it from Amazon and they had a drone drop it off an hour ago. It’s very comfortable.”

Ahab stuck his bone leg in the socket he had had specially made for it and, swivelling madly like Zebedee on his spring, cried out, “Thou liest here in the sun imbibing the devil’s grog…”

“It’s a margarita,” murmured FF, sipping.

“… when there is work to be (or not to be) done! Hast thou seen the great white whale?”

“No, and I’m at 92% now. Strange, isn’t it?”

Ahab ceased to swivel and fixed her with his mad eye. “Eh? 92%? Thou speakest in strange riddles as of one who has seen things not of nature!”

“Well, the book’s called Moby-Dick: or, the White Whale so you’d kinda think the whale would actually be in it, wouldn’t you?” FF waved her Kindle at the infuriated captain. “But no. We’ve sailed every sea in the entire world and not a blessed sign of him yet. A cheat, I call it! Plenty of other whales though – big ones, little ones, lots and lots of dead ones. And as for gory! Well, let’s just say I know more than I ever wanted to about how to skin them and squeeze the oil out of their blubber.” She shuddered, and sipped her margarita. “Sir.”

moby-dick-the_voyage_of_the_pequod

Ahab shook his fist at the cloudless sky. “Thou wasteth time reading stupid books on thy infernal device when thou shouldst be aloft the main mast searching for the monster whom thou hast sworn a great oath to destroyeth!”

“To be fair, though, sir, that was during the first night party and you’d been pretty generous with the old gin before you asked. I’m not sure that really counts as a proper oath.”

“Thy honour grovels on its lowly belly acrost the mud in the deeps where lie littered the bodies of great heroes and the monsters they pursued to their doom! Queequeg the cannibal shalt not fail me, he with his skin tattooed with marks that would scare the devils themselves. Nor even the poor, crazed savage, Pip, whose little black hand is nearly as soft as that of a decent white boy!”

“That reminds me, sir, an e-mail came in from Head Office. They want you to confirm you’ve completed the online training course in cultural sensitivity.”

“Aarghh! Get thee up to the lookout afore I call on the Heavens to strike thee with the unnatural fire of the corpusants!”

“No can do, I’m afraid, sir. Health and safety. You’ll just have to rely on the sonar equipment.”

“Gah! Art thou a yellow-bellied poltroon?? Thou wilt know real danger when Ahab sends thee in the little boat to stick harpoons in the monstrous Leviathan!”

FF shuddered. “I fear that won’t be possible, sir. Whaling has been outlawed by international convention. These days we use electricity to light our lamps.”

Ahab leapt up and down so hard his bone leg began to splinter. “Outlawed?! Never! For here, on the great ocean, Ahab is all – the captain, the King, the God! And the great white whale shall die, die horribly, because Ahab sayeth so! Look! What ist that strange vessel that approacheth?”

“It’s Greenpeace, sir. They’re here to protect the whale. I Skyped them when I realised you were insane, sir.”

Ahab turned purple with rage, and shook both fists at FF. “Thou hast ruined my revenge! Truly, verily, and yea, ’tis true what they say! To allow a woman aboardeth a ship is folly, for they are cursed, and curseth those who saileth with them!” Tap-thump! Tap-thump! Tap-thump!

“Silly old misogynist!” murmured FF, as she lay back on her lounger and opened the new Ian Rankin.

moby-dick-cartoon

HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY! 😉

42 thoughts on “Friday Frippery! A conversation regarding whales…

  1. 😆 Oh, FIctionFan, this is priceless! Absolutely fabulous! I really like the way you’ve played with language here, and bringing in Greenpeace was a brilliant touch. I really do have to wonder what would happen if Captain Ahab really did have to manage in today’s world….

    • Haha! Thank you, Margot! I had to get it out of my system – therapy, you know? 😉 I felt Ahab might have benefited from a bit of therapy too… or possibly from being chucked overboard…

  2. Welcome back! Not a convert, then?
    The Great White Whale could have been swimming about in my kitchen this week – the boiler burst. The repair people came straight out, but naturally, we need a part that has to be ordered, so I have heat but no hot water until further notice: life is such fun, isn’t it?

    • I fear not! Though it was almost worth it for the overwhelming sense of relief on reaching the end… 😉

      Oh no! Hope it gets fixed soon – but with the freezing weather, better that than hot water and no heating!

  3. Ah, quite enamoured of the whale and the captain, then? 😉
    You can’t win them all! And maybe I just remember the two or three passages which I actually read in my teens, rather than the long boring bits in-between, which I probably skipped.

    • It was worth it for the overwhelming sense of relief when I finally reached the end… 😉

      Yes, in all seriousness, there were some bits I enjoyed a lot – but so much stuff that just needed to end up on the cutting room floor…

  4. Ah….so finally I understand your ‘reading slump’ You have been gloomily trying to wade through blubber. I am at least delighted you have risen above it to produce a sparkling piece of writing about a clearly rather trying piece of reading.

    I look forward to reading recovery for you with the Rankin. If you really want a thoroughly enjoyable read I recommend (following a conversation with Karen/kaggsy on her site, Beverley Nichols A-Z of cats. One from my youth, which I thought had been lost, but o joy I found it, battered from many reads over the years, on my bookshelves. There are many cats, charmingly discussed, and in a very short book they appear all the way through. I can’t remember a single reference to whales, though fish appear quite a lot, being carefully cooked for cats of discerning palate

    • Six weeks it took me to find that blasted whale! As November 8th showed, America’s definition of “great” is very different from mine, I fear… 😉

      My slump does appear to be over finally, thank goodness – I’ve been racing through the books during my bloggy break! The cat book sounds lovely – I could read it aloud to Tuppence at bedtime. Er… everyone reads to their cat, right? I mean, it’s not just me, is it…??

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