It’s been another long summer, living alone, trying to entertain myself. Not that W. is that great an entertainer, but at least when he’s around I have a reason for talking out loud. Unlike now. I sometimes talk to my fish, but who knows if he hears anything from under water. Maybe he reads lips. And I sometimes make disparaging remarks to my computers, which up to this point in time refuse to converse with each other. They both want their own home groups, and neither will include the other. Obviously, there’s some little thing I’m missing and they don’t read lips either.
Chapters, how do I love thee? You reward me with little gems just for showing up and wandering around. “Table Topics” is an all plexiglass lidded cube full of square cards. Each card has a topic on it. In a sane household the family would sit down for dinner, a card would be drawn, the topic read, and the various answers discussed in a lively and delightful manner. Is ‘sane household’ an oxymoron? Probably.
Here’s my plan. On the days when Plinky “plonks” (i.e. asks something infuriatingly stupid) I’m going to draw a card from the box and blog about that! My computer is on a table, so it should all work out.
the most beautiful
This is how the cards throw a topic at you. They’re not big on capital letters or punctuation, so I find myself imagining a monotone robot type voice getting the idea out there but not caring in the least what your answer is or even if you have one. ….next…..card……please…..
Nope, I promised myself I’d answer whatever came up, no matter what. So the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken has to be the one through the Atlantic provinces last fall with my sister, her husband, and W. And all the stops along the way, of course. The rocks, the sand, the fierce winds, the ocean’s roar, beautifully offset by the flaming fall colors.
I think it was when we were leaving Hopewell Rocks that we put one of our new cd’s on and were listening to Paddy Lay Back, and other pieces of uniquely maritime music; ballads and reels about drunken sailors and phantom ships and rolling home and sailing away.
‘Twas a cold and dreary morning in December (December)
All of me money, it was spent, (Spent, spent)
Where it went to, Lord, I can’t remember (Remember)
So down to the shipping office I went (Went, went!)
Paddy lay back, (Paddy lay back!)
Take in the slack, (Take in the slack) Take a turn around the capstan, Heave a pawl! (Heave a pawl)
About ship’s stations, boys, be handy (Be handy!)
We’re bound for Valipariso ’round the Horn!
That day there was a great demand for sailors,
For the colonies, for ‘Frisco and for France.
So I shipped aboard a limey barque, the Hotspur,
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance.
Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm,
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’,
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.
Now some of our fellers had been drinkin’,
An’ I meself was heavy on the booze.
An’ I was on me ol’ sea-chest a’ thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.
I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
I knew I was outward bound again;
I hears a voice a-bawlin’ at the door,
“Lay aft, ye sods, an’ answer to yer names.”
‘Twas on the quarterdeck where I first saw ‘em.
Such an ugly bunch I never seen before,
For there was a bum and stiff from every quarter,
(For the captain had shipped a shanghai crew of Dutchmen)
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick and sore.
There was Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrost from France.
An’ most of them could speak no word of English,
But answered to the name of `Month’s Advance!’
I wisht I was in the “Jolly Sailor,”
Along with Irish Kate a-drinkin’ beer,
An’ then I thought what jolly chaps were sailors,
An’ with me flipper I wiped away a tear.
I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ’twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.
So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox.
I felt that I should skip an’ join another,
‘Twas plain that I had joined a lousy bitch;
But the chances wuz that I might join a worser,
An’ we might git through the voyage without a hitch.
I axed the mate a-which a-watch was mine-O,
Says he, “I’ll soon pick out a-which is which,”
An’ he blowed me down an’ kicked me hard a stern-O,
Callin’ me a lousy, dirty son o’ a bitch.
Now we singled up an’ got the tugs alongside,
They towed us through the locks an’ out to sea;
With half the crew a-pukin’ o’er the ship’s side,
An’ the bloody fun that started sickened me.
Although me poor ol’ head wuz all a-jumpin’,
We had to loose her rags the followin’ morn;
I dream the boardin’-master I was thumpin’,
When I found out he’d sent me around the Horn.
I swore I would become a beachie-comber,
An’ niver go to sea no ruddy more;
For niver did I want to be a roamer,
I’d shanghai the boardin’-master an’ stay ashore.
But when we got to bully ol’ Vallaparaiser,
In the Bay we dropped our mudhook far from shore;
The Ol’ Man he refused ter let us raise ‘er,
An’ he stopped the boardin’-masters comin’ aboard.
I quickly made me mind up that I’d jump ‘er,
I’d leave the beggar an’ git a job ashore;
I swum across the Bay an’ went an’ left ‘er,
An’ in the English Bar I found a whore.
But Jimmy the Wop he knew a thing or two, sir,
An’ soon he’d shipped me outward bound again;
On a Limey to the Chinchas for guanner,
An’ soon wuz I a-roarin’ this refrain.
So there was I once more again at sea, boys,
The same ol’ ruddy business o’er again.
Oh, stamp the caps’n round an’ make some noise, boys,
An’ sing again this dear ol’ sweet refrain.
The beauty of these songs is that they go on forever and you can sing along to the refrain between every silly verse, to the delight of youself and your sister and the dismay of your spouses who are trying to drive and navigate in the front seat. Awesome drive. Wish that IT could have gone on forever too.