A Night To Remember

SCENE:  It’s May of 1912 – a few weeks after the sinking of the SS Titanic captured the world’s headlines.  Scene fades in on the SS Metaphoric – a steamship billed as “The Next Best Thing To The Titanic!” – plowing through the icy North Atlantic.  It’s a dark, chilly evening, with the light from a few stars illuminating the occasional glint of ice on the horizon. 

CUT TO the First Class passenger lounge.  A group of passengers – Garth Muller, Ludwig von Nicholaus, Joe Smith and Otto Klarinette – are drinking and discussing the affairs of the day.

CUT TO deck.  Zoom in to crow’s nest, where the lookout, a plucky cockney named Tim Shaw, reacts with alarm to an oncoming apparition.  He picks up a phone.

SHAW:  “Iceberg!  Right ahead!

CUT TO Bridge.  Captain O. B. Barry, who was appointed Captain five years earlier after serving on cruise line’s board of directors for two years, picks up the phone. 

BARRY: Let me be clear.  It’s OK.  We’re too big to sink.  And we inherited our charts from the previous captain!

SCENE:  Ship plows into iceberg.  Montage of scenes of flooding below decks.  

VON NICHOLAUS:  What was that?

BARTENDER:  I think we hit an iceberg, sir.

MULLER:  Haw haw haw!  Time to cash it in!  This boat’s gonna sink!  We’re all doomed!

SMITH:  Um, hang on, guys; this room is crawling with wood tables, veneer, kegs, things that we can make float.  There’s a spool of rope on the deck outside…

VON NICHOLAUS:  Nope!  It’s gonna sink!

KLARINETTE:  Of course, since the cruise line is a corporation, falsely given a human-like existence to protect the banksters, nobody will be held responsible for it!

MULLER:  Who cares!  We’re going down!  Bartender, pour me another one!  Everyone’s gonna die!

VON NICHOLAUS:  It’s like we were taught back in Vienna…

SMITH hauls empty tables out to promenade deck outside, slashes rope into 12 foot lengths and starts lashing tables together.  BARTENDER starts frantically opening the beer taps, letting beer and soft drink kegs empty into the drains.  

KLARINETTE: they’re calling “women and children first!”

MULLER: Pfft.  The way this line was run, they’re better off dead anyway

SMITH and BARTENDER wrestle empty beverage kegs into place and lash them below te tables, effecting a crude but effective floatation device. 

VON NICHOLAUS:  If only the cruise line board of directors had listened to us!

KLARINETTE: We warned them!

VON NICHOLAUS: At the 1908 Cruise Line board meeting!   “Don’t ram icebergs!”, we said.  And they shouted us down!

MULLER: Well, this’ll show them!

VON NICHOLAUS:  all these sheeple have it coming!  They could have supported us.   They deserve what they get!

SMITH and the BARTENDER attach a rope rail around the upturned table legs.  SHAW moves a small kitchen grill onto the raft, and starts cooking hot hogs.   The BAND starts playing “Nearer My God To Thee”. 

KLARINETTE:  (Watching crowds racing for lifeboat) Stupid short-sighted sheeple.

SMITH and the BARTENDER start waving women and children aboard the the raft.  As the water laps up to the edge of the raft, they beckon the band aboard.  They start playing “We Are The Champions”  

SMITH: (as water floats the raft and starts to flow into the bar) Guys! Raft!

MULLER: Haven’t you heard? The ship is sinking. Belly up, the worlds come to and end!

VON NICHOLAUS: we’re all gonna die.

KLARINETTE: because the sheeple didn’t listen to us.

MULLER:  we’ve all for it coming.

SMITH: No, listen – the raft.  It floats!

VON NICHOLAUS:   What?  When I could be on a ship?

CAPTAIN BARRY (over the loudspeaker): Remember; it’s the previous captain’s fault, and you didn’t build or launch those lifeboats.

(Raft crowded with passengers  floats free and paddles over to lifeboats as ship slips beneath the waves.)

VON NICHOLAUS: Stupid sheeple! We told you so!





5 thoughts on “A Night To Remember

  1. Mitch, a new steel mill is being built next year in your hometown of Jamestown. It will use iron ore from NE Minnesota. They looked at building it in Minnesota, using waste wood from logging, as the market for their steel is out east, but chose to go west to Jamestown.

    Why? Among other reasons, the builders said Minnesota is too hard to work with. Score some nice high paying industrial jobs for NoDak over anti-business Minnesota.

    Elections have consequences.

  2. Well, here’s another one for you.

    Arrow Electronics, based in Denver, which these days is worse than MN, has a large office in Eden Prairie, where about 100 people work. They announced on Monday, that they are closing the office here and moving all of the workload to Denver. From what I have learned, only 12 people will be offered new gigs in Denver, but they have to absorb their own moving expenses.

  3. This is highly amusing, since I am FB friends with one of the people portrayed here, and am aware of one of the other ones. I don’t know who Otto is, unless you reversed genders in character.

  4. Pingback: Splendidly Above It All | Shot in the Dark

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