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"ten degrees of port... midships... fifteen degrees of starboard!"

"'old on, 'old on mate!" cried Jack me 'earty, as he struggled to turn the wheel first to the left, then midships then to the right. He was getting old and he just knew it. Earlier that watch he'd heard a buzz that Admiral of The Fleet Sir Percy Matelot had banned all matelots who could remember the 1470s and earlier, from The Fleet, which was henceforth to be the sole preserve of the disposible nappy generation - the very people polluting the environment! The Master had ordered Nutty to read the signal wearing a blindfold, thus ensuring it was logged as not received.

"Fifteen degrees of starboard, wheel on sir!" panted Jack
"Wheel's a midships sir"

Just as the boat turned Geoffrey slipped on some spilt custard from the duff and accidentally tossed the mermaid into the pot of thickers. Before she had time to scream as the tepid stew ruined her new silvery skirt, Uncle Albert came to the rescue, having realised he'd been the victim of yet another practical joke. There was no schoolie on board! In he jumped and grabbed the Mermaid and leapt out with her tucked safely under his arm and took her to........................
The side of the ship and threw her overboard saying,good girl, go get nutty,she dragged him to the side of the ship,placed a hook in his mouth and cried haul away in a sirens voice,when they got him inboard he looked around and screamed.....................
"I was feeling depressed after Sir Percy's comments, I just couldn't handle it no more!"

"There, there,"

said the Whitemouse, who was investigating this strange behaviour of British matelots,

"Whitemouse will look after Nutty. Sling his hammock someone and make sure his matress is nice and soft and comfy... and don't forget his teddy bear!"

For Whitemouse knew from the Naval Ratings Handbook that sailors need their teddy bears as much as they need their bedtime stories, cocoa, biscuits and bars of nutty to help them sleep at night. Another odd facet of British matelot behaviour, worthy of a special tome in its own right!

Suddenly Dunkers appeared wielding his new cat and 99 tails. Not a feline in merry England was safe from this pussy butcher. In Pompey it was said that half the cats were tailless and that this was A Sign from Him of Bad Thing to Come. It was of course nothing of the sort, but these mediæval folk had all sorts of beliefs we'd regard as absurd today.

Dunkers called his Mate, Gerald, and said...................
Whos playing that fcucking music
And rushed to the Capns side and administered a sedative made from seaweed to calm him down while he extracted the hook from his mouth,meanwhile dear reader we have to return to love element of this mariners tale.Sneaky Pete and Wompers were at it again in his hammock,dicussing arrangement for the big day,when the Deacons Daughter approached,by her side was an exquisite creature of oriental extraction her name was Ting Tong,she was dressed in the finest of silks and her eyes were oval and deep brown,so was her...but i digress,she came from a place in the east called Siam,and a town called Banned Cock,which was noted for things oriental,they also had with them the vicar,who was drooling with lust,it was at that moment Shamus o fool arrived with his huge shel shilla club and started to...........
smash his own head in in front of the lusty matelots. Wompers had seen too much of this sort of pathetic male behaviour before, drew out her handbagge and bashed the bugger on the head, knocking his senseless.

"Now Padre," she said firmly, in her no nonsense matter, "Sneaky and I are going to be married by you, NOW, understand?"

"Of course m'lady!" he spluttered, and in so doing revealling the true identity of Wompers, as none other than Sir Ferdinand Dunkers' long lost sister, Lady Penelope.

The witnesses, a gaggle of matelots peering through every little gap available, went "Ooooooh!"

When suddenly Dunkers and the Master appeared and................
And called the whole thing off.If there was to be a wedding on his ship he would organise it properly.He sent for AAC from the cells and had him brought to the upper deck for some fresh air,they were approaching the tropics and it was getting a bit warm, he ordered the crew to take their tops off,apart from the females,and there were some real manly sights,when AAC took his top off the crew were gob smacked,which was olde english for amazed,thinking quickly Andy threw his cloak over him,and had him taken below back to the cells,Andy had a problem ,being a surgeon there were only certain things that he could do,so he sat down and went into deep thought,meanwhile Dunkers felt someone had to be punished so looking around he.......................
decided that Sneaky Pete was for it, having the effrontery to attempt to marry into the noble Dunkers Clan. As for Lady Penelope, he'd deal with her later, and there'd be no pussyfooting around! He grabbed Cat'O'120 tails and walked towards Pete, who was nonchallant.

"So you're planning to stroke me with your pussy then?" he inquired.

Wompers was shocked at this appauling language. Uncle Albert appeared from nowhere with a largish cube of coarse soap, flavoured with fish-heads and the extracts of month old mariner's socks, and said:

"Open wide shipmate, and say aargh!"


Pete obeyed and as he did so in went the flavoursome soap. It was a fate worse than sharing a cabin with the Padre, well perhaps not quite that bad, and he spluttered and threw up all over the mermaid, who had slithered back on board, looking for her hero, UA.

Her response was immediate, she.............................
She thought to herself, fcuk this for a game of soldiers and slipped back over the side and swam away into the blue blue sea. Dunkers raised his cat O things and was about to strike Sneaky Pete,when Knuckles his mate stepped forward ,along with Pegleg and Andy,the Capn said wait a mo boys theres a.....................
"...and a delegation of animal rights representatives in a bigger ship than ours approaching fast. It appears they've spotted the furry tails and are out to liberate them. Hey say we surrender the cruel cat'o'2000 tails to the animalists and find a more humane method of flogging sailors, one that doesn't involve hurting poor little pussies!"

"Er, 'has 'e gone awl soft?"

whispered Knuckles to Pegleg, who was half deaf and heard nothing. Andy looked concerned. Maybe the presence of wimmen onboard was having a deleterous effect on his brain. He was becoming a softy!

"How can you keep riotous, mischevious matelots in check without the cat!", cried Dunkers, who added

"It's a tried and tested method. If we abandon the cat we'll be having matelots demanding luxuries like spoons, proper uniforms, videos and iPod charging units on board ship, and worse of all, better pay!"

"Well I thought in this enlightened age we could be more humane, a gentle slap on the wrist perhaps, or just a telling off, or a fine, anything that doesn't hurt pussies! After all we have to think of the bad PR of cruelty to cats! After all it is 1492!" the Master replied.

"What about cruelty to sailors!" piped up Gromit, the intelligent ship's Signaldog.

"That's a minor consideration!" replied Dunkers, who added

"Now Pete, there's got to be a victim, and a bloke with breasts cannot be flogged, after all what if one got damaged by a tail: there'd be no milk in the skipper's Nescafe for a week! So get your purple silk Liberty's designer shirt off and lets get cracking!"

Suddently there was a cry from t'other ship.

"Ahoy! Is anyone there?" called the disjointed voice.

"No, we're with with the Woolwich!" shouted Sneaky Pete, and the whole crew broke into giggles.

"That's not funny!" said the voice.

"Surrender all your pussy tails to my gallant crew or else we'll blast your toy boat to smithereens! I will count to ten. One... two... three... er what come's next?"

"Eleven mate!" cried Andy.

"Eleven... twelve... one thousand two hundred and thirty three..."

It is possible that this Greenpeace vessel is still in the same position to this day with a skipper counting to infinity and beyond. However our tale must continue. The tails had dropped into the drink, so thirsty were they, and poor Dunkers was weaponless, with only a glass chipping hammer and a left handed spanner for protection.

The Master spoke first, he said.......................

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