22 August 2007
A Warm Welcome to America
As we approached solid land for the first time in weeks, I could clearly see the stars and stripes of the American flag flying from the roof-top of a small building on the coast. Either we had chanced upon another country with precisely the same flag as the US, or we were finally here: America.
“We are here, Botter!” I exclaimed, my head still throbbing from my drunken antics. “We made it to America, at last! Quickly, crack open another barrel of rum, I feel like celebrating!”
“I…I think that is not such a good idea, milord,” Botter said.
“Hmmm, you are probably right, Botter,” I mused, looking at the streaks of vomit marking my coat. “Alright, then – I shall go and scrub up, while you steer us in. Ah-ha! America!”
I started to head off to the cabin, when Botter called out to me.
“Milord, look at all those people gathered on the shore, there.”
“Ha! They have probably heard that the world-famous Lord Likely, aristocratic adventurer and gentle-man of action, is headed to their country, and are eager to make my acquaintance! I am cocking excellent, after all.”
“I am not so sure, milord…they seem rather…agitated.”
“Nonsense, Botter, nonsense! I imagine they are just overcome with orgiastic delight, and wish to touch my balls. Why, at any moment I should think they will-”
I was stopped mid-sentence by an almighty kaboom, and then something crashed into the side of the ship, throwing Botter and I to the ground.
“Shit on a hankie!” I roared. “What sort of mischief is this?”
“I think they are firing a cannon at us, milord,” Botter informed me, helpfully.
“What in the name of fuckery are they doing that for? I had heard that these Americans were rather fond of their right to bear arms, but this is taking the biscuit, and then cramming the biscuit right into my lordly anus!”
Another explosion, and the top half of a mast came crashing down near us. It is strange how finding oneself under fire from hostile parties can aid as a marvelous tool for instantly sobering one up, and so I felt the thick fog of inebriation subside, to be replaced by a rather thicker fog of terror and confusion.
“Just what is their bastard problem? Can they not see that we are just – by the arsehole of St. George, of course!” I cried, leaping to my feet. “The Jolly Roger, Botter! We are still bearing the flag of the pirate! Quickly, take it down at once, my man!”
“I would do, milord, but the flag seems to be on fire.”
There was more cannon-fire, and pieces of The Hairy Clam exploded around us. I sighed. As much as I enjoy adventure, sometimes I wished we were able to go about our business unmolested. It was getting quite tiresome finding our lives under threat with episodic regularity.
“What shall we do, milord?” Botter asked, desperately.
“Stand firm,” I said, my resolve stiffening. “We are British, after all. These barbarians may wish to try and tear us asunder like savages, but we shall keep an air of dignity about us at all-”
Another cannon-ball whizzed past, exploding just behind me and making me lose my hat in the process. I raced to the side of the ship, furious.
“STOP RUDDY FIRING, YOU BLOODY BASTARDS! DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO THE DEVIL I AM? WHY, I SHOULD COME DOWN THERE AND GIVE YOU ALL A DAMNED SOUND THRASHING, YOU IGNORANT TWAT-STICKS!”
The cannon fire stopped, and silence descended upon us. I straightened up, and tucked my thumbs behind the lapels of my coat, proudly.
“See, Botter, all that was required was a bit of discipline. Even the savage beast can be tamed, Botter. Do not ever forget that.”
Then, with crushing inevitability, the cannons resumed their assault, striking the deck of the Clam, and sending Botter and I hurtling to the opposite sides of the vessel. The Hairy Clam was well ablaze now, and sinking fast, and furthermore my hat had been very badly singed. Botter groggily got to his feet, and staggered over to me.
“Are you alright, milord?” he asked.
“There have been rather more pleasant days than today, if I am perfectly frank,” I said, as Botter lifted me to my feet. I surveyed the carnage and chaos that surrounded me, the fires growing more ferocious, cannon shells striking the ship with increasing frequency. It was as I watched the Clam burn that I had a moment of complete and utter striking clarity. “I think it may be time, my dear Botter.”
“Time for what?” Botter replied.
I smiled and laid my hand upon Botter’s shoulder.
“It is time…for a ruddy drink,” I said.
- Lord Likely.