It was not funny at the time, but hindsight is the funniest thing.
It is common knowledge that a true sailor is a hardy drinker. One who embraces Rum with both anchor-tattooed-forearms.
My fellow cohabitant has been known to practice the art of Rum appreciation throughout his younger adult life. Though he doesn't have the sailor tattoos there's other credentials that make him a sailor, some may say, pirate. :
Holes in clothes - checkAfter an exceptionally long Friday at work at IPC Towers I arrived home around 10pm.
dishevelled unshaven appearance - check
all year tan - check
rarely wears shoes - check
devil may care attitude - check
a Gallic shrug - check
Entering the boat sensing something amiss, immediately clocked the two bottles of rum (55%) in the kitchen, one of them empty, the other one seriously storm battered and a chopped up lime, squeezed and re-squeezed into wafer thin skinny green shells, husks of lime that were no longer lime, just green.
I heard what sounded like the shipping forecast in my head:I battened the hatches, put all breakables away or on the floor and braced myself, armed with mobile phone for both evidence gathering and any possible Mayday calls.
Thames - Viking - Pirate - French menSouthwesterly severe gale force 9 now decreased gale force 8, increasing severe gale force 9 soon, then increasing storm force 10 later
- Human state
- Rough or very rough, occasionally moderate.
- Squally rain - prolonged dry spell imminent.
- Good, occasionally poor when sleeping in different rooms
Upon entering the saloon area I was greeted, in the traditional French manner, except our poor Gallic pirate had lost the ability to see single figures and air kissed the cheek of the double vision standing next to me.
I sat alone on the sofa while he shrugged his way into the kitchen and attempted to fire up the stereo with ipod aural pleasures such as "what shall we do with a drunken sailor"
"Jeeeaaann kehm an elp me, ah can't see ze stereooo, aah need elp ma cherie"
Of course I didn't do anything but sit and wait.
After a few moments of wailing and moaning about lack of help and how it was my fault that he had drunk so much, there was a dull thump sound and it all went quiet.
Ah ha. I thought. I'll just give him a couple more minutes before I check to see what's happened.
|It was here he promptly fell asleep and assumed the safety position. (like a true sailor)|
I seized the moment to deploy the sofa cushions to the floor in anticipation of a further stormy night to come.
Stepping over the sleeping baby I took the dog outside for his nightly ablutions, said goodnight to the neighbour who was moored alongside, oblivious to the fact I was standing two feet away from an unconscious body.
I may have accidentally kicked the body while climbing over it. Accidentally mind you.
Then I went back inside. And waited.
One hour later the creature from the black lagoon came shuffling on its arse, unable to stand, and traversed slowly from the kitchen into the living room, looking for a warm safe place to sleep. Upon finding the sofa cushions, commenced a discussion about why it couldn't sleep on the "normal" bed. It eventually conceded to the fact it was safer on the floor, away from an angry female.
The "angry female" commenced with pre-bed tooth brushing duties (with analogue toothbrush as the travel power hasn't been restored yet) when, the sound that no-one likes to hear, was heard.
Yaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggghhpp, Yaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggghhpp,I ran back to the living room, toothbrush hanging dangerously out of pursed lips, fearing the worst, vomit central
The decoratively attractive brass fire bucket had been cleverly utilised.
A true sailor never spoils the interior. Bravo.
With my tooth brush stifling my curses it sounded like I was deranged or very bad ventriloquist. All I could do was arm wave and gesticulate in a most agitated manner with a high pitched angry sound "mmuhh muhh muhhh muuhh, Mu Munnn!"
I couldn't unpurse my lips for fear of dribbling foamy toothpaste drool all over the place and thus losing my superiority in the situation.
|how to speak with your lips together|
Now I'm not proud of what I did next but, hey that's life.
After disposing of my toothbrush back in the bathroom, I resumed a verbal abuse thus:
"you stupid cunt. what the fuck were you thinking? You're 35 years old and only 5'4". You think you can drink like a fucking giant bastard still? You stupid stupid fucking twat. But, well done for getting it in the fire bucket"
mumbles incoherently back at me
"yeah I'm sure the kindling will be ok once it dries, now don't fucking move while I fetch another bucket - you cunt"
|fire bucket. Also good for containing vomit|
It was then, that I spotted a large mark on the side of his face.
It seems he must have hit his head on the corner of a step when he fell to the floor when trying to put the music on, causing possible concussion.
That unconscious body really had been properly unconscious.I felt a tiny pang of guilt. Very tiny. I'd kicked him when he was down. That's pretty poor form. I should have called an ambulance. But a part of me just wanted him to suffer a little bit more.
The rest of the night was spent on hourly wanker watch, checking frequently that he was still alive.
I set my alarm to wake me, I'd get up, go and kick him a bit, then shout "are you alive you fucking twat" wait for a response then return to bed, then repeat the procedure for the remainder of the night.
In the morning, as I went to check on him yet again, he was sitting up, ships dog on his lap, asking how he arrived in the living room.
Incredibly he remembered absolutely nothing after the second glass of rum. No head ache, nothing.
It was two hours later, after filling the water tank and preparing to descend the lock at Victoria Park, the colour drained from his face, suddenly the tempest returned and remained for the whole day as he laid on the back of the boat casually vomiting over the side occasionally able to hold a rope as we made our way north through several locks.
I cruised the boat mostly on my own, savouring the fact he was still alive, but suffering.
Will he learn a lesson in seamanship from this?
It seems life is harder to navigate than canals.