With bowsprit

Okay, all hands on deck. Wash them first.

I was hoping there wouldn’t be a reason to have to haul you all out here like first-year recruits, but something has to change. The Ship Of Murr is not in good shape. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that no beer has gone down the hatch for ten days and counting. Has it. All righty then.

And there has been no beer going down not because the Ship Of Murr is mean, or a sorry place to work, or someone vetoed the pipeline. No. It is because the Ship Of Murr had expected a mere minimum of maintenance and care from its crew, and those expectations have not been met. Instead the crew has invited everybody and his buggy cousin on board without any consideration of the consequences. The Ship Of Murr blames herself. She has never wanted to be one of those taskmaster types, all stern and demanding, preferring to believe that if everyone was content, they would all pull together and row as needed out of simple comity. There have been no edicts about behavior and nutrition and exercise, no palming the entire venture off onto Leviticus, no shortage of forgiveness. And that, she fears, has led to a culture of negligence that might as well be mutiny.

And as a result of the singular lack of discretion in inviting folks we don’t even know onto the Ship Of Murr–“they’re with the band,” blah blah blah–we have been drifting in a tiny little circle for days and days and days. Did it even occur to anyone to check for viral contraband? Can anyone remember who’s supposed to be in charge of the rudder? Because clearly nobody is in charge of the rudder.

This is not the sprightly party boat it once was, with the fresh paint and the champagne stain on the bow. Gone are the days we can load  up at the dock with sketchy strangers and celebrate into the wee hours. Back then we somehow found a way to set everything back shipshape within a day, and maybe we were a little lost and things looked a little foggy, but it’s a big ocean, with not a lot to run into. We picked up our share of dings and scrapes and you never heard one word about it from the captain. Did you.

No, because the Ship Of Murr never thought the dings were that important. The Ship Of Murr always thought there were better things to do than keep up appearances. But now we’re picking up barnacles at an accelerating rate. We’re trailing weed. We look like shit, frankly, and that’s still okay. But it does mean we’re slowing down. We can’t turn on a dime anymore.

And while you’re all here, no poop deck jokes. It’s beneath you. It’s too easy. And none of you even knows what a poop deck is. Face it, you’re not sailors. You’re freeloaders. And it’s time you shaped up. I shouldn’t have to point out that there is a veritable shitload of phlegmy crap coating everything below-decks, and it ain’t going to clean itself up. Don’t even look at the cilia–they’re doing the best they can, but they’re overwhelmed. Start swabbing. Just because the little princesses that are supposed to be operating the crustacean tubes are on strike again doesn’t mean everyone gets to sit on his entitled little fanny.

Not talking about you, pancreas. We don’t any of us know what it is you do, but you must still be doing it, because we’re still underway.

Maybe some day we’ll get engulfed in a flocculent plume of whale poop or maybe we’ll get systematically punctured by albatrosses irritated about the plastic gyre situation, but one way or another, this ship isn’t going to sail forever. You want the ride to be as long and pleasant as possible, and you want your beer rations back, you’ll exercise a little more caution.

Now clean this place up.