Francis Meyrick

A Blip on the Radar (21) “Flipping the Bird “

Posted on May 1, 2010

A Blip on the Radar

Part 21: Flipping the Bird

Alcohol on tuna boats is all right. Up to a point.
It lowers the inhibitions. Makes a good time easier. Helps you relax. Blow off steam. But there is a time and a place. Whilst in port, that’s one thing. Offshore, with serious work to be done the next morning… Two cans of beer in the evening was absolute max for me, and no spirits at all.
And they sure do try and ply you with drinks.
Too much alcohol… not smart.
As pilots, we need to… need to….
You know what I mean.
Lest anybody think I’m setting myself up as a Preacher Man, well, to be honest…
Here’s another snapshot of Life in the Tuna Fields.
In port, somewhere, luckily…

* * * * * *

“Moggy, do you remember what actually happened the other night? “

I thought hard. I couldn’t.
“Errrrrr….. no, not really…. why? “
I eyed my visitor, a fellow pilot, with a mild curiosity. He had just climbed up the ladder on my boat, and stood there, eying me seriously. I thought back to the night in question. It had been a damn good piss up on another tuna boat, as far as I could remember. I seemed to vaguely remember some singing. Hilarity. That was about it. Just another night in a foreign port, a respite from the Tuna Fields, and a bunch of Tuna Heads swopping tales from the crypt, and making whoopee.
His expression though conveyed the message that he was here to remonstrate with me. I must have done something.
I tried, but I couldn’t think what. Admittedly, I wasn’t too concerned.
“Moggy, first, you introduced your captain as “your favorite slant-eyed yellow git “. I know he doesn’t speak good English, but, really, that’s a bit uncalled for. What if somebody translated that for him? “
I tried not to smile. The Taiwanese captain, my good buddy, referred to me as the “Stupid Green Paddy “, and I never took offense.
“Then, ” he said, continuing in the same tone, “you got drunk “. I shrugged. In my mind, I was thinking:
Um. So what’s new?
“After insisting we all learned this Irish rebel song of yours, you then proceeded to sing karaoke… “
That didn’t ‘sound’ so bad…
“And then… you simply disappeared! “
A bonus? A welcome respite? So what’s the problem?
“Somebody said maybe you’d fallen overboard. So we got everybody out on deck. We lit all the floodlights. We got the crew up. They launched the net boats, to search for you. They alerted another ship. They did the same.
We were all worried about you. And you know where we eventually actually found you…?? “
I have no clue.
He was raising his voice in obvious indignation.
“Fast asleep in the pilot’s bed! Snoring your head off! You’d gone into his room, and made yourself comfortable. You’d forgotten which boat you were on! He was pissed! “
I guess I was sleepy…
I tried to keep my face straight.
“He told you in no uncertain circumstances to get out of his bed! And you know what you did…? “
I have no clue.
“YOU just smiled at him, beatifically, and lay there, refusing to budge… “
You can’t rock the Irish…
“so then HE threatens to kick your ass…. now he’s really, really pissed. You’re in HIS bed, and we’ve searched everywhere for you, for hours, and you’re being totally…. totally….. “
He ran out of words. Obstreperous?
“Moggy, I gotta tell you, you were within seconds of getting murdered, he’s a BIG guy, and you know what YOU did…? “
He looked at me with a certain incredulity. Now I was mildly curious.
“With that same, stupid, peaceful, serene, lunatic grin, you… you….


Guilty as charged…

Francis Meyrick

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on June 25, 2014, 5:55 pm

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