Tuesday, 11 October 2016

We're all Spartacus

I woke up this morning with a broad smile on my face. You see, I haven’t been completely forthright and honest about this Ceremony of Neptune thing. The crew have been winding all of the novitiates up for weeks. We’ve been told about having slops poured over ourselves, hair trimmings, being forced to recite poetry...the list of punishments goes on and on. But a glimmering of an idea erupted in my head the day that our chief cook proudly showed me the makings of the slops barrel. He told me freely that they let it fester in the sun for days before using it- although the exact location is naturally top secret.  I immediately confided in my co-conspirator Paul Morgan and together we thought that it might be amusing if the slops were to mysteriously vanish the night before the ceremony.
Our enemies had hidden the barrel too well and despite an agent provocateur (who shall remain nameless) feeding us information about the location of the slops barrel we were unable to locate it over the course of several midnight raids. It’s a big ship and we were forced to think hard about where it might be. It couldn’t be in the galley because it would reek and be unhygienic. It had to be somewhere that was warm so that the mixture would fester nicely. It couldn’t be up or down too many sets of stairs; galley staff had to be able to get to it quickly and easily to top it up with more food waste. Our deliberations led us to only one place- it had to be in the forecastle. But when we searched-we couldn’t find the slops! What we did find however, was the kipper. The same kipper that we have to kiss in order to pass into King Neptune’s Court. We formulated a plan to return the night before the ceremony and kidnap the kipper after which we would ransom it for a case of beer for all the pollywogs.
Yesterday brought us new tidings. Two of the scientists, Maddy and Kerry, who have been in on our plans from the start, brought us information. The shellbacks were moving the slops; they thought that we had found it and were moving it for protection. Last night we saddled up again, made our way to the forecastle (under cover of darkness) and found it! The sides and lid were bulging with the tightly contained fermenting gases and when I popped the lid (sorry Paul) we reeled backwards from the stench. Thank you to our chief cook, for doing such a good job on the slops! Fishy doesn’t even cover it.
We absconded with the kipper and half of the slops- hiding the rest of them by the side of the cargo tender. The remainder we poured into condoms, to form our own little arsenal. That was possibly one of the weirder moments of my life, but if I’m ever asked to provide an example of team work in a job interview, this will be it. Me opening the condoms, Paul unrolling them and holding them open ready for me to pour rotting slops into them with a jug. Not a picnic, I don’t mind saying. I really thought I might vomit.
Last night Maddy and Kerry were on their own midnight raids, acquiring flour from the kitchen hidden under a layer of washing. Nice work ladies. We are armed. They’ve faced some pressure today to ‘fess up and reveal all. But they are made of steel.
Today has been nothing but trash talk. I made my way down to the duty mess earlier and was cornered by the galley staff. I’d like to think I bluffed well, but I clearly had a massive smirk on my face. They couldn’t stop laughing either...it seems they’ve made a new barrel. The first officer tried to tell me that someone had turned evidence in return for a softer sentencing in the ceremony; I just laughed and said I would have done the same if I’d known who it was. Shame I couldn’t help him really. What the crew have not yet realised...is that we are all Spartacus. Taking this too far? Absolutely.

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