Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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A Tall Ship Tale #35: Wrap Session

Category: alt.callahans, Puns, Rated G

It is time for another of Paul de Anguera’s wonderful tales of Nautical Adventure and Non-sense.


As the H.M.S. Legume approached the ancient port of Jidda, she was met by a galley whose bronze ram glittered blood-red in the setting Arabian sun.

“Stop, in the name of the Sultan!” came a warning shout.

“The galley is hailing us, sir!” the Boatswain told the Captain.

“Put it on the main scream,” Captain Quid instructed.

“BEFORE YOU CAN ENTER JIDDA, YOU MUST SWEAR THAT UNDER NO CONDITION WILL YOU FIRE UPON A SULTAN’S SHIP!” the galley’s officer screamed.

“Damme, I will not!” the Captain roared.

“Thank you; you may proceed.”

Jidda had never been designed for modern 19th-century ships, so the frigate was wedged with difficulty into a narrow slip. Soon Sir Hillary Throckmorton-Shillingsworth III disembarked in his Ananga Ranga disguise. The Gnome Light was concealed in his turban. He was accompanied by the First Mate, wearing a borrowed robe.

The two interlopers caught the last caravan to Mecca. Wrapping themselves in the traditional pilgrim’s garments of unsewn cloth, they turned their clothes over to the Wahhabi attendants, passing on the Gnome Light in the process. Now that the business part of the trip had been completed, Ananga Ranga confidently joined a file of pilgrims that wound into the sacred Bait-al-Allah, forbidden to Christians upon pain of death.

When his turn came to face the Ka’aba, Ananga Ranga fell to his knees, exclaimed “Allah be praised!” and fervently crossed himself. With howls of outrage, the crowd seized the invaders! The air rang with the sound of swords unsheathing.

“Wait! Excuse me! I can explain,” the First Mate babbled desperately. “My friend was just making the first ritual motions for rearranging his clothing, to make a sarong — you see?” he offered, demonstrating on himself. “It’s a traditional rite among the, er, um, Legume tribe, whereby they humble themselves before the grandeur of Allah!”

“I don’t think so,” boomed the Haram Sharif.

“Why not?” the First Mate challenged.

” Because two sarongs don’t make a rite!”

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