Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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A Tall Ship Tale #5: The Tuning of The Shrew

Category: alt.callahans, Puns, Rated G

This is Chapter 5 of Paul de Anguera’s Tall Ship Tales.


The next day found the storm-driven frigate far to the southwest, crossing the Carpathian Mountains on a starboard tack. Ian Vilcorus, the blacksmith, was installing new flying controls (a John Deere clutch lever for altitude, a VW Microbus steering wheel for drift), when Captain Quid appeared on the quarter-deck with his sextant clutched under his arm. This was a surprise, for nobody supposed he would have any use for it since the spy Cilantro had absconded with the Captain’s pinnace. But, he meant to use it for an observatory. He set it up on the deck, stepped inside and took a bearing on the star Etamin.

“Do you think that’s wise, Captain?” asked the First Mate. “I mean, considering where we are?”

“Classic reference point for aberrations!” the abrupt Quid retorted. Storm clouds billowed under a full moon, and Transylvania gloomed ahead. The First Mate wondered whether the howling which surrounded the ship might be merely the wind.

Francois, the Brotherhood’s chief Unshineer, swaggered proudly out of the cabin. “I’eem testeeeng ee new metheeed for keeeleeng theee sheeep’s rats,” he boasted, whipping a bugle out of his robe. “Heeeerb Alpeeeert!” As the opening strains of “Tijuana Taxi” filled the air, a squeal of agony accompanied them; several rats staggered out of the scuppers and dropped dead at his feet. The sailors groaned in agony too, but as their ears were larger, the agonizing effect was not fatal. Then the groans turned to gasps, for from each dead rat a tiny, shimmering spirit arose.

“Oooooooooooooooooooo…..” screamed the tiny ghosts in an unbearably high-pitched chorus. And as it flew on through the darkening night, the haunted ship was filled with…

Ghost-tried ears in the sky!

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