Francis, Key to the Ship

This was posted by kwiz (aka Martin Baker) on alt.callahans. The author is unknown.

The short stocky gentleman appears from a corner carrying a leather bag which clanks alarmingly as he aproaches the bar. He pauses, removes several glittering gold sovereigns, places them in the cigar box on the bar, then appropriates a bottle of Glenbannock and heads for a table….

“All this talk of tall ships reminds me of the good ship Intercoursus, out of Thermopylae. The foredeck crew, originating from Greece, began the voyage being rather taciturn in nature, while the mizzen crew, being Turkish was rather voluble and raffish from the outset….

“As the voyage progressed, the mood lightened, and pretty soon, the foredeck crew began exchanging witty repartee with the mizzen crew. This continued until one day, without warning, a beam came crashing down to the deck between the two factions, silencing everyone for a rather long time…

“This, of course, was the first instance of a Spar-Strangled Banter.”

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