All posts in category alt.callahans

A Tall Ship Tale #65: Look, Ma — No Hans

Paul DeAnguera continues his epic.

Captain Quid wrinkled his sloped brow in puzzlment. “If the Brotherhood is out to destroy Taoism, how can we stop them? Do you know any Taoists we could ask?”

“It’s a fatalistic philosophy. A Taoist would probably advise you not to bother,” Professor Peabody pointed out.

“Then, we need advice from someone of a different persuasion!”

“There was a very wise Confucian whom we might ask for advice. Toward the end of the Han dynasty, … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #64: Tao Is Company

The epic from Paul DeAnguera continues.

Tendrils of mist along the shores of the Yellow River glowed pink and peach in the rising sun, parting now and then to reveal sampans already busy between the junks and warehouses of 12th-century Kaifeng. Captain Quid emerged onto the quarter-deck, surveyed the pleasant scene, and began his morning ablutions. He extended his left arm skyward and scratched under it. He was just starting in on his other armpit when, suddenly, he glanced down … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #63: The Ship Who Sung

Bill Wright provided technical assistance for this episode of Paul DeAnguera’s epic tale.

Following his escape from a 12th century Kambujan prison, Captain Quid lost no time in getting the H.M.S. Legume underway. The First Mate stopped by Professor Peabody’s workshop in a corner of the hold. “The Captain wants to go back to the 19th century,” he reported.

Peabody looked up from the partially-disassembled weigh-back machine. “I’m sorry, but that isn’t possible just now,” he apologized. “you’ve caught me … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #62: Just Hit Escape

The continuation of Paul DeAnguara’s story.

Owen admired the finished escape plan. “We’re practically out of here already! Captain, let’s see that bagel you were just looking at.” Quid brought the bagel across the cell.

“Okay, now, the door has two locks. Spread the lox on the bagel and eat it. … Oh, I see — you don’t like salmon? Try this, then. The door has two locks to choose from. Pick either lock … Now pick the other lock.” … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #61: Wat’s Up, Doc?

More of Paul DeAnguera’s epic.

Still carrying their instruments, Captain Quid and his officers made their way through the vast temple complex of Angkor Wat. Its shadowy colonnades echoed the clinking of chains. Beyond this, the lakeside causeway led them to a shrine before a statue of a long-haired, narrow-headed feline.

“What people built that temple?” Sir Hillary Throckmorton-Shillingsworth III asked, pausing to rub the skin under his leg-iron.

“It is a house of worship for cat fanciers; Angora Wat,” … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #60: Monk Key Business

Paul’s epic continues.

To honor the Kmer Empire’s King Suryavarman II, the Brahmin temple invited everyone to a concert. “But aren’t the Brahmin monks our rivals?” Sir Hillary, disguised as a Buddhist monk, asked the priest in charge of his party.

“Oh, they are! But we are all friends,” he explained. “We aren’t Christians, you know! And, as it happens, a very famous Vedic chanter has come to visit from Tamil Nadu. Darth the Dravidian is a master of the … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #59: The Red Badge of Curry

Another entry from Paul DeAnguera.

From the wisteria-scented shade of a massive stone colonnade, the Legume’s officers looked curiously down the broad avenue. Beyond the rows of lotus towers and carved sandstone temples of the Kmer Empire, the god-king’s procession was approaching. First came the soldiers, their helmets and lances glittering in the tropical sun. Silk banners and standards followed, caressing the hot wind. Next came the musicians, many of whom were bonzes, or Buddhist monks, from various nations.

“What … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #58: ‘Dem Bonze, ‘Dem Bonze

Paul DeAnguera continues.

Sir Hillary Throckmorton-Shillingsworth III had hoped that his moss disguise would cause the skittish gnus to take a neutral attitude toward him. But in fact they became positively enamored of him. Several of the beasts followed him back to Mombassa, where the H.M.S. Legume was waiting. They even started up the gangplank after him, but the officer of the watch blocked the animals’ way. He was sure they would only cause trouble. “No gnus is good gnus,” … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #57: Kenya Believe It

Paul DeAnguera continues.

Vindicated by the H.M.S. Legume’s triumphant return to modern times, Professor Peabody added a fourth dial to his chronometer to display the year. The crew was able to transfer the cable of the ship’s time-anchor to his workshop in the hold without much difficulty. Thus equipped, the Legume could go to the future by releasing a bit of cable while gauging its progress by the chronometer’s dials, and go back to the past by reeling some in … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #56: Clewless

Liquor of alt.callahans provided technical assistance on this entry.

Ignoring Peabody’s disapproving glares, the First Mate was playing Pac-Man on his PDA. “You know,” he remarked, “We almost made it back from the Jurassic to the 19th century. And so I suppose I should accept life in 523 BC gracefully, and gratefully.”

“But you blame me for being trapped in the past, so you’ve chosen to annoy me instead,” snapped Professor Cornelius Peabody, looking up from the ship’s log; “You … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #55: A Riveting Tale

Paul DeAnguera continues.

“So we left the boat on the shore, picked up an animal trail through the woods at the top of the bluff, and followed it,” Sir Hillary related as the bonfire on the Panaji beach flamed against the ancient stars. “As we went along, we figured the animals that had broken a way through those hefty branches must be pretty big! We turned around and took a long look back at the boat. But behind it we … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #54: Easy Come, Easy Go

Thanks are given to Liquor of alt.callahans for technical assistance on this entry in Paul DeAnguera’s epic punishment.

The H.M.S. Legume had become dislocated in time. Struggling back from an unintentional excursion to the Jurassic period, the frigate had only progressed futureward as far as the 6th century BC. And, although the First Mate was willing to grant that this was a good part of the way to the familiar, modern 19th century, he was not looking forward to walking … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #53: Shiva Me Timbers

Paul DeAnguera’s tale continues.

The dreadful Jurassic night surrounding the H.M.S. Legume faded, to be replaced by a fertile plain. A placid river curved across it, and the filigreed towers of a walled city stood at the river’s bank. Billows of pale dust rose from a road near where the frigate was hovering as excited crowds streamed toward the town by cart and by foot. Clearly some momentous event was in the making.

“Planned that,” Captain Quid boasted as he … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #52: Going For Baroque

After an extended pause, we return to Paul DeAnguera’s epic series of puns, A Tall Ship Tale. We’ll be adding the remaining episode of this series over the next few months.

The sea trial of Professor Peabody’s chronometer had certainly gone badly awry, the crew of the frigate H.M.S. Legume agreed as they crossed the Tethys Sea 150 million years ago. The eating was good in the Jurassic era, but the duty was hard; for the ship had been cleared … Read the rest...

Granny and the Gun

This story was told a few years ago in the virtual bar, alt.callahans.

A Tall Ship Tale #51: Roast Beast

By Paul de Anguera

“Before we begin this demonstration, I would like to thank Doctor Talligeist for suggesting a most promising modification to the chronometer,” Professor Cornelius Peabody told the bemused officers. The First Mate glanced at Emma, then looked curiously at the large clock which occupied the professor’s workshop in a corner of the hold. It made peculiar noises, and he was glad it was not on his bedside table.

“You’ll recall that the precise timekeeping which is a … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #50: Clock Kent

Yes, more from Paul de Anguera.

A tolerant smile crossed Professor Cornelius Peabody’s snoutlike face upon hearing the First Mate’s “whorologist” story. “A real horologist measures time, and has nothing to do with whores — at least, not professionally,” he remonstrated. And now the sailors understood the reason for the many whole and partial clocks which cluttered the back room of Sigmund Fraude’s china shop.

“Here is my life’s work,” he told them, indicating a very large and peculiar clock. … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #49: Que Thera, Thera

By Paul de Anguera.

The silver bell over the china-shop door tinkled as George stepped in. He brushed at his coat in annoyance and approached the First Mate. “Here is your letter, Mr. Cilantro,” he said, handing the First Mate a battered envelope. He opened it and read the familiar, perplexing message once again:

Your oar, dears! Art, to prose — cede to thee!
Why douse, Anisette? Fie, you’re due wit!

His eye fell to a line added in a … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #48: A No-Bull Sentiment

As usual, it has been too long since we have visited the ficton of Paul de Anguera’s Tall Ship Tales.

The heavy glass door of the empty Alexandria Library swung open with a clatter of blinds. An American sailor slipped inside and quickly closed it against the Egyptian desert air. He introduced himself to the First Mate as George. “Washing, ton of other things to do while I’m ashore,” he grumbled.

“This will take just a minute, man” the First … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #47: Checkout Time

The series from Paul DeAnguera continues.

From a discrete distance, the H.M.S. Legume followed the U.S.S. Goober out of the Nile and west to Alexandria. The Legume entered the ancient harbor unobtrusively after dark. Then Quid summoned the First Mate to his cabin.

“Our last link to Cilantro is the letter stolen by the escaped prisoners on that brig!” he said. “But we can’t attack the Goober in a neutral port. I need you to befriend some crewman of theirs … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #46: Nuts To You

The series by Paul de Anguera continues.

Emma made her way aft from the galley to the H.M.S. Legume’s tall quarter-deck. She was carrying the Leica she had forced open and, as a peace offering, a tray of roasted peanuts. Sadly she handed the camera to Captain Quid. “I was wrong, sir; the letter was not hidden inside after all,” she admitted. “I found no film, either. In fact, I don’t believe Rita has ever used this camera!”

“Leica virgin,” … Read the rest...

Revenge of The Ex-Wife

Recycled Humor posted by Jai Rose on alt.calahans.

She spent the first day packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases. On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things. On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of chardonnay.

When she had finished, she … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #45: Film At Eleven

The series by Paul de Anguera continues.

In the court of Queen Pharaoh Dei, deep within the ruins of Musawwarat-es-Sufra, a benumbed silence followed the First Mate’s tale of the whore’s sofa. Kernel Sanders took advantage of the distraction to step to the right side of the throne; Sir Hillary was already in position at the left.

“‘Enin sevas emit ni hctits a!'” Sanders growled menacingly. The Queen’s expression changed to one of alarm.

“‘Erusiel ta tneper, etsah ni…'” Sir … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #44: Sofa, So Good

The series by Paul de Anguera continues, though this is more complicated than many because the help of the patrons at alt.callahans (a wonderful Usenet virtual bar) is requested. Such help, of course, is not always on topic. I have indicated this participation with brackets.

(Thanks to Liquor of alt.callahans for technical assistance.)

The First Mate finished the tale of the Russian cabinetmaker and glanced around the throne room. Sir Hillary and Kernel Sanders had taken advantage of the distraction … Read the rest...

A Tall Ship Tale #43: It’s Yuri Funeral

The series by Paul de Anguera continues.

Clambering over the debris, the sailors peered at the output pipe. “I saw something move in there!” Johann exclaimed. “Did you see something move?”

“Nope, nothing,” his brother Wilhelm responded. “But I think you Musawwarat.” An uneasy thought! But then they looked behind them at Chapter 42 and took courage from the sight of the lion they had killed there. Led by the Bach brothers, the search party strode into the next pipe. … Read the rest...