Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thar She Blows

The world of nautical antiquities has been abuzz with excitement since the recent announcement that the Twitter log of noted whaler and monomaniac Captain Ahab has been recovered. The find came during the demolition of the Nantucket Home for Widows of Fishermen and Drunken Irishmen, when workers in the sub-basement discovered thousands of player-piano rolls labeled PEQUOD, as well as a primitive 19th-century computing device made of whalebone, hemp, and crab legs. When properly fed through the device, the piano rolls proved to contain encoded data, including two recipes for clam chowder, a Minefield game, several risqué descriptions of women’s ankles, and Captain Ahab’s lost Twitter log, reproduced here for the first time ever. The journal begins when Ahab was still on land, shortly before his final voyage:

Captain Ahab …
dreamt the beast again. I, in the water. From the inky deep he came, his open maw the very gate of Hell. Woke to kippers for breakfast. Yum.

Election near. Zach Taylor or Cass? Can’t bear idea of that lubber Fillmore being one bad cold from Presidency. Will vote for Cass.

Visit w/ the Hawthornes. Nate reads his new yarn, “Red Letter.” “Needs more action,” says I, “some redskins maybe.” Nate changes subject.

Ride home from Hawthornes. Show wife cloud that looks just like the white whale. Rolls her eyes. “What a surprise,” she says. The cow.

spent an hour hoppin’ round looking for me leg. Find her out back beating rugs w/ it. Tis well for her am Quaker. Must get back to sea soon.

She hands me plate of Spotted Dick & pretends tis not the very likeness of the devil whale. Harsh words. Sleeping in hammock tonight.

did not think on the white whale yesterday. Not once. Just realized. Must remember to tell my alienist next week.

wrote Capt. Peleg orders to outfit the barky for sea. Mistakenly wrote “Pegleg” on envelope. Haven’t laughed so hard in donkey’s years.

tried to show her cloud even more like white whale than last one. Wouldn’t even look. Last straw. Making camp on Pequod ‘til we’re a-weigh.

took on 2 hands today, Ishmael & savage w/ odd moniker: “Weak Leg” or some such. Seem more like “weak wrists” to me. Bit fond of each other.

At last we’re a-weigh; Fedallah & his mates secretly stowed. Stubb & his blather already on last good nerve. Still getting my sea leg.

offered gold coin for 1st to spy M.D. Nailed it to mast. Nice flourish I think. Starbuck nigh ruined speech w/ his caviling. The pantywaist.

in cabin reading “7 Habits of Highly Obsessive Sea Captains.” Seems like horse sense, really, but kills time ‘til the white devil is found.

having 2nd thoughts about reward of gold piece. That doubloon’s worth $16. Thinking maybe I’ll be first to spot white whale, whether or no.

WHALES 2DAY! No joy, but brought up Fedallah’s lads for chase. How other crew stared! You’d think no one ever hid Filipinos in hold before.

Tiny black Pip fell overboard & spent day alone in sea. Crazy as bilge rat now. Saw “God’s foot on the treadle of the loom,” he says. WTF?

Long time b/n tweets-very busy. Many sperm whales caught, much oil & spermaceti in hold. No sign of Moby Dick, but I’ll drain his sperm yet!

set crew to squeezing sperm in the vats. Saw Ishmael squeezing everyone’s spermy hands in the vat & grinning like a fool. He’s a queer lad.

Regret bringing Fedallah now. Spends most of his time lurking, foreshadowing. Harps on my doom like a wordy fortune cookie. Creepy bugger.

TYPHOON! Starbuck nigh soiled his breeches, but I shook fist at God! Cathartic, it was. Eager to get home & share breakthrough w/ alienist.

Forged new dart, tempered it w/ the blood of the harpooners, & baptized it in the Devil’s name. “Stabby McSharpington,” I’ve dubbed it.

Up in crow’s nest when big bird plucks hat from head, flies off w/ it in highly symbolic manner. Must stop keeping breakfast kippers in hat.

THAR HE BLOWS! & I saw him 1st! CHA-CHING! That sea-lawyer Tashtego tried to horn in on sighting, but I set him straight. Oh sweet doubloon.

Ahab’s final entry was spread over two tweets:

2 days now we’ve striven; the boats are smashed to shivers; Fedallah’s lost, & his mad prophecy w/ him. What a load of bollocks that was…

M.D.’s full of our sharp iron (Stabby!), & I still have my lucky rope. Oh to see Starbuck’s face when we deliver the beast back to the ship!

Peter Waldron is a freelance writer and bon vivant who currently lives in a tobacco field just south of Raleigh, N.C. He enjoys cheese, home-brewing, and travel to those places not covered by various restraining orders. He is a contributing writer to The Onion News Network, and other of his scribblings have appeared at The Science Creative Quarterly, brokenstove.blogspot.com, and in his own head, where they invariably get a big laugh.

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