sea story 1, IT'S FINISHED MR. FINNEGAN
Ever get half way through a book and realize you just don't like it?(short-short story)
| I must have worked on over a hundred ships, boats, barges, rigs and platforms over the years. Jobs offshore typically last from a few weeks to several months. "So," you might ask, "what do you do to pass the time?"
On every vessel there is a cubby hole somewhere with lots of books. When you come aboard, one of the first things you should do is snoop around and locate the book stash. Even if you are lucky enough to be on a ship with a VCR you will have seen most of the movies already and will go through the new ones in the first week. So you need to know where the books are. You'll find them in a cabinet or locker or maybe an old cardboard box, but trust me they will be there. If you can't find them ask the first mate. Do not ask the Captain for he is crazy. How do I know this without ever setting foot on your vessel? The answer is simple, they are all crazy, every Captain I ever met and if you don't believe me , ask the cook. In fact if you want the real skinny about the job you're on, always ask the cook; they have every bit of scuttlebutt about where you're going and what you're doing, sometimes before the Captain does.
After you've found the books you can rest assured you'll be able to cope for the next few weeks. Now when the Captain starts ranting and ordering the cook to make tuxedo sandwiches, or if you get cabin fever and start to go stir crazy, simply open that book you've started reading and relax. I won't give advice on which books to read, but there is one trick I'd like to pass on to you. I had a great English teacher in high school named Mr. Finnegan who said that you should always finish a book once you start reading it. I have always tried to follow his advice. Occasionally however you just get hold of a bad book. Poorly written, trite, predictable or just plain boring.
Whatever the prognosis, here is the remedy for bad books aboard working vessels. Once you have decided the offending tome is hopeless, speed reading and skip reading are permitted if not advised. As you get to the last few pages, mark you place and stroll out to the weather deck. Stand at the rail and read the ending of the book, close it and throw it overboard. Turn away smiling. When you step back into the wheelhouse, the Captain will be looking at you accusingly.
Never mind, he is crazy. Mr. Finnegan would be proud. No one will ever have to read that copy of crap again. It's finished Mr. Finnegan.
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