5 July 2011

Part 1 : “Three sheets to the wind”

Nonny note - Three sheets to the windIf, on a three masted ship, the sheets of the three lower sails were loose, the sails would flap and flutter and were said to be “in the wind”. A ship in this condition would stagger and wander aimlessly, acting much like a drunken sailor.
There aren’t many things in life that can make one feel about as useless as a pair of slip slops in mud, but finding yourself unemployed and prospectless sure takes the proverbial cake. I have been on the hunt for a new job since finding out at the beginning of the year that I was being retrenched at the end of April. Seven months later, I am no closer to financial security or sleep filled nights. Instead, I find myself closer to drowning in a sea of bills with little hope of staying afloat.

They say that in life or death situations, your mind often plays tricks on you and you end up seeing things that aren’t really there…things that you know might save you, like the flag of a passing ship or an abandoned canoe randomly floating by, filled to the brim with tropical drinks and cocktail sausages. I recently had such an experience whereby I thought I was to be plucked from the ocean of anxiety and placed squarely on dry land, where money grew on trees and the river of opportunity flowed strongly. This however was not the case and I learnt how cruel the tricks of one’s imagination could be. In an attempt to remain professional, allow me to paint a hypothetical scene, perhaps in keeping with the nautical theme established above…

I had been “stranded” at sea for four months, with no sight of land or a well organised, dedicated search party for miles around. It was a desperate situation to say the least. My arms were tired of doggy paddling, my skin blistered and cracked from a combination of the sun and salt water, my mind a haze of fatigue and exhaustion…as I said, pretty desperate. It was therefore unexpected when I was hit squarely in the face by the wake of an enormous ship. “Come aboard!”, shouted what appeared to be the captain, although perhaps a penchant for dressing like one of The Village People shouldn’t automatically make one a captain in the mind of the observer. Needless to say I climbed aboard with little hesitation, simply relieved to be free of my watery stronghold. Had I not been so desperate, perhaps I would have seen the crudely made hull and wondered why a ship so regally named “The Duke of Kelvin” would be so shoddily presented. But as I said before, sometimes our imaginations cunningly conceal the truth from us.

Once aboard and surrounded by a delightful  sense of false comfort, I was introduced to the two other castaways the captain had picked up along the way, namely Gherkin the delivery monkey and Angie, the captain’s first mate. After a very brief introduction the captain, who to a rational mind would have appeared suspiciously over eager, wasted little time in weaving an intricate tale of great treasure and endless bounty that awaited me should I choose to remain on The Duke. Needless to say I being in the state that I was, silenced the screaming voice of caution in my mind and decided that it would be a good option to remain with the captain as everything he had promised ticked every box on my checklist; booty and lots of it!

After spending a few hours aboard The Duke and stuffing my face at the complimentary castaway buffet, I began to feel a little queasy. Perhaps it was my inner voice of wisdom announcing its return or perhaps it was just a bad piece of lemon buttered sea crab, but slowly I began to notice that all was not well on-board The Duke of Kelvin. Angie for one thing kept wandering around the deck, as if with no purpose. A bit strange for someone termed the captain’s first mate? Surely she should have been doing something of importance like charting our next voyage or readying the mast or something of sailorish significance? And Gherkin…One would assume that he would be up in the crow’s nest, keeping a lookout for land or potentially competitive pirates. Instead, he was sitting in the middle of the deck, peeling a granadilla in an almost trance-like fashion. As for the captain, well he was nowhere to be found. A bit of a strange time to disappear I thought, given that we were gaily ploughing through the sea on what was fast revealing itself to be the ”shippiest” of ships... 

Stay tuned for Part 2 peeps! Beeg hug, leetle kees :) 

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