Not much to crew about

The water gushed through the hole in the hull.

“It’s too late for us! We cannot hold! Abandon ship!” the Captain roared, captainly. The crewmembers, crewingly, heard both gush and roar, and made haste to abandon as much ship as possible as fast as possible.

They knew authority when they experienced it.

The Captain, being Captain, remained on board for as long as possible. The heroic notion of going down with the ship was more than just a heroic notion – is was ethos incarnate, and he was it.

Two weeks later, he was still on board. He was still roaring. The water, though, had done its share of gushing, and was more keen on heeding the order of abandoning ship than anything else.

Water is sublime, you see.

The crew, not so much. They are back on board, and they are (without success) trying to convince the Captain that the ship isn’t sinking. And that, if it was, they would have plenty of time to repair it, seeing as they were safely parked in a harbor, with plenty of supplies.

The Captain wouldn’t have it. He was determined to go down with the ship, and like that other captain, Ahab, this made him rather narrowminded when it came to seeing alternative ways forward.

The crew, being both unsubtle and loyal, did what Ahab’s crew should have done. They sank the ship, Captain and all, and went on living their lives knowing that duty sometimes takes a strange toll on those who sublimate too much.


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