Sunday, 13 August 2017

I Would Have To Kill You

Accidental Heroes

Now I can't tell you too much or I'd have to kill you. Let's just say.......

Joel was enjoying his latest work detail. He had to paint the ship's funnel with another lad 'Gormless' George. I say 'lad', at nineteen George was a year older than Joel. In all fairness though he made two short planks look like the latest Apple-Mac. The other seamen thought it was an act at first but were quick to lose patience and tag him Gormless. It wasn't that he was dim, far from it when conversation swung to a particular interest of his, he was just...... slow. It's like he was using Google translate. Joel felt sorry for him and if somebody tried to tease George he would chime in and make the person look silly.

It helped George a little in that Joel became part of the joke. Deemed a double act they were referred to as Dumb and Dumber. Now they shared the flak. 'Right if that's what they think, so be it' thought Joel.
"They say we're slow then that's what we will be" Joel said under his breath.
"Huh?" George asked diligently.
"I was just thinking if...." Joel saw the blank look on George's face "never mind"

There was no point trying to explain and it was probably best George didn't know. There was only so slow you could go. George needed no instruction when it came to slow, it was almost like he was going behind Joel and somehow taking the paint off. The bosun hadn't put a time limit on the job. Joel sized it up. It should take a couple of hours, even with two coats they would be finished by lunch.

The clear blue skies complimented the glass-like surface of the Mediterranean. It was too nice to be working inside and Joel thought he could perhaps stretch the job out all day. What he didn't realise was the bosun had allowed all day for the job or Joel might have gone for a second day. The job was easy apart from the very top which couldn't be reached. Joel opened the door to the funnel and squeezed through the narrow gap to the rear where a ladder led to a hatch above.

On top of the funnel was a flat area where Joel sat basking in the sunshine. Taking his time Joel leaned over and added the last touches to the paintwork. It was almost a shame when the lads finished and took the surplus paint down to the store.

The next day the crew were informed they would be taking part in an exercise with the US Navy Seals. There was a buzz of excitement on board. Not because of the exercise but because of the time off it afforded. The idea was for the crew to hide when the Seals boarded the ship. Joel rubbed his hands and pulled George to one side.
"We've got the perfect place" Joel whispered.
"Where?"
"Remember what we were doing yesterday?" Joel hinted.
"Yeah, but where we going to hide?"
"Never mind"

It was probably best Joel didn't tell George until the last minute or he might give it away. Joel sloped off to his cabin and filled a bag with cans of beer. He went up to the funnel deck making sure nobody was watching. Inside the funnel Joel climbed the ladder and opened the hatch-lid. He put the bag of beer on top ready for later.

When the ship's alarms went off signalling the beginning of the exercise Joel grabbed George and led him away. They made their way to the top of the funnel, sat down and opened a beer each. 'This is the life' thought Joel. His joy lasted all of ten minutes. The tannoy crackled.
'Thank you for taking part in the exercise gentlemen. Report to the crew mess for debriefing"
"Bollocks!"

Joel was upset. He had barely finished his first beer. George went to the hatch.
"Let's have at least one more beer before we go down" Joel told him.

As they leisurely drank another beer the tannoy crackled again.
"The exercise is over. Repeat, the exercise is over. All crew members report to the crew mess for debriefing" the voice sounded more authoritative.

George made to move again but Joel had an idea.
"We're on top of the funnel and can't hear the tannoy from up here" Joel said grinning.
"We can, I just heard them say we-"
"You don't do yourself any favours George" Joel said in exasperation.
"Oh I get it" George said when the penny finally dropped.

For the next three hours increasingly agitated calls were made over the tannoy but the lads ignored them. In the end Joel looked at his watch. They had drunk all the beers and it was lunch time.
"Come on then, let's go eat" Joel slurred.

They walked into the crew mess to a hero's welcome. The captain and the Navy Seals were there all eager to shake their hands.

Unknown to Joel and George, the Navy Seals hadn't even bothered looking for the crew. They went straight to the bridge and tannoyed the announcement. When the unsuspecting crew members went to the crew mess they were suddenly confronted by machine guns. The Navy Seals had then spent the best part of four hours scouring the ship for the Joel and George without success.
"So where did you hide" asked one of the Seals.
"I would tell you but I'd have to kill you" Joel responded and everyone laughed.

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