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Sailing the Ocean Blue

The Ocean Blue
The Ocean Blue

Picture it: Three frail wooden sailing ships crossing the ocean blue. Historians later would refer to them as galleons and contrive obscure jokes about them.

Little did the crews on these bobbing craft have an inkling that the ships were destined to go down in history books. Most of them thought they would go down in the middle of all this freaking water!

"I tell ye, lads," declaimed an old salt, "this Chris fellow has no idea where he's takin' us. He says some place called the New World. I say, 'To the End of the World!'"

"What d' ye mean, 'End of the world?'" asked a grubby hand, hard at work mending with needle and thread an anchor rope sadly frayed by excessive commands of 'Up anchor!' and 'Down anchor!' "Look about ye, mate. Ain't we still perched on top of it?"

"On top of it we may be," chimed in a bearded, beady-eyed, rascal, obviously a former inmate of a Spanish prison, "but look afore ye, man. Ye can see the water ends over yon. When we reach that point over we go. That, me lad, is the end of the world. There ain't no more of it."

The sailor mending the anchor rope might have responded, but he punctured his delicate pinky with the needle and had to be rushed off to sick bay, unlucky fellow he. No one ever heard of him again for he failed to make the history books.

They long since had run out of pomegranates and the crews had turned restless.

Conversations went on in similar vein for several months. The captain fumed at having to repeat over and over that the world, though larger by far, had the exact shape of a basketball. "Blood may rush to our heads as we traverse its underside, but we shall not fall off the world on this voyage."

His second in command scratched his head, either in puzzlement or because of a healthy strain of lice. "What is this basketball you refer to, Sir?"

"Never mind!"

Not any too soon, for they long since had run out of pomegranates and the crews had turned restless, someone shouted: "Land!"

To which, of course, the captain replied: "Ho!" Then he added pointedly: "You see, gentlemen, we arrive as some have suggested, to the end of the world. To the EAST end of the world! Behind us lies the WEST end of the world! The land before us connects with the land behind us. Anyone can figure it out. It's not rocket science!"

"That being the case, please, sir," inquired one of the more thoughtful sailors, "might we walk back home, then, rather than again sail across this bloomin' ocean blue?"

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