Monday, January 27, 2014

There’s the Good Ship Lollipop, and then there’s the S.S. Ratso Rizzo

As opening lines go, this one’s a beaut:

A ghost ship full of diseased, cannibalistic rats could be nearing landfall somewhere in the British Isles. (Source: NPR.)

The Lyubov Orlova has been on the ultimate cruise to nowhere for about a year.

It had been sold for scrap and was being towed from Canada – where it had been abandoned after its unpaid crew walked down the gangplank en masse -  to the Dominican Republic when the towline snapped during a storm last January. It has been adrift since then, and there’s some conjecture that, while the ship is without crew and passengers, it may have left its last port of call with a hold full of rats.

And since there were no 24/7 buffets on the Aloha Deck, and since even the most evolved rats aren’t known to fish or have the ability to fashion a slingshot and shoot down seagulls, there’s some speculation that the rats have gone Donner Party.

The Sun quotes Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian-based marine missions specialist, as saying, "There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other. If I get aboard I'll have to lace everywhere with poison."

Maybe something’s lost in translation, but do I detect a hopeful note in Pim de Rhoodes’ “if I get aboard” comment?

Seriously, there’s someone out there who actually wants in or on?

The only conditions under I would step toe aboard this tub would be if, for my troubles, someone had handed me a valise containing $5 million in cash (which I had counted): I was wearing the ultimate in rat-proof hazmat suit, around which was a ‘let’s make extra sure’ layer of boy-in-the-bubble protection that was impervious to rat fang and claw; and I was surrounded by a phalanx of Navy Seals armed with plenty of tactical weapons.

The presence of a colony of super, survival of the fittest rats is, as I mentioned, just speculation at this point, as neither Pim de Rhoodes nor anyone else has been on the Lyubov Orlova.

The last sighting may have been off the coast of Scotland, but that has not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, coastal residents of England, Scotland, and Wales should be on the lookout.

If anyone spots a cruise ship where there are outsized-rodents lolling about on deck chairs. they would be well advised to head inland.

Too  bad that Prince William has retired from the Royal Air Force. A bombing sortie might have been just the thing to prevent this ship from landing and loosing a pack of ravenous rats who’ve had nothing to sup on for the past year, other than each other, on seaside towns. Where they, no doubt, would hoover down every available sausage roll, fish and chip plate,licorice all-sort, and steak and kidney pie. Taking care of this sticky wicket would be just the thing. What better way to further embed Bonny Prince Billy in the hearts of the British public?

But William, I believe, has resigned his commission to see to more pressing tasks, like ribbon cuttings at fish hatchery openings.

I think that Price Harry is still in the service, and I can see him leading some of the lads on a commando raid, a waterlogged version of Rat Patrol.

There’s some speculation that the Lyubov Orlova could wash up on Irish shores.

Jaysus! Wouldn’t that be something?

St. Patrick managed to drive all the snakes out back in the day. Surely, there’s some boy-o who could rise to the occasion and do the same for the rats.

In any case, I’m sure glad that the prevailing winds are prevailing, and that S.S. Ratso Rizzo is heading in that direction, not ours.


A tip of the captain’s cap to my sister Trish who spotted this gem.

And happy birthday to my husband. I’m so glad to have you here for it.

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