Knock First

A crew of swarthy swash-bucklers go about their daily duties aboard the HSS Sea-Biscuit (think the pirate-ship from Treasure Island meets the pirate-ship from Pirates of the Caribbean meets the pirate-ship from your general knowledge of pirate-ships). We can almost smell their toil as the sweltering sun beats down on their backs, hotter than Pamela Anderson in a bathing suit. TIMMY FANCYPANTS is hard at work scrubbing the deck, all the while muttering disgruntled ramblings.

Scrub the deck he says… Shine my boots he says… I’d better get that promotion…

Suddenly a parrot squawk cuts through the air like a victory cry, signalling the break for lunch (think the bird from the opening of The Flintstones meets that Friday feeling). There is a bustle of bodies as everyone immediately drops what they’re doing and hurriedly makes their way below deck.

The dimly lit canteen is filled with a cacophony of sound as the motley crew gulp down their slop (think the sound of eating dinner multiplied by like, a million). The room is a jumble of benches covered by hodge-podge pirates regaling their salty tales of giant squids and ghost ships whilst they eat. Fancypants shuffles wearily through the throng carrying his own bowl of slop. He finds his regular spot at one of the benches and slides himself in. Moments later he is joined by a personable pirate with a carefree swagger and a hook for a hand; it’s his best-mate (pirate-pun intended), the formidable super-sailor, √ČOIN NAUGHTEN. Naughten greets Fancypants with a hearty slap on the back and immediately dives straight into conversation.

So today’s the day you get that big promotion, eh Fancypants?
About time too! I’ve been working my butt off for the cap’n lately, but now it’s time to get my share of the booty!
Hear, hear!

The conversation drifts to more general pirate talk; seagulls and waves etc. Before long Fancypants excuses himself from the bench and starts towards the sign marked ‘Here Be Toilets’ at the back of the canteen.

Fancypants makes his way down a creaky corridor, swaying slightly with the motion of the sea. As he approaches the door marked W.C. he holds his nose in grim anticipation of the stench that awaits. He knocks on the door and without hesitation begins to open it. As he does so he hears a startled cry from within, but it’s too late! He is suddenly face to face with CAP’N JERK SCALLYWAG (think Bluebeard meets Blackbeard) who is sat stupefied on the toilet. There is an ultra-awkward split-second when their eyes meet (think that feel when you walk in on someone using the toilet times like, a million). Fancypants immediately slams the door and scuttles alarmedly back down the corridor.

Fancypants, Naughten and the rest of the crew are lined up side-by-side on the deck. There is a low murmur of excitement among them. Naughten whispers to Fancypants.

This is it, your time has finally come! Congrats in advance!

Fancypants begins to reply but as he does the fearsome Cap’n Scallywag appears on deck. The crew immediately goes silent as he clears his throat.

Yarr mateys, I know it’s been a tough year: We’ve lost good men to the sea-gods, to the sharks, and to other general pirate stuff like seagulls and waves etc. But I want you all to know that I value your loyalty, for stickin’ with me through the highs and the lows as it were. The thick and the thin if you will. However, there is one man I’d like to thank especially. One man who has gone above and beyond his duties as a pirate.

Scallywag begins to walk slowly along the men.

As you all know I’ve been looking for a salty sea-dog to be me new first mate…

Naughten grins at Fancypants as Scallywag moves up the line, getting closer and closer to them.

And that lucky buccaneer is…

Scallywag stops in front of the duo and turns towards them. He meets Fancypants’ eyes for an instant but a surge of awkward energy forces him to look away. He hesitates and looks to the left of Fancypants…


The announcement causes a look of confusion and panic on both Naughten, and to a greater extent, Fancypants’ face. Naughten is suddenly swarmed by the other crew members.

Three cheers for first-mate Naughten! Hip hip! Hooray! Hip Hip! Hooray! Hip Hip…

As the crew carry Naughten off to celebrate below deck, Fancypants is left dumb-struck, staring up at the sky in a daze. After a moment he lowers his head, a look of crushing realisation dawns on his face.

Fancypants once again traverses the creaky corridor towards the W.C. Once again he stops outside the door and knocks, however this time, he waits until he is sure there is no one inside before entering.