The Shanty Continuum


Here’s the story of a hobo, dusting and a g-string.

I miss a good drunken sea shanty. Although I suppose the events of Saturday afternoon falls more into the category of a general shanty. I’m not entirely that familiar with the word shanty, is what I suppose I’m saying. It was a bus shanty. Put it that way. I miss shanties. Then again, I miss typewriters, too. And that 50p I lost in a bet with a hobo.

Picture the scene, if you will. There I am. Sitting next to a delightful older woman, I’d say 60s, 70s even. Not many people on the bus but there was when I got on it, which is why I was sitting next to the woman. Than a man arrives on the bus. I noticed him stumbling from the pub across the road and I immediately thought, ‘Oh, good gravy, this granola is about to get funky’. Indeed, the funk of the granola rose exponentially to a groove factor of about 47. I have no idea what I’m talking about, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. I think the fumes coming off the heavily drunken drunkard were intoxicating. A bit like standing next to the extractor fan of a custard cream factory. Not that I’ve done that. But, rest assured, it’s now on my bucket list. Along with ‘get drunk and start singing shanties on a bus’ and ‘see how many hairbrushes it takes to come a walrus’.

That man on the bus. He started singing. I mean, really singing. Shouting, even. I have never heard such a racket. I haven’t heard I’ve Been Working on a Railroad for a good few years now. Not since our music teacher made us sing it in class like a camp dictator. “Come on darlings, where’s the valour in your tenor, you could be fabulous!” I was eight. That was an eye-opening experience. I probably will end up singing I’ve Been Working on a Railroad. For money. With a sign. By the side of a road. Wearing rags and a sexy g-string. Sorry? Did I say that aloud? Damnation. I could still make my teacher proud. I wanted to join in.

Everybody! The drunken bus shanty man shouted. I really wanted to stand up and start singing, “ALL THE LIVELONG DAY!” FREEDOM! To do what I want! To say what I want! Everything is so serious these days. Yes, he was hammered but he had a good point. Why not? Bring back the shanties, I say. It’s what this world needs, methinks.

But I’m shy, so I can’t have that kind of fun. No, my kind of fun involves the little things. The details, say. Dusting. I find that very therapeutic. Where does the dust go? It just disappears. But nothing truly disappears. It’s in the air. A part of the fibre of our existence. An ethereal, almost magical existence of harmonious rationality, a plane of knowledge beyond all comprehension and life itself, I mean – you know what, it’s probably just in my lungs. It’s only dust. Fun dusting. The new extreme sport.

I was thinking this week. Rare for that to happen, but it happened. I was on the bus, not the shanty bus, but a normal, dull bus. Sitting in front of me was a delightful elderly woman. Slow to move but perfectly capable and active. Very chatty. I overheard her talking to her friend. It was her birthday soon. 102nd. Jebus, mother of potatoes. She was alive when the Titanic set sail. It got me thinking about life. Then I arrived home and discovered I’m apparently a woman. It’s was a confusing day. Put it that way.

Do I come across as a woman? Is it the g-string comment? Because I swear, that’s all above board. I’m a man. I do manly things. I like explosions. No, really. I’m totally radical. Is that what the kids say? Or is it too ‘90s? I was born in the ‘90s, so forgive me. I lost touch with the modern world around 1999. I think fighting is awesome. No, it’s pathetic. Girls in skimpy outfits. Pretty hot, huh? No, it’s degrading. I could go on all day debunking manly myths, but I won’t. Suffice to say, I’m not very manly.

But what is manliness? Why is gender defined by colours and objects, by actions and by beliefs? That annoys me. It’s a can of worms. But I shouldn’t have been so angry. So what if my readers think I’m a woman. Meh. Fair enough. Nothing wrong with being a woman. That’s another can of worms I’m steering away from. Gender is just a word. That shanty dude on that bus could’ve easily been a woman. I mean, instead of a man. Not, he was a woman dressed as a man. Heck, he could’ve been. You can’t really judge a butcher by the size of his cleaver. I think. I didn’t want to say ‘book-by-cover’ because it’s tediously overused. I hope the butcher one will catch on. Because when these e-book doohickies take over the world and single-handedly destroy all literature as we know it, that phrase will become rather redundant. Heck, butchers may become redundant one day when we all get sick of eating horse. I don’t think that’s likely to happen, though. Personally, I love a bit of horse. I could’ve worded that better. Ah, well.

Been an interesting week, to say the least. My mood today is contemplative. Happy. Thoughtful. Intrigued. Toothbrush. Pickle. Sorry, I forgot what I was doing there for a moment and started naming objects. The important thing about a week is how you end it. Did I end my week well? Well, this is my 99th post so I’m very excited about the week ahead. Last week was interesting. And right now? Feeling fine. Well, most of me is.

For some reason, I have sore eyebrows. Barmy. Truly barmy.

British comic actor and filmmaker, Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin (1898-1977), once said: “A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk”.

Peace Out :|:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. You can leave a comment and/or like this post below, or by clicking the little bubble on the top right if you are on the Archives Page. Likes and follows greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other two blogs:

To Contrive & Jive
Click Here For The Latest Post

Hark Around The Words
Click Here For The Latest Post


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s