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A Clean Story
A Clean Story
Cleaning supplies are something we take for granted. Someone asked me recently if I knew anything about these marvelous scrubbers and their origins. Me being daddy-man and all, I am expected to have answers to these important questions.
So I made something up.
Much is made of the shootin' match between the Monitor and the Merrimac during the U.S. Civil War. It was indeed the first big match between two ironclads, and deserves its place in history.
But there were other naval battles related to the conflict, and they ranged from ports in Northern Europe to the Orient.
Near Kowloon (you may know it as Hong Kong), a rebel rum and spice runner was discovered by the USS Bungplug. The Confederate vessel was just leaving port with a load of tea and spices they hoped to turn into cash in Buenos Aires, and was slow at the helm. The Bungplug was a fighting vessel, but not a swift one. So the Confederates began the cat and mouse game of island-hopping, double-switchbacks, and general tomfoolery to try to lose the Bungplug.
It was going well, but then the seas began to swell and the winds tore at the rebel's sails. The Bungplug's captain, Jedediah Cornhole, was ecstatic - his mighty ship would easily stand such a squall; and the reb was barely seaworthy, a rusty rum-runner.
But fortune smiled on the Confederates. Both were driven hard by the storm, and pushed far from each other. The reb ran aground on Molokai island, in the Hawaiian chain. As the storm cleared, the captain of the vessel knew that his best hope would be to disguise the boat by changing its name and appearance.
As he pondered the dilemma, one of his crew returned from a scavenging run onto the island. He carried a sheep, but it was unlike any the crew had seen before. The lamb glistened in the sun, and the crewman carrying her was bowed over by the weight of the tiny beast.
The captain was wise, and had others in the crew retrieve more of this metallic mutton. When they had a small herd, the captain showed the crew his plan - and soon they were taking shifts scrubbing the sides of their vessel with these animals. Before long, the metallic casings on the ship shone like new, and even the wooden hull appeared as fresh wood.
The captain silently removed the plank where the name of his vessel had been so proudly painted, a tear in his eye, and said, "Lads, from here on we're the Liberian pleasure cruiser Carnivale."
They set sail, and made their run.
One of the natives of the island had watched with great fascination through the whole process. He and his people were well aware of the magical qualities of these sheep - they called it "metal wool" - but he was fascinated by the visitors. He went to the water's edge and picked up the old name plank and read "CSA Brillo."
10/20/2005 7:29 pm
Captain Cornhole? Hahahahahaha! Oh brother... |
10/21/2005 1:39 am
Keith - Oh yes; his tactics are still studied at the Navel War College (not to be confused with the Naval War College), where ocifers study belly buttons - their own, and others (like this one) ==>greeneyesatl05..|