There were two of them the Brown brothers Bob, short dark and stocky, and Les tall and blond. Both maintained they didn’t know who their father was and nor did their mother. When asked she said “oh some sailor”. Throughout their childhood and teens there were to be many sailors and so it was inevitable that this would be the vocation they would follow, that and the fact that they were so notorious in their area that nobody in their right mind would employ them.
They were only signed on the Arlanza as last minute replacements and by an agent who didn’t inform the Old Man until we were underway. He was heard to mumble that not only did he have Coco and her crowd to worry about but now two bloody lunatics.
All went well for the first 10 days and then the inevitable happened. The Arlanza was unusual in that the Bridge was separated from the main accommodation by the number 3 hatch the derrick’s of which were supported by 4 large and tall Samson posts which the Mate decided needed painting.
And as the Brown Bros had been on their best behaviour they were given the task. Not a good idea this was a job usually seen as a punishment. Done from a bosons chair and with the pitching and rolling of the ship it was uncomfortable and messy but Les and Bob made no complaint even seeming to relish the task. It was hot so both worked in just their shorts, that is until a passenger complained that two half naked men could be seen from the boat deck swinging about like apes in the rigging.
So word was sent down from the bridge that shirts were to be worn everywhere aft of the bridge. That lunch time the bros were seen loitering around the galley but turned up for work that afternoon suitably attired still wearing their shorts but shirted.
Up the samson post’s they went and started the task of swinging and painting as before. All went “swinging” until some passengers started to gather and point toward the two, it wasn’t long before a messenger came scurrying up to the bridge saying that there were two men up the masts exposing themselves. The Old Man stormed to the back of the bridge to see the aforesaid Bros nonchalantly painting away with what looked like a very fat third leg protruding from their shorts.
By now there was quite a gathering of passengers some now calling out and pointing to the offending appendages. The Old Man knew he had to do something but at the back of his mind there was something telling him this wasn’t right. You two tidy yourselves up make yourselves decent.
Fatal, for with that, in unison they drew their deck knives and grasping the end of said offending piece and with one slash cut it free and hurled it over their shoulder into the sea.
Some say that a couple of the lady’s fainted, I don’t know but I do know that the Old Man was virtually on his knees by the time he got back inside the wheelhouse the tears pouring down his cheeks, sausages the bastards sausages was all he could say.