This month’s #blogbattle prompt is navigate
Nelson Bonaparte Plonker was conflicted. His name, for starters. All male Plonkers had been named after their place of conception (or as close as the contributing member could recall) for generations. Nelson’s father, Halifax was pretty sure the big event consisted of four pints of Heavy Weather and a knee trembler behind the snug bar of the Dog’s Bollocks in the High Street. As it transpired this tradition ended when Preston Plonker, Halifax’s younger brother gave into some pressing procreative urges in Cockermouth on a squidgy bank holiday and the registrar refused to complete the birth registration on the basis of pre-emptive child cruelty.
It was the same registrar who had inadvertently given Nelson his unwanted middle name. Nelson’s mother, a professional gossip and dance pole greaser was in the queue for the registrar and was pressing the woman behind for more details of her Siamese twins’ operation when she was asked for her son’s names. As his mother said Nelson, the other woman explained how, in fact her twins were born apart. By such misfortune is the course of a life decided.
Taking a lead from his name, when Nelson left school he decided the navy was his best bet (his career’s advisor, Joe B’sworth, despaired of Nelson seeing sense, indicating that focusing on his middle name was fraught with risk as those seeking to conquer Europe had been tried and found wanting).
The first question was which branch of the aquatic services.
While the Royal Navy has its pluses: blue serge trousers, cute hats and enormously phallic weaponry, the Merchant Navy is equally blessed as giving opportunities for exciting foreign travel, novelty cocktails and institutional pognophilia. So unsure was Nelson, as he navigated his options that he took a job as a magician’s assistant on a Cruise liner, sailing under the authority of Captain Willie Wontee.
After some cursory training involving two rabbits, a top hat and a pair of excessively capacious trousers with elasticated ankles, Nelson was broadly ready for life as a sailor. He took to it as a politician takes his liberties, with a natural insouciance and sense of entitlement.
Indeed all was well until the third night, when Nelson was installed in the mystery cabinet from which Maestro Mystereo promised the audience he would disappear.
And so he did. But at the very moment he vanished, Mystereo suffered a catastrophic system’s failure and collapsed onto the stage. In the ensuing flap, the mystery cabinet was removed to storage with Nelson still ensconced within. Nelson was none the wiser.
Eventually, recognising he was becoming a touch peckish, Nelson began to hunt for a way out. And found none. It took the crew some three weeks to realise Nelson was missing – the increase in rabbit numbers with no one to care for them brought home his absence. A search was undertaken and Nelson’s skeletal form discovered in the small cupboard within a cupboard.
Many apologies were offered and he was given whatever opportunity he fancied to try a different aspect of sea life while he navigated his way back to health.
‘The kitchens,’ he responded with alacrity.
‘No surprise there,’ murmured the purser. ‘He must be starved.’
Indeed, Nelson was peckish but that wasn’t the real reason. During his three week enforced incarceration he had survived on a diet of his own urine and his nipples, reckoning they were pretty useless as originally intended. So taken was he with the various ways in which he had been able to enjoy these gratuitous body parts that he felt sure with some experimentation he had a winner on his hands.
Some two years later, to much fanfare, Nelson launched his unique line in cocktail nipples for the discerning host and was arrested shortly thereafter, being charged with seventeen thousand incidents of chest mutilation.
When later he was questioned why he did it, his response was a sigh and a reference to his career’s advisor, Joe B’sworth. ‘He always said I’d make a tit of myself.’