The Last Cruise – A Fairy Tale for New Year’s Eve

TIT011DJ_0-345b632It is the final hours of 2019 and aboard the bad ship Neoliberalism, things are not going so well. Listing heavily to starboard, the ship is taking in water. There are multiple fires burning throughout the vessel. Storms rage and vast chunks of ice slam into her. The gift shop is overrun by rats.

In first class, most passengers are partying like it’s 1999. Some are setting fire to huge bundles of cash, just for the hell of it. Others shoot at stranded polar bears with high-powered rifles. A small contingent of the super-rich are preparing to leave the ship via a rocket. On the bridge, the captain and officers, corrupt and incompetent psychopaths to a man, are attempting to hit as many icebergs as possible, keen to see if the ship really is unsinkable.

In the chapel, the passengers believe there is no cause for concern and wish the youngsters would just shut up and stop making a fuss. Some feel that the ship cannot be in danger of sinking, although if it does sink, it will be God’s will and therefore not a problem.

The passengers in the port-side cabins believe it is time for a dramatic change, if only they can agree on who should lead them. They vote to organise a series of debates to narrow the field down to a round two-dozen.

Passengers from the starboard cabins believe the danger to the ship is over-stated, or simply a conspiracy, invented by the other side. One contingent suggest that any actual problems that exist are down to the presence of passengers of colour, and vote to make ships white again.

In a quickly organised referendum, a motion to abandon the union of cruise liners and ditch all safety protocols is passed, but only after major interference by Russian interests and Oligarchs from first class.

A small group of scientists and engineers hatch a plan to save the ship, but realise they will need to somehow gain control of the bridge and throw most of the first-class passengers overboard. The plan is popular but lacks full majority support. They agree to hold a series of feasibility studies and then look at the data again soon.

A lone young woman stands at the Prow, seeing the Mother of all icebergs looming. She frantically alerts the passengers and crew, but is dismissed as an alarmist, selfish brat by the starboard-side passengers. A young contingent rally behind her, and attempt to gain access to the upper decks. As they hammer on the doors, the wealthy create barricades from piles of cash, jewellery and consumer goods. Many are taking a nap.

Back on the bridge, the captain has topped up his tan and just returned from a round of mini-golf. He claims the best score ever recorded. A motion to have him removed has failed and, more insane than before, he fires all the officers and puts his family in charge. A dead albatross is appointed as safety officer.

As the young and port-side passengers demand an immediate change of course, the captain finally sees the giant iceberg just metres ahead. He gathers his family around him to pray for holy intervention. A sudden bolt of lightning strikes the bridge and they are all fried.

Will the passengers reach the bridge in time to stop the ship or change course? Find out next year…

© Copyright Jason Lennick 2019

Pic via historyextra.com Artist unknown.

The not-so-holy grail

Indiana Jones

Hello! Yes Half Bananas is back from the dead, or at least a rather long hiatus. This may be my first post in a while, but hopefully not the last.

So, what’s been happening in your world over the past few months? I hope it’s been full of fun, adventure, and at least a few nice surprises.

Of course most of us don’t lead lives full of fun, adventure and surprise. We may try to, but somehow we seem to end up with days that mostly consist of routine, frustrations and lots of annoyances we could do without. Perhaps we need be on our guard and challenge ourselves to avoid those ruts, brighten up our dull days and boldly go where no one has gone before. Or at least where we haven’t. Easier said than done. But this year I have been making an effort to ring the changes. And if the changes are not answering, well I’ll just leave a message.

But then again, boredom can be a great motivator. It is, after all, thanks to extreme boredom with his humdrum job that Albert Einstein dreamed up the revolutionary recipe for making Marmite. Although sadly for him, some other scientists had the exact same idea and he had to be content with the theory of relativity and all that other sciency stuff. Poor Albert.

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Play that fungi music white boy*

Spanish_SlugYesterday felt like a day of strangeness and magic. First came a great deluge that threatened to wash away the parked cars and the occasional cyclist in an almost biblical-style flood. I stood under cover, caught between my local store and home after returning from work. I was listening to some sublime electronica at the time, a unique soundtrack to the cascades of water splashing and bouncing off roads and pavements. For a few minutes I just stood and watched, mesmerised by the experience. I found I was smiling broadly and felt an easing of the hangover headache that had dogged me all day. It was just a moment of subtle, indefinable magic.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the downpour ceased and I broke cover and headed the few hundred metres home, trying to avoid lake-Ontario-sized puddles. A rainbow appeared briefly above our block of flats, a fitting appearance at the end of Copenhagen’s Gay Pride week.

I will backtrack slightly to me leaving the cafe where I work, about an hour beforehand. I ran into a lady of mature years, standing outside. She wanted to know more about the place. It turned out she was a fellow Brit and after basic pleasantries were exchanged, I told her all about our lovely little non-profit cafe and the many activities we host within. The lady seemed most pleased at my invitation to come and sample our food and perhaps make some new friends. “You are my angel of the day” she announced, in a warm northern accent, and I was perfectly happy with this description. I have been called lots of things, but don’t often get called an angel.

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Ninety-eight red balloons

dont-look-now-smallA journey into the city recently turned into one of those Mondays of minor irritations and muse-inspiring moments that just sticks in the mind.


It didn’t start well, since my watch strap, the subject of a few recent repair attempts, finally gave up the ghost and snapped. This turned into something of a metaphor as shortly afterwards I literally ran out of time and missed my bus to the station by seconds. Oaths and dark curses were muttered as I waited in the cold for its successor.

After transferring from train to the Metro, a guy got on with luggage but neglected to hold on as the train lurched forwards. He fell against me and trod heavily on my foot. It’s fortunate that I’d neglected to pack my razor-sharp ninja sword that morning, else he’d have been completing his journey minus his head.
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Funny business

In the city recently, after doing a stint at my part-time voluntary job, I tried a new route home to explore a little and noticed this Thai restaurant name:

funnybiz0

It reminded me of others I remembered from the distant past – there was a hairdresser called ‘Heads I do’ and another called ‘Hairport’. There are of course many more good examples online. So here is a little selection of funny (or painful) Business names. Enjoy.
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Calling all weirdos

salvador-dali-famous-introverted-people-biography

Are you a bit weird? How would you know for sure? How does one even define such a term?

The OED defines it thus:

Weirdo: A person whose dress or behaviour seems strange or eccentric.”

Okay, so we have a working definition, which is a start. But things may not be quite so simple. Because you see there are so many other categories that seem to impinge on this one: oddballs, eccentrics, characters, visionaries, freaks, outsiders, introverts, writers..

It’s a fine line between eccentric and bonkers, between visionary genius and delusional crackpot. Stay just on the right side of it, and you might find yourself lauded, loved and sung about (although maybe not in your lifetime). Wander across that imaginary line too far though and you might find yourself mocked, attacked or even taking up residence in a locked room with heavily padded walls and terrible room service.

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Lake-side bliss and beetle-juice

lake-bird

A slight departure from the more usual format today for a different type of rambling. Well a short bus ride/walk anyway, to a lake that is just a stone’s throw (if you are Thor) from our place.

Furesø lake is twenty kilometers north-west of Copenhagen and is apparently the deepest in Denmark. It’s also a perfect location to relax on such a fine sunny day. With the bordering forest an added attraction, we figured it was high time we made a return visit.
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