Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On the Seven Seas

On the Seven Seas

I have always been perplexed by the English language and the hideous tortures to which it is subjected. This paragraph, in fact, being a case in point.

Which idiot, for example came up with such descriptive tosh as this: "The heaving bosom of the sea"?

'Does the sea actually have bosoms?', I ask.

After standing for long hours on Weymouth beach at the height of the holiday season, comparing and contrasting the surface of the sea with a number of graphic illustrations from the monthly journal 'Big Ones' in the name of SCIENCE, I have come to one irrefutable conclusion: No. It does not.

Can you put your head between the pinky fleshness of the bit where the North Sea meets the English Channel and go "Blbbl blbbl blbbl"?

No. You will almost certainly be fished out of the brine half-drowned, and the man from the RNLI will dine out for a lifetime once you tell him what you've been up to.

The sea: It does not have bosoms. It tastes of salt, and that is all the aspiring writer needs to know.

As Herman Melville wrote in his classic Moby Dick:

The crew of the Pequod lay exhausted, tossed on the salty jism of the ocean until they were nothing but dry husks, their bolts well and truly shot.

With dread filling their hearts, they lolled around the deck as ship rolled on the swell, until Ahab came amongst them calling: "Who's for sloppy seconds, boys?"

But, to a man, they were limp. Pumped dry.
Now, that's literature.

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