Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Master and Commander of the Family

Scene: A father, not unlike Clark W. Griswold, is driving his wife and two sons cross-country to Los Angeles from Chicago in a large, wood-paneled station wagon. Having recently seen (and very much enjoyed) the motion picture Master and Commander, the father has decided to be Master and Commander of the the Family.

Cast: The father, Herbert, is wearing thick black glasses, the product of too many years as an associate in a medium-sized accounting firm. His wife, Madge, is a part-time real-estate agent who aspires to join the $1,000,000 club. His twin boys, Brad and Brent, are 14, their eyes obscured by mops of sandy-brown shocks of hair.

Herbert: Mr. Midshipmen, hands to the braces! Port your helm. Jump to it - and brail up the mains'l!

Madge: Herbert, will you please stop with that silly yelling? It's been over a week since you saw that movie! You're making no sense!

Herbert: Madge,under penalty of a charge of insubordination, ye'll address me as Cap'n and by no other appellation. Discipline in this man's navy is the watchword. Failure to abide by this rule will mean I muster ye out at the next port-o-call.

Madge: Seriously? Is that an option?

Herbert: Lieutenant Madge, I'll not warn you again, I'll brook no insubordination -

Brent: Dad, there's one of those new Porsche Cayennes coming up fast in the passing lane!

Herbert: [Shouting] Master of the watch, I'd be pleased if ye'd run up with a glass and tell me if ye see any of the enemy about!

Brent: What's that mean, Dad? [Whispering to Brad] What's he mean?

Brad: I think he wants to go faster so he can get a better look at the Porsche as it passes us. See if there's any cops around.

Herbert: Look smart, Mr. Midshipmen... have you sighted a privateer or a frog on the horeezon?

Brent: Uhmm, no...

Herbert: That's no way to speak to your commanding officer! Boy, you'll run up to the mizzen watch this instant or be clapped in irons!

Brad: Dad, I think he meant there aren't any cops around.

Herbert: Another bloody insubordinate? Both of you will taste the lash before this day is done!

[Continued on page 3]

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