The novelist had done many things in his life, including riding backwards down a long hill on a bicycle, while pedaling furiously in four different directions. As he explained at the time, while they extracted him from the river, he’d meant to do that.
Now, for some equally obscure reason, he’d meant to fling a pie at Cap’n Jonas Sly, the Terror of Seven Seas and A Whole Lot of Rivers.
So he had.
He wondered why he’d done it.
Worrying about ‘how’ would have to wait—the holds of pirate ships are not usually places where one looks for a satisfyingly squashy banana cream pie.
The novelists companions stared at the pirate captain in horror. Cream dribbled down his beard onto the shining gold buttons of his coat.
“Now you’ve done it!” squeaked the Press. “Look what you’ve done, you’ve—you’ve pied him!”
“Yes.” The novelist hadn’t felt so absurdly pleased since he won his first minor literary award. “So I have, haven’t I.”
The committee chairman fluttered faintly in a corner. “A motion has been made,” he said weakly. “But I missed the second part.”
“I think,” said the poet darkly, “it’s about to happen. I refer, of course, to the muffled string of curses thundering from under the pie.”
The companions watched in terrified fascination as Cap’n Sly reached up and peeled the pie of his face. A glob of banana splotched to the floor. The awkward silence—or whatever it had turned into—ambled over and wolloffed it happily.
Cap’n Sly’s face was redder than a blushing redcoat. He took a deep breath, and choked on a fluff of cream. He doubled up coughing for five minutes.
“Er,” said the novelist, “would this be an advisable time to effect our escape?”
“It would,” said the poet. “If Cap’s Sly weren’t standing in the only way out.”
They waited glumly for the pirate captain to finish coughing.
Cap’n Sly straightened up. He took a careful deep breath, and began to shout.
“Why, you sea-swallowing landlubbing barnacle-brained
The following monologue has been judged
unsuitable for persons of a delicate disposition,
neurotic nerves, or jittery jumps.
We recommend that, for the duration of the monologue
you ignore the pirate captain,
and enjoy looking at this picture
of a pretty pink pony.
“Ah,” said the novelist. “Did anyone else see a pink pony just then?”
“Yark!” yarked whatever it was the awkward silence now was.
“AND THEN!” roared Cap’n Sly, “if there’s enough of you left to scupper, ye hornswoggling swabs, by jingle I’ll scupper ye so scuppered, you won’t know what scuppered ye!”
“There was,” said the novelist. “A pink pony. I saw it.”
The Press looked rather green. “Must have been your life flashing past your eyes, mate. Nice knowing you.”
“So if there’s a god you happen to serve,” said Cap’n Sly, “you’d best be asking his pardon now, on the tiny chance he, she, or it will think you’ve been good enough to go to hell.”
“What, so that we can wave down at you?” said the novelist.
The awkward silence yarked in terror, and proceeded to grow six more legs and balloon to the size of a small elephant.
Cap’n Sly laughed suddenly. “Why, matey, you’ve got gumption! First you fling pies and then you cheek Cap’n Jonas T. Sly, within ten minutes? You’re just the sort of matey I’ve been looking for to help me run a mutiny.”
“Er,” said the poet, “just then, did anyone else think of the word inconsistency?”
“What about the pink pony?” yelled the novelist.
The poet sighed. “Never mind that word, then.”