11:33pm - 14th April 1912 - RMS Titanic...
Latest News off the wires is that a furious row has just taken place in the wheelhouse of the White Star Line's RMS Titanic, currently approaching New York City from the north east, on her maiden voyage and possible blue ribbon winning trip, somewhere off Newfoundland.
Skoob News's man on the scene, Gilbert Shuttlecock reported that a warning had been issued from the crow's nest to the effect that the vessel was rapidly approaching an iceberg and appeared to be in perilous proximity to a collision with said iceberg.
First Officer, Edmond Hightower immediately issued the order to turn the ship "hard-a-starboard" (sharp left) according to Shuttlecock.
Which is when the ferocious argument commenced, as related by Shuttlecock:
"There was a blazing row between First Officer Hightower, and Second Officer Frederick Lynton," Shuttlecock tapped out over the wires. "Indeed the pair came to the point of exchanging blows. Here is a rough transcript of the conversation:
LYNTON - 'Hard-a Starboard! Have you taken leave of your bloody senses sir?'
HIGHTOWER - 'The berg is over two miles distant. We shall steer safe passage around the bugger, and there's an end of it!'
LYNTON - 'The end of us more like! Did you know that an iceberg only reveals one eighth of its bulk above the surface sir?'
HIGHTOWER - 'We'll miss it. Trust me. And keep your voice down Second Officer. You're starting to sound alarmingly like a woman!'
LYNTON - 'Sir...are you aware of the fact that this vessel's hull is compartmentalised?'
HIGHTOWER - 'What on earth are you blithering on about man?'
LYNTON - 'The hull is compartmentalised along its length sir, but the compartments are not floodproof because the bulkheads don't extend all the way to the deck above!'
HIGHTOWER - 'And what the devil is that supposed to mean?'
LYNTON - 'It means, sir, that it is better to hit the iceberg head on than to have it scrape along the hull. For fuck's sake.'
HIGHTOWER - 'Head on? Head on!? Are you insane, man!?'
LYNTON - 'Sir, if we strike the berg head on, we shall indeed suffer serious damage to the vessel - but only the first compartment will flood, and the vessel will stay afloat and fully functional. The only damage incurred will be to the prow and to the pride of the White Star Line.'
HIGHTOWER - 'Nah, we'll steer safe passage around the bugger! Hard-a-starboard!'
LYNTON - 'You aren't listening, are you? You pig headed fuckwit!'
HIGHTOWER - 'Oh but I most certainly am listening, and it's quite clear to me that you've lost yer blatherin' marbles man! To the brig with the bugger!'
LYNTON - 'But hold! I entreat you sir - consider my carefully considered words...for my only wish is for this magnificent ship and all who sail in her to reach safe harbour!'
HIGHTOWER - 'Desist! This instant! That means you too Arm - stop twisting his arm up his back by way of his knackers and let the man speak!'
ARM - 'Bollocks....I wuz enjoyin' dat, so I was...'
HIGHTOWER - 'Just...stop it. Continue, Second Officer..."
LYNTON - 'Oh for fuck's sake...it's like this right? The water temperature out there is minus two degrees C - that's two degrees below freezing...'
HIGHTOWER - 'And?'
LYNTON - 'Don't you see, that with the inferior steel used in the construction of this mighty ship, not to mention the shit rivetting, a sidelong glancing blow against an iceberg would be like a knife cutting through butter. As many as seven, or even nine, compartments could be pierced and compromised!'
HIGHTOWER - 'But as I already said - we shall navigate safe passage around it, you buffoon!'
LYNTON - 'You can't navigate safe passage around it, you idiot! There's infinitely more to this iceberg than meets the eye! Most of it beneath the surface!'
HIGHTOWER - 'Yes. I know that. But it's two miles away. That should give us plenty of leeway. We'll be all right. Trust me.'
LYNTON - 'But we won't be all right if we try to skirt the cursed thing! That's my point! You fucking dunderhead! We must hit it head on! In order to save the souls of every man, woman, and child on board. Including the poor bastards locked in Third Class!'
HIGHTOWER - 'Head on? Head on? Do you realise what you're saying, man? At this rate of knots, a head on collision would be tantamount to a car crash! People will be tossed from their bunks!'
LYNTON - 'Better that than a slow, painful death in an icy sea! If you continue on this insane course, sir, the ship will be breached by the berg, and the only way from there is down...'
HIGHTOWER - 'Hold your horses sir! You fucking rotter! Let me tell you something! I've got none other than Kate fucking Winslett in First Class! Leo DeCaprio in steerage! And Kenneth Moore in black and white! Are you seriously suggesting that I have them tossed out of their bunks? And all because of some crackpot theory?'
LYNTON - 'Let's put it this way - this vessel is 249.1 metres long - it can't possibly survive even a glancing blow from an iceberg the size of the fading mill town of Burnley itself! It only has 64 lifeboats - enough for a third of the ship's compliment! I'm telling you, here and now, that if you do not alter your course right now - this very instant - the consequences will forever besmirch the annals of history!'
HIGHTOWER - 'Bollocks! It's fucking mutiny on the high seas is this! And I'm not fucking having it! To the brig with the barmy bastard!'
LYNTON - 'So be it! On your head be it! I've told you that the only way forward is to hit this iceberg head on! But you won't fucking have it! You know what happens next? Do you? Do you?'
HIGHTOWER - 'Yes, of course, you mutinous fuckwit! We navigate around the berg and we arrive in New York City exactly as planned! End of!'
ARM - 'I've got Second Officer Lynton in a sleeper hold, sir. Just say the word...'
LYNTON - 'You cock...what happens is that the ship strikes the berg a glancing blow, the hull is breached, and one by one, the compartments fucking flood! The sheer volume of water as the incursion breaches the compartments unbalances the ship, drags the stem down, leaving the stern pulled up out of the water like an embarrassing early morning erection. The fucking boilers break free from their moorings and crash through the bulkheads! The Titanic is lost! Along with - by my rough estimation - some 1,517 souls! It'll be a permanent stain on history! An iconic denunciation of the unjust British class system, and the subject of countless films, documentaries, books, and stupid attempts at 'humour' by amateur 'comedians' a century hence! You must, at all costs heed my words, or all will be lost! For certain! The ship will be torn asunder, in half even, as it twists in it's death throes on its journey to the bottom! And it doesn't matter a fuck how many times the ship's orchestra play 'Nearer My God To Thee' - Leo DeCaprio and Kate Winslett are doomed! Hit the berg head on you fool! It's your only chance! For the love of God save our souls! And be damned if you don't!'
HIGHTOWER - 'Bang the fucking idiot up! Lock the bastard in the brig! And hard-a-Starboard! I'll win that fucking blue ribbon if it kills me!'
LYNTON - 'At times like this, I could really do with a cup of PG Tips...'
11:40pm - 14th April 1912
RMS Titanic Scrapes Against Massive Iceberg.
02:20 am - 15th April 1912
RMS Titanic is lost, along with 1,517 souls.
12:22pm - 14th April - 1912
Skoob News reporter, Gilbert Shuttlecock is rescued from the open sea by a lifeboat from the SS Carpathia, after claiming that he'd consumed two bottles of single malt whisky and simply stepping off the stern as she sank beneath the waves. Clinicians later claimed that the excessive alcohol consumption helped Shuttlecock survive the freezing waters. Upon docking at Ellis Island, Shuttlecock is taken to Belle Vue Hospital on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and pronounced clinically insane.
And condemned to a padded cell for the remainder of his natural life.*
.*Unbeknown to contemporary reporters at the time - Gilbert Shuttlecock had engaged with 'a lady of the night' in Derby Road, in the port of Southampton prior to the Titanic gig, and his illegitemate progeny continues to flourish
Which is a bit sad, because it means that more people will become embroiled in Shuttlecock's fantasy world.
Second Officer Frederick Lynton managed to escape from the brig of RMS Titanic and swim to freedom. Although he did lose his shoes as he did so. But not his socks. Following his ordeal, he lived a quiet life in Luton, before retiring to the Surrey town of Dorking.
Where he was plagued by agonising haemorrhoids which no amount of Preparation P could ever cure.
More as we get it.
Probably in another hundred years...