Lady Wimpleseed-Prissypott 17: Ballroom Dancing

In the previous episode, Lady P.P. confronted Smythie Smathers with a knife. S.S. revealed that he arrived from the future in a DeLorean. He was pursuing of Mata Hari. That did not let him off the hook-ski.

That evening our heroine wandered into the ship’s only ballroom alone. So far, it was an interesting voyage. She had found her womanhood, and she was bound and determined not to lose it again.

Soon Alexandria, that mysterious city built by the Great, would be in sight. First Istanbul, then the S. S. Twit, and it had been two weeks since she had slept under clean sheets. Nothing brought a smile to a rich American girl’s lips more than clean sheets. Maybe she might find them there.

A short man wearing a monocle approached her. “Pipsqueak Pimplesquat at your service.” Mr. Monocle clicked his heels together, saluted, and offered, “Madame, would you care to dance the light fantastic?”

“I do believe I will,” Marye agreed to his proposal. “But don’t get too friendly. I am not an easy lay-di.”

“I assure you that I am a gentleman,” he said, offering her his arm. He took her into his arms. They moved onto the dance floor, the dashing German dashing across the floor with the lovely young American widow with lots of moolah and a title.

On the stage before the orchestra stood the world famous Tootles “The Tootler” Tootle Lou. She crooned her song, “The tub may be sinking but the water’s fine.” Everyone watched the couple move body to body over the floor, ooh-ing and ah-ing their admiration. Then the band went into a ragtime swing. The couple did the do, dancing the Doodlebug.

Suddenly, from the ship’s crow’s nest, a sailor called, “Iceberg! Iceberg!”

This stunned everyone. The ship was in the Mediterranean. There shouldn’t be an iceberg anywhere near the Mediterranean. Panic set in.The voyagers didn’t know what else to do, except panic. It was a lesson they’d learned many times over. The Dancing Panic of 1518. The Penis Panic of 1843. The Wall Street Panics of 1873 and 1893. If it was good enough for dancing, penises and Wall Street, why not on board the S. S. Twit?

They were doing what the Wall Street rag, “Rooster Tooth”, suggested in a twenty-first century incarnation. They were “People Acting Normal in Crazy-Ass Situations.” The passengers and the crew ran hither and thither, thither and hither aboard the ship.

The sailor in his crow’s nest called, “Just kidding, folks. No iceberg.”

But it was too late.

Next Week: The Return of Quills

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