People told me my fear of boats was an irrational one. I said one word and one word only to these people; Ti-Fucking-Tanic.
The very premise of boats is, to me, ridiculous. They are made of metal. And they’re supposed to float. I’ll admit I’m not big on physics, but common sense tells me that metal is heavy and dense and sinks to the bottom of water. And no matter how much any scientist tries to explain to me that the construction of a boat allows it to glide gracefully on top of the water rather than get swallowed up by it, I believe that boats are deadly, unnecessary forms of transportation.
But despite all this I one day found myself on a boat. A cruise ship, no less. This boat weighed 100,000 tons, and it bobbed up and down on the water like a rubber duck. It’s the kind of thing I’d avoid like the plague. But somehow, something (probably vodka) managed to get me on it.
I stood out on deck and observed the vast blueness of the ocean around me. It was obscenely fucking blue. It was taunting me, telling me that everything was nice and tropical and that there was nothing to be afraid of, when I knew full well that I was on a boat in the middle of deep water with no chance of survival.
But what was worse were my fellow cruisers. Wrinkled old hags with lilac rinse perms and leather satchel skins. They laughed when I explained my fear. They laughed in my face. If I had a fear of flying and was on a plane people would be comforting me, soothing my worried brow with gin and tonic and peanuts and sucky sweets to stop my ears popping. But here on this big ass ship all I got were mocking cackles and old lady contempt.
So I locked myself in my cabin and I swore I would stay there until we hit land. I closed my eyes and dreamt of golden sands and luscious grass, of nice smooth tarmac that stayed steady beneath my feet. I applauded the sheer kindness of solid ground for always being where it was supposed to be, always there for me, ready to catch me when I fell. Not like that cruel, wet ocean that would swallow me up as soon as it got close.
But my contemplations of land versus water were suddenly disturbed by a terrifying alarm. I knew that alarm. I recognised it from the safety drill we had had that morning. That alarm meant that death by drowning was imminent. The ship was sinking.
I threw myself out of the cabin door and began to push my way past all the old leather satchel ladies. They had lived for plenty of years already, the world could manage if they died. I had so much more to give, I needed to be saved.
As I reached the deck I realised that one half of the ship was already much lower in the water than the other. We were definitely going down. The crew were trying to put people into the lifeboats but they were taking their sweet ass time about it. They didn’t seem to realise the imminent danger that we were all in. So I took charge.
‘I am the captain’s daughter, let me through, let me the fuck through. Daddy has told me that I have to get in a lifeboat immediately. You must obey him or he’ll throw you overboard.’
The old ladies began to bitch and moan, but move they did, and I managed to get to the edge of the ship and look down at the little yellow lifeboat bobbing cheerily in the sea.
Being on a ship was bad enough, but at least the cruise liner gave the illusion of being a small floating town. There was no way on earth, or on sea, that I would jump in that flimsy banana skin and try to row to safety.
So I stepped backwards, told the old dears that I was just testing them and that I would go down with my father’s ship, and told them to hop on board the banana boats. And then I casually wandered back down to my cabin, locked myself in, removed my lifejacket and waited for the water to rise.
So I guess my fear of boats killed me in the end. Too afraid was I of getting in a little boat that might tip me into the sea, I stayed on a big boat and slowly drowned to death. Call me crazy if you want, but if you do I’ll rise up from the dank ocean floor and haunt the shit out of you.Follow Ellie Scott on WordPress.com