Ship Of Friends

Another extended night of healing sleep did Jayne Plain well: she was healing, her body catching up on all the recovery and repair work human bodies do during overnight sleep. Critical to this for her was being cuddled into Clark Barr. Nude as they were was preferable to them both, though for Jayne with nightclothes on would have been adequate, as long as the physical contact was there.

The morning’s darkness and light rain joined with the warm cuddles and ongoing need to catch up on lost sleep to keep Jayne in bed and asleep longer, into the mid-morning hours. Hunger for breakfast (which in her mind defied reason, given the huge lunch she’d eaten yesterday) and especially the scent and sounds of fresh-brewed coffee brewed to perfection by her (limited?) lover Leigh opposed the sleep-encouraging forces, urging her to wake up and start her day.

She compromised: gradually waking up in the arms of her sexy lover man, feeling so much of him and him feeling so much of her lying facing each other. The slow, tender lip kisses and very gentle slow caresses she received and soon also gave ensured that there was no other place in the universe she’d rather be at this moment, and that her full experiential focus remained in this moment, being present in it.

Leigh came over and joined in, getting the bed moving as her becoming-formidable hip, thigh, and butt fat and the rest of her sloshed up atop it.

“Someone just chonked up the bed” Clark teased.

“You bet I did!” she smiled, caressing and kissing him on the cheek and lips and wherever else she could easily reach.

Jayne lifted up her ceiling-nearest left breast, holding it out towards Leigh, drawing her mouth action off Clark onto this part of her.

Doing better coming to terms with her boob fanaticism, in her mind Leigh was more accepting of having a girlfriend lover, in the limited sexual ways with which they were both comfortable. Wanting ongoing easy access to Jayne along these lines and truly quite liking her as an ever-closer friend, she found herself more accepting of Jayne living with them and sharing her cruise husband Clark with her in every way it was possible to share him.

The coffeemaker made its usual end-of-brew-cycle blop blop pop blop pop pop sounds.

“Hey, didja hear that President Trump admitted he made a mistake and apologized?”

“No” replied Clark.

Jayne was far more surprised. “Really?

“Of course not! April Fools!

Those who’d been fooled tickled prankster Leigh with reckless abandon until she was laughing near-uncontrollably. Clark wriggled around until he could get his mouth on some of the thickest expanse of her hip fat, giving her a loudly-flupping ticklish mega-blowfish:

FlupFlupFlupFlupFlupFlupFlup

Jayne liked the idea so much, she too scrambled around to get her mouth on Leigh’s other hip.

“OK OK OK!” Leigh pleaded between laughs. “I gotta go wee, then CDC wash up and serve us coffee.”

“We could get up and get it” noted Clark.

“You could get up, but why would you do that when Squish is here nude in bed with you with her beautiful bedroom eyes, and me with my bedroom eyes will be back soon with our coffee so we can all sit and cuddle snugly sitting up in bed together and try not to get into any coffee and cats moments.”

“How could we get into that when there aren’t any cats here?”

“Are you quite sure about that?” she teased, moving his nearest hand down onto her vulva, with still-waking-up Jayne happily and slightly belatedly mirroring her. “Gotta go, kids” she said as she eased herself back off the bed. “Back soon.”

“What would you like to do today?” Clark asked his newest lover.

She said nothing. All he could see was a glittery gleam in her eyes, and her far-away, contemplative look.


Hey Arto!” Fourth Engineer Billy Bilge called out over the distance towards his boss the Chief Engineer, the two of them at work down in the Engine Room.

What?

I’ve sworn off swearing!

Really?!

FUCK no! Daaah haah haah! April Fools!” He was already inserting a dollar bill into the Swear Jar as he spoke, well knowing the price of that particular epithet in isolation, yelled at this volume.


Sapphire Prince Hotel Director Mary Biltmore looked worried as she approached her Reception desk workers Jini and Emmy, each of them wearing masks and keeping their social distance during their in-progress shift change. “There’s something fishy going on with your quarterly bonuses.”

“What do you mean?” asked Emmy, sounding as worried as her boss.

“Word from the Purser’s office is that a new employee named Orca Cetacea reporpoised the money towards a startup opening a comedy club for dolphins, starting with a series of open mic nights. But I’m thinking it might just be bilge out of someone’s blowhole. April Fools!

She handed them each a pretty, colorful sealed envelope, from her gloved hands.

Opening them up, each receptionist found a bonus half again as large as usual.

“Thank you both for your exemplary work during this tough time—no foolin’. Wish I could hug each of you as usual. Maybe next month, or whenever things get back to normal.”


April Fools jokes similar to the above ran rampant all over the Sapphire Prince, in general serving as a distraction from the existential angst of life put on hold and ravaged by COVID-19. So many people were joking around it was challenging to know what was real without verification.

Some jokes appeared online, including internally on the ship’s announcements and messaging arrangements. A few appeared, disappeared, and sometimes reappeared, in the same or differing forms or contexts.

Generally unnoticed as anything unique amongst this milieu, one particular notice kept showing up, more and more often as the day progressed, especially from early afternoon onward. Setting it apart was that it existed both electronically and physically, the latter as terse stickers or small handbills posted or left about various areas of nearly every public (non-stateroom) deck open to the Recovered class of passengers.

Many of the terse ones were of the form:

Arrrrr!: COVID-19 Survivors’ Pirate Dance!

Club Troposphere 1 April 6:30 PM orrrr thereabouts

No Foolin’!

or:

COVID-19 Survivors’ Pirate Dance

Club Troposphere 1 April abouts 6:30 evenin’ tiiiime

Come as ye arrrrrrr

Some of the longer forms of electronic and paper messages took a different tack:

Packed on pounds during the cruise? Come dance a few off or else show them off at the inclusive, fat-positive, people-positive COVID-19 Survivors’ Pirate Dance! 1 April circa 6:30 PM, Club Troposphere (Sky Deck). Dance this Fool Day and disease away!

Variants of the latter proved especially appealing outside of the Grand Promenade restaurant area, and placed around Jimmy’s Buffet up on the Sky deck, very near Club Troposphere.

There were many, many other forms of this basic information, sometimes fragmentary reminders/teases/hints rather than complete messages as above, hidden and not-so-hidden in various places.


Up on the Sky deck, access to the Club Troposphere dance floor opened a little after 6 PM. For the time being the deck’s dome cover remained closed, related to the mildly wet, tending-chilly weather throughout most of the day. Various cruisers wandered in, looking around, sometimes chatting with one another, trying to suss out what was going on. For the latter reason some approached the lone visible security guard, armed with an IR thermometer and taking everyone’s temperature before she would interact with them. No one including this guard knew what exactly was happening, including whether the promised dance was real, or a major April Fools prank.

More and more people gathered as the advertised time drew near, several of them promising to play music on their devices or Bluetooth speakers they’d brought with them if no other dance materialized. There were enough people on the floor by this point that social distancing to U.S. CDC specification wasn’t happening, nor were most people wearing masks.

The guard busily rushed around taking people’s temperatures, so far with everyone passing as non-feverish. She used a wide tip orange felt pen to draw a long diagonal line on each person’s left forearm for those with no active disease symptoms who had either had and recovered from the disease (per always-colorful personal reports) or who’d tested positive for antibodies and negative for active disease. For those with long sleeves covering their forearm, she instead marked the back of their left hand with her bright orange “OK to be here” mark.

Those watching her work or directly interacting with her could see that she’d been eating well: fat to begin with, she was beyond muffin-topping out over her belted dark navy blue duck cloth pants, all the way to the stage of belly fold-over. Too tight up above and all the way down to her mid-thighs, she had no choice, owning no larger clothes. By no means was everyone so far on the dance floor fat, though a majority visibly were. She felt better seeing so many of them, and they assuredly felt better seeing her on the same ship in the same boat.


The crowd kept growing, in number and noise. Social distancing was out the window: the powers that be and those in attendance would have to hope that surviving COVID-19 would give them immunity sufficient to survive any live disease exposure at this event.

Right about 6:28, Clark and Leigh met up with Per and Cali (doing her best to leave behind her given name Rebecca) at the entrance to the club, with Beryl soon waddling over after having scarfed down some nummy goodness at very nearby Jimmy’s Buffet. Something all 3 women had in common with each other and many other people present was that they barely fit into their clothes. While not exactly a brand-new development for any of them, the last 2 days of big meals eating together as Team Succulence absolutely exacerbated the situation, visibly to others and visibly and tactilely to those so affected.

Leigh’s hips, belly, and buns all working together stretched her below-knee stretchy black skirt to its limit, figuratively laughed at by her top, which was under no duress and continued to fit her well up above as it had for years.

Beryl consciously made a tradeoff for style over comfort, stuffing herself into a 12X brightly colored party dress instead of several ultra-stretchy “fat girl” pants and tops options she had: loaded with comfort, lacking in style and meant for kicking back at home in private. The dress was tight enough that she was somewhat limited in her breathing, hiding this fact from others so she could make the visual style splash she wanted to make.

Cali felt restriction around her middle from her burgeoning and recently much fatter belly conspiring with her fat hips and buns to stretch her swirly-patterned tea length skirt and the bottom of her top to near their limits. Near the top of her top at breast level her top was stretched to its limit, limiting her full breathing more than the tightness below, which also contributed to this end. She was so happy being Cali with her orange California poppy in her hair and truly looking stunning that she didn’t care about the restrictions. She cared even less that strangers were gaping at her giant boobs, so much of their top halves and cleavage on display of necessity rather than design or intent. She was Cali now and her Wood was right there with her, as were Neener and Chonky nearby. This was a good time and place to enjoy all her body had to offer, and visually share with those interested and keeping their hands and the rest of their bodies well off her.

6:30 close to the dot Club Troposphere suddenly lit up with its usual lighting, with some background-level mood-setting music starting at the same time. These synchronized events launched a loud cheer and some applause from the audience.

Few if any other than those of Team Succulence recognized DJ Alien Groove without his alien head, especially as he was dressed in nothing-special street clothes and down there on the dance floor with them rather than up on the stage anywhere near the DJ position. Especially agile Team Succulence members Clark and Per joined him.

“I’m going to do no more than 15 seconds of pink noise out of all the mains” Brent explained to them, “which is going to piss people off, even at this background level. I want both of you near the center of the floor, one of you facing the stage and the other perpendicular to it. Signal me like this” he demonstrated with his hands “to indicate balance.”

“What if the front mains are off but the rears are about right?”

“Unlikely, but if that happens, signal the same way then motion forward. Once we do the mains, I’ll give them at least 15 seconds more of music, then we’ll do the same thing with the fills. Those will be softer, and that’s OK—we’re all about balance. Got it?”

They did, and were on their way into position, as was he jumping up on stage as stealthily and invisibly as he could.

The system was already well-balanced, barely needing even minor tweaks. Having been disused for so many days, no one involved with this event wanted to take chances.

More people were pleased than annoyed, to Brent’s surprise: all the noise suggested to them that the dance would be real, not a prank, and that it was likely forthcoming any moment.

Cali was in such a good mood she even posed for photographs, including a couple with especially humble and polite gentlemen who asked to be in the half-selfie picture. She agreed to all these requests, as long as they gave her a copy of each picture and labeled their pictures with her name Cali, wherever those pictures might go.

Beryl insinuated herself into this process, towards the goal of ascertaining which of these individuals (all but one appearing to be men) were woman-attracted FAs versus solely boob fanatics.

Around the time Leigh was starting to feel sullen regarding all the attention Cali was getting (and Beryl was a little bit getting), a cute younger man with dark hair nervously and with a bit of a stutter asked her, “Ec-excuse me, ma’am. C- could I please take a picture of you? And– and then if you’d be so kind, maybe one with you, next to you?”

She couldn’t help noticing that his very nice short sleeve collared button-down off-white shirt was loaded with pears in the fabric pattern: green, gold, yellow, a few rust brown. It was a very pretty pattern: nice without being garish. “You like pears, I take it?”

He nodded vigorously.

“What about prominently pear-shaped fat women?”

He gasped as he again nodded, blushing bright red.

Tickled to have the attention, she gave him a series of photo ops: a standard smiling front view, same thing with her hands disappearing into her soft hip fat, a full-circle turn which she let him do as a video (to his great excitement), then finally a side-cuddle half-selfie, as Cali had been offering, with him being allowed to push far enough into her side to displace her hip fat forward and aft, to be able to get his arm around her.

“Thank you so much! What’s your name, please?”

“Leigh. L-E-I-G-H.”

“Thank you so much, Leigh! You’re beautiful!”

Clark decided to ease into her side, with a smile and his arm around her, because he was in the mood more than making any kind of statement, though it did serve that purpose too.

“You two have a great night! This is going to be a great dance—I feel it!”

Beryl sidled on up to Leigh, “What’s his name?”

“Didn’t get it.”

Shaking her head, Beryl waddled off the young man’s direction to go ask. Even though she wasn’t a pear, it didn’t take much flirting on her part to get Sonny—the name he gave her—to decide that she was worth a front view and cuddly half-selfie picture set.

Right about 6:38, a (pre-recorded) pirate’s voice loudly burst out of the speakers saying:

Arrrr! Time to shove off and set sail!

at the same time the stage lights came on brightly. Up onto the stage bounced DJ Swash Buckle, (mostly) in her full pirate’s uniform, her long again-raven-black with one prominent white “skunk” stripe wavy curly hair flowing and flouncing within the back side confines of her hair clip with each bouncy step. The second she was in front of the DJ position the drum beats of her first song started up and kicked things off. Only then did she blow kisses, smile, and wave at the crowd, before looking back down to start setting up the rest of her set.

Many who remembered her from earlier on the cruise were outright shocked seeing how fat she’d become. Her boobs had always been big, but now they were so huge that there was absolutely no way any of her blouse’s buttons from one button position below her nipples could be buttoned up. She had a lot up there to show off, and was so doing, with every slight motion she made presenting plentiful eye-catching sexy sloshy wobble. Nor were the bottom two buttons of her blouse buttoned, having to make room for the big fat belly she did not have at anywhere near this scale several weeks back. Her black leather pants weren’t entirely fastened together and her big buckle belt was past its range. Indeed it wasn’t possible to see all of her big buckle, given that there was not enough room in her pants for all that her belly had become, requiring that it flow out and fold well over the buckle, its soft fat (being partially regain fat) wobbling and sloshing with dynamics nearly equal to her breasts. Her hips and butt didn’t fully have room, conspiring with her fatter thighs to force her to wear her pants slightly lower than usual, adding that much more to the side and back muffin top effect and front fat fold-over.

Shocking as this was, it made a lot of people out on the dance floor who’d fattened to levels they themselves found shocking or outrageous feel better about themselves, and life in general. She was obviously all good with it, so too could they be.

Leigh felt proud as she let her body get into the groove, seeing how great Jayne’s dye job looked. It was Jayne’s first, with Leigh doing most of the work. It matched her remaining natural color well, getting her hair back to the familiar look dancing cruisers would remember from her most recent prior performance. She’d been shaving off her facial hair and, like her top-of-head hair, it had been going white anyway, thus they penciled in her pencil mustache. Keeping her settled and letting go of her self-doubts had been more difficult than helping with the hair dye, along with their now-big bodies navigating Jayne’s small staff member cabin space where they chose to do the work.

Cali was already more into the rhythm of the current track than Leigh, in part from feeling like a new person with her new name and identity, more readily able to let go of parts of her past that weighed her down. Her prodigious fat barely weighed her down, given her strong musculature.

Her sewing/seamstress skills had been essential to modifying Jayne’s blouse and pants so they’d hold up and hold her. Nearly-invisible (especially over any distance) elastic banded extension buttons (quite like automotive seat belt extenders) on some of the upper button positions managed to keep enough of the top of her top together to keep her from entirely being in effect a topless porn star. The belt and pants each had similarly clever structural extensions to keep them together and looking as close to the way they were supposed to look as possible given her significant fattening from all those days of eating nearly continually in lieu of sleeping, beyond the last couple of days with Team Succulence. She too helped Jayne quash self-doubts about returning to the stage as Swash Buckle for this special and likely unique dance party event.

Beryl felt proud to see so many people in attendance. While technically as a tech writer Leigh might have been more qualified to lead the promotional advertising arm of Team Succulence’s impromptu event project, Jayne needed her in other ways, and Beryl did have some long-ago brief, minor promotional and advertising experience, along with printing and distribution experience from her high school’s and college’s student newspapers. She led the team of herself, Clark, and Per creating and creatively distributing the electronic, paper, and occasionally pen-marked graffiti materials, with some help from Jayne in terms of getting things into the ship’s internal event listing system.

Much as she liked moving her big body to the medium-slow beat amenable to her body’s dynamics, her focus continued to be scoping out so-far-unidentified women-attracted male FAs. In her mind the lockdown- and social distancing-enforced shortage had gone on too long, and ought not to be allowed to continue!

No matter what anyone thought of what her figure was doing, DJ Swash Buckle was at the top of her game in terms of bringing everyone together to dance and gradually building up the energy, with her rare if not unique mix of danceable music from across the now-many decades of recorded music history.

Going back several years, Club Troposphere had been equipped with several very large screens up on the stage. Usable for various purposes if used at all, performing as Swash Buckle she often had the cover or label art or a picture of the musicians on one higher-resolution more graphics-amenable screen (along the lines of Apple’s iTunes or Music app’s cover art display), or if her file was a music video file, she’d run the video on that screen. Another screen she used for lyrics, or typing out free-form text on the fly, taking the place of typical DJ talking: communicating information in real time without her or anyone’s voice having to wreck the tunes via turning on a mic—a chat box equivalent of the usual DJ talking patter, in effect.

At an appropriate point not that far into the set, what sounded like the start of the next song was the first musical moment of a tribute video to Peetie which she’d made, mostly on her own with Brent having helped a little bit, especially when she was falling apart emotionally at points. The moving piece presented a montage of documentary-style pans across still images of Peetie with segments of some of Peetie’s favorite songs in the background, along with brief video clips of Peetie playing around at home (mostly her on-ship cabin, though also some taken at her land home), drumming and singing and otherwise making music, and in action on her shoulder at Swash Buckle performances such as this one. It ended with a great shot of him on her shoulder in her pirate’s outfit at a performance, this image slowly zooming to full screen, with text appearing at the top:

Peetie parrot

Turquoise-fronted amazon

2007- March 2020

Complications of COVID-19

with a minute of silence as this image remained.

Technically that wasn’t actually the end of the video. The real end which followed was a brief clip of Peetie using his right foot to spin the rotary encoding “turntable” wheel of Swash Buckle’s DJ system, digitally scratching and squawking “Dance errr walk the plank!”, from which Swash Buckle popped directly into the start of her next happy dance track, making it sound like Peetie did it.


The mood kept building, those on the dance floor generally coming together in an ever-greater unified whole. Word had been spreading that the pirate dance ads were legit, and that those in the Recovered class who had any interest and were able to do so should get themselves up to Club Troposphere, hence there had been some later arrivals. Many of these individuals, couples, etc. had fattened significantly, and were embarrassed about being seen in public barely fitting into their clothes. Only after having other friends already on the dance floor sending them photos did they realize that they’d be in great company and fit right in by not at all fitting into what they were wearing. The dance floor was now pretty packed—way beyond what any social distancing would abide, for those uninfected and hoping to stay that way.

Now, a few minutes after 7 PM, there was enough body heat and a long enough dearth of precipitation that they opened the dome to let the sky with what NOAA calls “broken” cloud cover (more clouds than scattered, fewer than total solid overcast) come in.

The electric guitar plunks over on the left channel of a song from 3 to 4 decades back (depending how one’s counting decades) followed by the medium slow groove of accompanying piano work over on the right channel and drums in the middle some on the dance floor immediately recognized as a 1986 hit song. To others it sounded vaguely familiar, and still others hadn’t heard it before. It was easy enough for anyone to dance to, and with nearly everyone already doing so and with this song properly beat-matched to the previous one, it was straightforward and easy for everyone to keep going.

The lyrics/text message screen lit up with the latter as the 15 seconds of instrumental intro played on:

This is a very special and in allegorical ways apropos song for what our world and we here on the Sapphire Prince are going through. A favorite of mine in high school, Peetie used to sing the first 2 lines of the chorus with me. Please dance along, for me and the memory of Peetie. By all means sing along too as I’ll be doing, should you feel so moved.

None of the screens were showing lyrics, given that they were easy to hear for this particular song. They started almost immediately after most people finished reading what Swash Buckle had typed.

🎼 We’re setting sail
to the place on the map
from which no one has ever returrrrned 🎼

As the song intro kept going Swash Buckle typed:

COVID-19 confined us far too long, ruined our voyage, and has taken far too many lives of far too many in our world, with no near-term end in sight. Taking their breath via an ever-more-choking tightness, lungs drowning in retained fluids.

Many of us are too confined by our clothing, currently choking back our ability to move and breathe fully. No more! We must Free Ourselves!

🎼 It’s the place where they keep
all the darkness you need 🎼–

No one can stop us! Free yourselves!

–🎼 You sail away
from the light of the world
on this trip bayyy-bay 🎼–

DJ Swash Buckle herself led the way. She unfastened the hair clip which had been restraining her long locks, flinging her head around like the rocker chick she appeared to be, her tresses cascading down to their full-length unencumbered freedom.

–🎼 You will pay tomor-row 🎼–

Many in the crowd watched the raven-haired DJ with their own raven-focused eyes as she undid Cali’s button extension work as well as the remaining stock buttons on her white pirate’s blouse and unfastened Cali’s on-loan 40L bra to the beat, letting her big girls tumble to freedom.

–🎼 You’re gonna pay tomor-row-ho (yeah) 🎼–

Feeling bolder than she had in a long time, Cali was amongst the first to let hers out, for all on the dance floor to see.

Beryl looked on and smiled, as she continued to dance and free hers. {Good job, Cali: ya beat me!}

–🎼 You will pay tomorrow 🎼–

Let it ALL out!

Swash Buckle undid Cali’s impressive and essential belt extension work to free her now-big fat belly from her struggling black leather pirate pants, saucily swaying as she cradled and squeezed her belly to the beat, more spiritual-rhythmically than sexually.

–🎼 whoa ho whoa ho whoa hoa hoooah 🎼–

A smiling, urbane gentleman from New Zealand—proud to be a Fat Man—was one of the first to follow Swash Buckle’s lead, pulling out and freeing his very big ball belly as he danced with his new-on-the-cruise friends from L.A. (ironically from Big Bear, which he was), S.F., and Singapore at the same time as Karl Wallinger as World Party sang:

🎼 Save me
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools
Woo hoo hooo
Noo, no no
Woo hoo hooooo! 🎼

All over Club Troposphere a slew of additional suddenly-freed bellies and more tumbled out in the open to freedom.

🎼 Ohh
Save me
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools 🎼

Ship of fools FRIENDS!

🎼 Noo, no
I want to run and hide

Right now 🎼

Leigh led the way amongst those constrained at a lower level: pulling her skirt and undies down and off to free herself as she danced! With one smooth, sweeping deep-bend dance move, she swooped her clothes off the floor, brashly hurling them as far as she could towards the nearest wallflower edge of the club.

Others similarly situated who’d been frustrated as she’d been quickly followed suit.

🎼 Avarice and greed
are gonna drive you over the endless sea

They will leave you drifting in the shallows
Drowning in the oceans of historyyyy 🎼

A mid-height tawny blonde woman who’d gone from mildly thicc to low-end BBW fat during the in-cabin quarantine stopped dancing, feeling a sudden tightness. She and her newly-met dance partner, a legendary denizen of the online fatosphere across its many sites and services, hailing from Laval QC (who also ceased dancing) looked on in shared amazement as her breasts and belly slightly yet rapidly and visibly expanded in a matter of a minute or so, before their very eyes.

“What’s happening to me?!” she cried out.

He sidled up to her, putting his arm around her and confidently stating, “You will likely be OK—very likely.”

“But what is it?!”

“I don’t know, but I’ve seen it before.” Looking her directly in the eyes with an intense gaze she found simultaneously frightening and comforting he added, “I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe.”

She had to fully unbutton her top and her pants, to let all this sudden new fat find freedom.

🎼 Using all the good people
for your galley and slaves
as your little boat struggles
through the warning waves
But you don’t
paayyyy 🎼–

A busty 1.8m tall woman wearing a black satin pencil skirt she was somewhat fattening out of slapped away the grabby hand of a 158cm short pale faced scary green eyed thin lipped light brown chin-length haired masculine woman in her mid 50s who’d been feeling her up.

–🎼 You will pay tomor-row 🎼–

The couple Leigh and Clark had met on the elevator on Monday freed their bellies.

–🎼 You’re gonna pay tomor-row-ho (yeah) 🎼–

Sip And A Wink Pub barmaid Lita caught Cali’s eye, smiling and waving over the distance showing off her small surprisingly jiggly rounded belly paunch none of them knew she had, thanks to having rolled up her t-shirt into a form of crop top.

–🎼 You gonna pay tomorrow 🎼–

The security guard who’d been taking temperatures tossed off her coat, kicked off her shoes, and unbuttoned her shirt and unfastened her pants, freeing herself!

–🎼 whoa ho whoa ho whoa hoa hoooah 🎼–

More members of the audience joined in, singing and yelling to the song

–🎼 Save meheee
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools

Woo hoo hooo
Noo, no no no
Woo hoo hooooo! 🎼

No one could hear Swash Buckle’s gasp, freezing as she saw Brent’s all-too-familiar maniacal gaze as he suddenly leapt up onto the stage and lunged towards a big safety-shield-protected toggle switch near the bottom of the equipment rack: the power switch for the 5 KW amplifiers and associated circuitry for skyward-aiming Sky Speakers, intended for noisy parties well out at sea.

Suddenly the music was a whole lot louder, mostly though not entirely aimed skyward.

🎼 Ohh
Save me
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools
Woo hoo hooo
Noo, no no no
Woo hoo hooooo! 🎼

BAM!: Swash Buckle seamlessly looped back to the first chorus so perfectly, nearly everyone thought she had a special extended recording of the song. Brent and she shared a look of deep admiration and respect that few other than talented DJs-also-intimates know.

Letting loose all sorts of pent-up emotions, more and more on the dance floor joined in the singing, others who had been singing now singing louder.

🎼 Save me
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools
Woo hoo hooo
Noo, no no
Woo hoo hooooo! 🎼

People in homes and businesses around Coos Bay nearer the dock opened doors or windows, some of them going outside to better hear what all this sudden, unexpected music wafting their way was about.


Down in the Engine Room, as is often the case when large audio power amplification draws current, the loud music up on the Sky deck made the electrical gear in the room sing.

Curious, engineer on watch Billy Bilge turned on security audio on that deck, immediately recognizing the song. “Oh Fuck yes!” he said aloud to himself, patching the Club Troposphere direct board signal through to all public spaces on the ship at normal background music volume level.


BAM!: she did another seamless hard cut back to where the song had been going, putting an animated rolling COVID-19 spike ball up on the graphic screen, rolling atop a U.S. west coast map, following the line on the map representing the Sapphire Prince’s original cruise route.

Thrown off, most people stopped singing to watch and listen.

Screen capture still image from this video:
Spike ball on itinerary line, near Oregon coast

Map courtesy Free Vector Maps.com
SARS-CoV-2 spike ball image by Alissa Eckert, MS,
Dan Higgins, MAMS courtesy CDC

🎼 Where’s it comin’ from?
Woo hoo hooo
Oh where’s it going to?
Woo hoo hooooo!
It’s just a
It’s just a ship of fool woahwahwahwah–

Amazing the audience even further (and making Brent extremely jealous), Swash Buckle used her gravity-sagging right breast in place of her hand to work the pseudo turntable digital rotary encoder scratch wheel Peetie had been manipulating at the very end of his tribute video. The software was currently set to a blending mode rather than a scratch sound mode, merging the current part of the song with just prior to the first chorus to create:

–wahwahwahwahhhwhoa hoa hoooah 🎼

The audience was back and singing along loudly

🎼 Save me
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools
Woo hoo hooo
Noo, no
Woo hoo hooooo! 🎼

As a brief crack of sunset sunlight momentarily split the clouds and shone sun onto Club Troposphere and Brent (in one of Swash Buckle’s spare pirate hats) cranked up the Sky Speakers, more and more windows and doors flew open around town as the community was bathed in music and light. Townsfolk eagerly/desperately joined the chorus, their voices merging with the sounds from the Sapphire Prince, echoing all across Coos Bay from Marshfield to North Bend, Empire to Eastside

🎼 Ohh
Save me!
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooo!
I don’t want to
Sail
With this
Ship of fo-oools
Woo hoo hooo
Noo, no
Woo hoo hooooo!

Save meheee!
Woo hoo hooo
Save me from tomor-rrow
Woo hoo hooooooooooooooooo! 🎼