The captain has lost control, the ship is in the middle of a monstrous storm, the rudder is not responding, the officer of the watch doesn’t understand the captain’s orders (normal, he contradicts himself at least once every two sentences !!), the semaphores (Brèves and Acacia) refuse to function, most of the crew including more and more officers have mutinied, all the passengers have taken to their berths with seasickness, there aren’t enough lifeboats and the lighthouses on the British clifftops have been switched off. The whole thing has become a nightmare cruise. Lying where I am down in the bilges, surrounded by odours of diesel fuel and vomit, my view of the whole disaster is a trifle unclear.
Yesterday’s board meeting was a little like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic !! Even a formal meeting of the officers only managed to drag in 4, including the captain (just enough for a round of rummy at the Bar de la Marine) .Stifanaticus asked Tardivat to swim for help towards the English shore but forgot to give him a lifejacket, then he countermanded a previous order and called for assistance (to organise the AGM) asking the court to name an ad hoc administrator. But the court, having understood the GM’s approval of its previous decision to not name one, has just this afternoon thrown out his new request. So now Stifanaticus is in charge of organising his own shipwreck. Like us the court has understood that the GM’s request is just another ploy to gain time. And why in the middle of the largest storm the ship has ever encountered would the captain ask the purser to organise a complete examination of the books, not only those of a sinking ship, but also those of all the other company vessels, port installations, and head office tea and biscuit fund ?
But all is not lost, there remains a slight hope, our ship is now drifting helplesslying close to the Ivory Coast (whose ex-President Gbagbo has his own problems !!) where an admiral makes a possible lifesaving gesture. From the coastal city of Abidjan Stifanaticus has received a signal (This is genuine, folks. Myosotis Ligérien knows this admiral and vouches for him.).
« From : “V.R.K. and V.Ill Jacques de Peney C.B.C.S 33rd (1963)
To : V.R.K. François Stifani C.B.C.S. V.R.G.M. of the G.L.N.F.
Abidjan, January 10th 2011, 582nd anniversary of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Mon Well Beloved Brother,
Having been mandated neither directly, nor indirectly by no-one, I take this initiative of approaching You, Beneficent Knight to Beneficent Knight, to offer you a solution that none other would wish to do, nor would even be in a position to do so.
In the light of the procedures currently under execution and of those which may eventually occur concerning the management and administration of the G.L.N.F., and being the most longstanding Rectified Scottish Master affiliated to the Centre des Amis in 1958; the most longstanding Sovereign Grand Inspector. 33rd confirmed in his time by Sovereign Grand Commander Henry Clausen, Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A. there would be dignity and honour if you resigned by my hand.
Should you so desire I could eventually represent you as your internal (G.L.N.F.) lawyer.
Wishing thus to come to your fraternal assistance, I have a respectful thought for your dear mother.
May the Grand Architect guide your current and future steps.
Ninth Tongue of the Beneficent Order of Masonic Knights of the Holy City (C.M.C.S.)”
LML in English applauds this gesture but, knowing the disdain with which he has rejected such offers from the lower ranks, we are more than dubitative concerning the success of an approach coming from so high up. After all, Stifanaticus doesn’t really seem to understand the nobles’ way of thinking. Take, for example, his delicacy in approaching the Prince of Monaco and the Duke of Kent !!
Let us hope the ship does not founder with all hands.