“Abandon Ship!” (E2)

  • Originally printed: Liberty Magazine, September 20, 1930
  • Reprinted: No Poems; Or, Around the World Backwards and Sideways
  • Unable to compare reprint with original text – Liberty Historical Archives not available at Toronto Public Library
  • Original Byline: unknown


Patented Benchleyan deflation of forced fun on a sojourn – this time via the vexing vessels that ply the lakes, coasts, and inland waterways of the good ol’ USA. The author presents a detailed taxonomy of taxing travel missteps off dry land. Regardless of the port of call, the duration of the trip, or the destination, all such short-term voyages are dismissed as sun-baked, soot-seared, wind-blasted, tongue sandwich-lashed and faulty deck chair-wracked forays into futility. Children, of course, make their accustomed contribution to the miasma of dissatisfaction which descends upon all such waterborne wastes of time. As always, the lesson is clear. stay home (or in some cozy booth in a speakeasy).

Favourite moment:
“The voyageurs then return to their seats and bake until the thing sails. Thus, before the trip has even begun, the let-down has set in.”

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