We Gave Up The Ship: Commodore Hazell's Postgame Letter
She hears a knock at the door.
Martha, full of apprehension, answers. Two somber young men, hardly of drinking age, stand at the door. They’re holding a corked bottle, full of nothing but stale ocean air and a solitary, rolled up piece of parchment.
Martha knows. A feeling of dread rushes over her, as they hand over the bottle, a flag, and a picture of her deposed captain.
Martha tugs at the cork, and it feebly pops out. She unrolls the paper, and begins to read out loud:
By the time you read this, there’ll be nothing you can do. All that’s left is me of my crew.
It was a balmy day in College Park. Our engines were ready for the voyage, Admiral Malone saw to it. Commander Els inspected the hull. Private Jones was, like, 90% healthy. I’m sure his shoulder was fit.
We were told before leaving that the mighty ocean would overpower our crew, a ragtag bunch several dozen too few. The sail was too thin, the mast cracked in two, the jiboom wouldn’t move, the rudder just wouldn’t do.
But something like that wouldn’t stop me, just a mere lack o’ preparation. Commodore Durkin’s crew couldn’t sail either, we could hear our victorious ovation.
Turns out, we sunk.
I knew I had to win, to keep the ship afloat, but by the end I was all that was left, shivering on the shore in my thin sleeveless coat.
But listen, I just didn’t get to watch enough tape this week. The VCR has been on the fritz, you know how it goes. Their dubious “runs up the middle” caught me by surprise, and turns out there are ways for Private Blough to move the ball forward using these things called “throws”.
Those darn Terrapins boarded the ship, as I stood stoicly in the cabin. I didn’t know Purdue fans had more soul I could flatten.
I can only imagine the hell I will pay once I get home. There’s no way they replace me with some guy from Kentucky named Jeff…..uuh…what rhymes with home…umm.…I dunno, let’s just leave this line a mystery.
All the bills are paid through New Year’s, all the notes are in the drawer. The insurance ought to help, I wish I could have left you more.
Well, New Year’s 2045. Purdue left us with a lot of money.
See you in, like, a week, Martha. There’s no way these suckers keep me around.
Martha sighs. She looks up at the portrait on her wall.
At least Commodore Hazell’s idiot employers guaranteed him $5.1 million, even after sinking the ship.