The Anchor Shop
(A customer walks in the door of a ship's chandlery.)
Customer: Good morning.
Owner: Good morning, sir. Welcome to the National Anchor Emporium!
Customer: Ah thank you my good man.
Owner: What can I do for you, sir?
C: Well, I was, uh, sitting at the dock on Coburg Wharf just now, skimming through “Poems, Series 3” by Emily Dickinson, and I suddenly came over all rudderless.
O: Rudderless, sir?
C: 'Ee I were all adrift-like!
O: Ah, untethered!
C: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, 'a little maritime mechanical security will do the trick', so, I curtailed my Dickinsonian activities, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some benthic commodities!
O: Come again?
C: I want to buy an anchor.
O: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the concertina player!
C: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the pelagic muse!
C: 'Ooo, Ah lahk a nice ditty, 'yer forced to!
O: So he can go on playing, can he?
C: Most certainly! Now then, an anchor please, my good man.
O: Certainly, sir. What would you like?
C: Well, eh, how about a small Herreshoff.
O: I'm, a-fraid we're fresh out of Herreshoffs, sir.
C: Oh, never mind, how are you on the U.S.N.?
O: I'm afraid we never have them at the end of the season, sir, we get a new shipment in the spring.
C: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, 45 pounds of CQR, if you please.
O: Ah! It's beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting one this morning.
C: 'T's Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Bijers Long Island?
O: Sorry, sir.
O: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.
C: Ah. Fluke?
C: Bruce? Claw?
C: A German Bügelanker, per chance?
C: Trolling Sea?
C: Fisherman’s Kedge?
C: Mud weight?
C: Matrosov, Bulwagga, Wasi, New Zealand Rocna, Hall, Union, AC14, Pool?
C: French Spade, perhaps?
O: Ah! We have a French Spade, yessir.
C: You do! Excellent.
O: Yessir. It's ah... it's a bit rusty.
C: Oh, I like it rusty.
O: Well,.. It's very rusty, actually, sir.
C: No matter. Fetch hither the ancre de la Belle France qui s’appel bêche!
O: I...think it's a bit rustier than you'll like it, sir.
C: I don't care how oxidationally rusty it is. Hand it over with all speed.
C: What now?
O: The catboat’s taken it.
C: Has it?
O: She, sir.
C: Byzantine Stone Basket?
C: Mediterranean Three Hole?
C: Japanese Stockless?
O: No sir.
C: You... do have anchors, don't you?
O: Of course, sir. It's a chandlery, sir. We've got-
C: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.
O: Fair enough.
C: Uuuuuh. Wasteneys Smith?
C: Ah, well, I'll have one of those!
O: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Wasteneys-Smith, that's my name.
C: Athenian Sacra?
O: Uh, not as such.
C: Uuh, Captain Rodgers?
C: W.L. Byers?
C: Indonesian jangkar?
O: Not -today-, sir, no.
C: Aah, how about a Danforth?
O: Well, we don't get much call for them around here, sir.
C: Not much ca--It's the single most popular anchor in the world!
O: Not 'round here, sir.
C: (slight pause) and what IS the most popular anchor 'round hyah?
O: Martin-Adelphi, sir.
C: IS it.
O: Oh, yes, it's staggeringly popular at the yacht club.
C: Is it.
O: It's our number one best seller, sir!
C: I see. Uuh... Martin-Adelphi, eh?
O: Right, sir.
C: All right. Okay. 'Have you got any?' He asked, expecting the answer 'no'.
O: I'll have a look, sir.. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.
C: It's not much of a chandlery, is it?
O: Finest on the coast sir!.
C: Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.
O: Well, it's so clean, sir!
C: It's certainly uncontaminated by anchors.
O: (brightly) You haven't asked me about a Killick, sir.
C: Would it be worth it?
O: Could be.
C: Have you --SHUT THAT BLOODY CONCERTINA OFF!
O: Told you sir...
C: (slowly) Have you got a Killick?
C: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place.....Tell me:
C: Have you in fact got any anchors here at all?
O: Yes, sir.
O: No. Not really, sir.
C: You haven't.
O: No sir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time, sir.
C: Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to shoot you.
O: Right-o, sir.
With apologies to Graham Chapman and John Cleese