What Shall We Do With a Drunken Surfer

She bops down to the beach to dance
in the sand by the water the seaweed
brittle and he trips aback and nearly falls
like the drunken sailor in the shanty
“Ho! No! Thar she blows!”

She desires to dance politely
he wants to throw the bottle
into the waves they bouncing
round two junks in the vessel
carried away in a rash riptide

With a message for the great white
whale they glide over the stonefish
ease through a fluther of box jellies
the moon full but the night not fair
the music stops the beach empties

He awakes in the bottle rolling in the ripples
with her sound asleep soft nipples
in the warm sand above the water line
calm and sober like the walrus
angel watching over you

What shall we do with a drunken surfer
who dreams full of fishes seaweed wrack
brack Saltwort Ale and other foolishness
who never caught a fish nor wave enough
to feed his wife out combing the beach


  1. cindy knoke says:

    Since I have known many, I do have an answer…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thx for reading and comment, Cindy. There’s a long history to drink aboard vessels, as well as cures early in the morning:

      Wiki stuff:

      Weigh heigh and up she rises (/Hoo-ray and up she rises)
      Weigh heigh and up she rises (/Patent blocks of different sizes)[2]
      Weigh heigh and up she rises
      Early in the morning

      Traditional verses:
      What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
      What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
      What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
      Early in the morning?

      Put/chuck him in the long boat ’til he’s sober.[7]
      Put him in the long-boat and make him bail her.[8]
      What shall we do with a drunken soldier?[2]
      Put/lock him in the guard room ’til he gets sober.[7][2]
      Put him in the scuppers with a hosepipe on him.[12]
      Pull out the plug and wet him all over.[12]
      Tie him to the taffrail when she’s yardarm under[12]
      Heave him by the leg in a runnin’ bowline.[12]
      Scrape the hair off his chest with a hoop-iron razor.[2]
      Give ‘im a dose of salt and water.[2]
      Stick on his back a mustard plaster.[2]
      Keep him there and make ‘im bail ‘er.[2]
      Give ‘im a taste of the bosun’s rope-end.[2]
      What’ll we do with a Limejuice skipper?[2]
      Soak him in oil till he sprouts a flipper.[2]
      What shall we do with the Queen o’ Sheba?[2]
      What shall we do with the Virgin Mary?[2]

      Additional verses:
      Tie him to the mast and then you flog him.
      Keel haul him till he’s sober.
      Shave his chin with a rusty razor.[30]
      Beat ‘im o’r wi’ a cat-o-nine-tails.
      Shave his belly with a rusty razor.[31]
      Give ‘im a hair of the dog that bit him.[32]
      Put him in the bilge and make him drink it.[33]
      Put him in bed with the captain’s daughter.[34]
      Hit him on the head with a drunken soldier
      Put him in the back of a paddy wagon (Great Big Sea)
      Take him to the pub and get him drunker
      Have you seen the Captain’s Daughter? (various)

      Parody verses:
      Put him at the wheel of an Exxon tanker. (Or “make him captain of”)
      A common parody reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.[35]
      Book him a room at the Tailhook Convention.
      References the 1991 Tailhook scandal.
      Make him sing in an Irish Rock band (Sevon Rings)
      Lock him in a room with disco music (Schooner Fare – Finnegan’s Wake)
      Don’t let him drive/steer/near that cargo freighter.
      References the 2021 Suez Canal obstruction.


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