Another Night to Remember
By Mike Stevens
The cheering crowd was ringing in the ears of Sir Robert Timkins. He was vindicated! Finally, a crowd who appreciated his unique vision; which was crossing opera with death metal, to form a one-of-a-kind musical experience. He stood on the stage and soaked in the applause. THIS was what he’d dreamed about when he’d first thought up the idea. Granted, up until this very moment, nothing but bad had come from his vision, but this made up for all that!
Sir Robert awoke to the rays of the morning sun streaming though his bedroom window. It had all been a dream. He thought bitterly, Well, that sucks! He felt cold despair wash over him. Why couldn’t it have been real?
Later that same day, Sir Robert was watching an old movie, A Night to Remember on T.V., when his phone rang. He hit mute on his television, and answered the phone,
“Sir Robert speaking, hello?”
“Yes, my name is Larry Lightoller, and I’m the entertainment director for Sea-Spray Cruise Lines, and I understand you might be interested in providing the entertainment on one of our cruises?”
What? A death metal band on a cruise ship? Then he remembered the temp agency must still have him listed as an opera singer. Hey, an opportunity is an opportunity! “Yes, that’s right, only now I have an entire band.; is that going to be a problem?”
“No, Mr. Timkins, we can make allowances for the great opera singer, Sir Robert Timkins!”
Sledgehammer Nightmare was aboard the cruise ship, Aquanatica, on it’s Alaskan cruise. Sir Robert would have preferred a Caribbean cruise, but hey; a cruise was a cruise! He hadn’t advertised the new name Sledgehammer Nightmare, as the name Sir Robert Timkins sounded more like a name for cruise ship entertainment!
The ship’s lounge was overflowing with rich, snobby-looking people with their noses in the air. They had set up behind a curtain, and had gone out of their way to disguise the fact they were a death metal band. Would the snobs be in for a surprise? I hope they have their heart medicine handy! Sir Robert thought to himself. As he was thinking this, an amplified voice announced,
“Ladies and gentleman, tonight we have quite a treat for your listening pleasure; give a warm reception to Sir Robert Timkins, a well-known opera singer!” The curtain opened on a band dressed in black, and before the shocked faces of the audience had faded, Sir Robert let out a scream, and a wall of noise engulfed them.
“Satan hear our cry, someone’s gonna die!”
If it could have been heard, the sound of silver wear being dropped by aghast passengers who were eating dinner, and expected to watch a soothing , QUIET opera singer, instead were assaulted by an unbelievable wall of sound, put out by 5 guys who looked more like ax murderers than anything opera. Just then, the ship shuddered beneath their feet, and glass wear fell to the floor, where it shattered. Screams were heard from the passengers, as well as the members of Sledgehammer Nightmare, who’s song abruptly ground to a halt. Everyone looked frantically at each other, as no one knew what was going on. Then, a voice came over the intercom.
“This is Captain Astor speaking. We’ve struck an iceberg, and are sinking; please...”
Sir Robert didn’t hear anymore, as he sprinted out of the lounge, and made a panicked dash for a lifeboat, ANY lifeboat!
The rescue ship Red Cross 5 steamed into Juneau, with 1,243 fortunate souls on board; 643 men, and 600 women. What authorities couldn’t figure out, was the fact that, according to the Aquanatica’s manifest, there should have been one more man, and one less woman on board, but the total number was correct. All passengers and crew had been accounted for.
Sir Robert was pissed! He’d panicked, and because in his mind, all he could see were the unlucky passengers on board the Titanic, where, if you were a man, you had almost no hope of getting on board a lifeboat. So he’d stolen a dress from the lady who was in the stateroom next door, and climbed aboard a lifeboat. He’d been dismayed when he overheard one crew member talking to another about sweeping the ship to make sure they hadn’t missed anyone. He hadn’t needed the dress; apparently, not having enough lifeboats for all the passengers was a thing of the past, but he’d been so panicked, he had decided to become a cross dresser in order to ensure his safety. Now, as Red Cross 5 neared the pier, there was a man insisting on helping (and this he’d overheard the man say to a fellow passenger, when the guy thought Sir Robert was out of hearing range), “The hot broad”, meaning him, find their hotel. It was the classic ‘Some Like it Hot’ scenario, but he didn’t find it the least bit funny!