Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Abandon Ship!

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.
--Lewis Carroll

"After their luxury liner is sunk, a group of over twenty survivors take refuge in a life boat made for only nine. Included in the group are an old opera singer, a nuclear physicist, his wife and child, a General, a play-write and his dog, a college professor, a gambler and his mistress, the ship's nurse, and several members of the crew, including the Captain and executive officer. Soon, the captain dies from his injuries. The executive officer must take charge, and as a hurricane approaches, and their food and water run out, he must decide who to put over the side, and who stays and gets a chance at survival"
That is the synopsis of a movie I saw on television yesterday. It's called "Abandon Ship!" and it was made in 1957. The synopsis fails to mention that many of the castaways were injured. Or that one of the survivors was an able bodied black man. Since it was made in 1957, he was obviously a token.

It made me think. What a dilemma for the executive officer! Twenty-six people on a boat built to hold nine, a storm on it's way, which would place all of them in serious danger, He had to decide which of the survivors to throw overboard in an effort to save the others. I found myself thinking about who should stay and who should go.

Some of the decisions were no-brainers. One of the more seriously injured was a good friend of the officer, and the officer no doubt knew his friend would have to go, but he steadfastly refused to do that to him. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, his friend made the decision for him and jumped overboard.

What about you? Put yourself in the place of the executive officer. What criteria would you use to decide who lives and dies? Do the ladies stay on board out of chivalry? What about the dog, or the child? Remember he needs the strongest of them to help row the boat.

Who do you throw off of your lifeboat?


Sheila said...

WEll...Let me try.

Although raised with the male female chivalry thing. I must say that with the exception of the family, I'd not side with women.

The executive officer would sacrifise himself because their are capable crew in the boat.

Crewmen that is knowledgeble with keeping the boat afloat.(2)

The nurse for obvious reasons (1).

The nuclear physicist with wife and child. (3) A family.

.......I can't....what happened and how did they choose?

TECH said...

Well, first, I'd start with the Republicans ... :)

Mark said...

I won't give it away, but he kept the dog on board. Why? That's exactly what the retired Army General asked him.

He answered something like "The dog is more important than you, General, We can't eat you."

Mark said...

I think there were 4 crew members including the captain, who died of injuries soon after the ship sank. And then the one who jumped overboard. so that left the executive officer and a young crew member.

William said...

Interesting question, Mark. I'm just glad that I'm not in that situation. The unfortunate thing is that there are military officers who have to make those kinds of decisions regularly. Imagine that....

FrenziedFeline said...

LOL--that's scary. I think too much like Tech. I was going to say something like I'd take a poll to find out who the Libs were. I open the comments and find Tech beat me to the punch! ;)

I'm with Sheila--what happened?

tugboatcapn said...

Fist of all, I will say that I would more readily eat the Retired Army General than the dog.

(How many do I have to throw overboard?)

I would hold an auction.

The highest bidder gets to stay aboard, second highest, and so on.

Payment due upon completion of the auction.

With the exception of the dog. You ALWAYS keep the dog.

tugboatcapn said...

Fist of all?...

You all know what I meant.

Francis Lynn said...

I think the movie is based on an actual event - the guy was cleared of any charges. If it was just me, my mother-in-law & ex-wife, I'd jump over. The dog is safe-PETA would sue ya. Any minorities would be safe- the government would sue ya. Same with women. Only ones to go would be the white males & the war-loving, baby-killing General. Multi-cutural lifeboats at their best. By the way, "Lifeboat" was another great shipwreck movie, as was "The Last Voyage".

Mark said...

It was based on a true story. The executive officer was found guilty of murder and given the minimum sentence of 6 months for extenuating circumstances.

The ironic thing is, They were rescued within hours after he made his decision.

Sheila and Frenzied, I wish I could tell you who he finally decided on but it would take too long to explain and besides i don't remember who all he kept and who he threw overboard. He did break up the family, tho. He kept the child and threw the parents, Both of them, overboard. The mother was dying anyway because of injuries and I don't remember why he got rid of the father.

BRUISER said...

Mark --- You have to see Hitchcock's Lifeboat...amazing. Unless you think Alfred was a liberal socialist which I am sure Republicans have already made a case for.