Shaken, Not Stirred

Humorous Essays and Other Stuff

Gerald Andersen

Gerald Andersen
Califon, New Jersey, United States
January 06
"“When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller. When I have a second, I feel superlative. When I have more, there's no holding me.” - William Faulkner "I grow old...I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled." -T.S. Eliot


Gerald Andersen's Links

No links in this category.
FEBRUARY 24, 2012 8:50AM

A Digital Doggerel Ditty

Rate: 10 Flag
This week's OS Weekend Fiction Prompt:write a story in which a character is missing all or part of a limb, or gets all or part of a limb removed. 
(Author's Note: While researching my long awaited historical work, “Was Davy Jones Really a Scary Sea Creature with Tentacles on His Face Like in Pirates of the Caribbean?", I recently uncovered this 18th century sea chanty which, by coincidence, happens to address this weeks fiction prompt very nicely.

 Sea chantys are rhythmic songs that sailors in the age of sail sang while trying to move their bowels after six months on a hard tack diet  and rationed water. "Push, My Hearties, Push", immortalized by the Kingston Trio, is of course the most well known of the genre, but there are thousands of others.While there are some elements here that might suggest a later date, I am convinced of this one's authenticity. But what am I, a proctologist?)



By Anonymous


My fingers are falling off, ha,ha.

My fingers are falling off hee,hee

Could be the scurvy, could be the clap

Could be the uric acid in my pee pee


As we rounded the cape in a fearsome squall

Wee Willy Pinky was first to fall.

My ring bearing fellow was next to drop.

He hit the deck with a metallic ker-plop.


My middle chap, I’ll miss the old dear,

He could make a lass grin from ear to ear.

He was much loved from here to Lahore

But jolly Sir Tickle Puss is no more.


My fingers are falling off, ha,ha.

My fingers are falling off hee,hee

Could be the scurvy, could be the clap

Could be radiation from my TV.


Salty tears I did weep

When noble forefinger slid into the deep.

Picking my nose will not be an issue,

Since old Schnoz fell off in my tissue.

(Why this happened evidence is scanty.

It will have to wait til my next sea chanty.)


I went from depressed to really glum

When I bid adieu to old Tom Thumb.

How shall I ever call for the tab,

Or when in New York signal a cab?


I looked at my hand and saw just a palm.

I could still wack-off, so I was calm.

And then from my wrist slid old Mrs. Hand,

Adieu, my best friend when far from the land.


I sip my rum and am not pissed,

For I’m an eternal optimist.

Five fingers are gone it is truly so,

But, shit, I ‘ve still got five more to go.


My fingers are falling off, ha,ha.

My fingers are falling off hee,hee

Could be the scurvy, could be the clap

Could be nuclear waste in the deep sea.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
So many reasons why one could lose a digit. Clap Clap. Give this guy a hand.
This was so delightful
OHHHHh this was hard to read at 7 am.. I saw it all.:)
Well I guess it's too late to have this digit-ised!
Kinda makes me wanna stay off boats for a while too.
With doggerel like this - nobody could give YOU the finger! R
Not the uric acid in yer pee-pee. That'll give you gout so bad you wish things would fall off, though.

Sir Tickle Puss??? Love it
You are a poet and you show it, matey! R
This is great. Being an early music geek, this flops my mop bigtime.

I suspect the lyrics evolved sometime in the 19th century. A couple of sources date the namiong of "uric acid" to 1799. Here is an example of the more annoying side of early music geekdom.
Outstanding! I think I like the author's note even more than the shanty; it showcases the humorous rhythm you're so good at. The shanty is good, too, though. Oh, and for the missing nose bit, I think syphilis was a frequent nose-felling culprit in the days before antibiotics. One famous astronomer for the days of yore (an insanely important dude) was equally famous for his star charts and his silver replacement nose.
So THAT is the sound of one hand clapping! I applaud you on this palm Monday. I have shown this work to my 10 best friends and they say, hands down, it is truly funny to finger out.
This was fun. Thank you for sharing this historical piece of writing with us! :-)