Passengers on a British cruise ship erupted into violence when they found that the captain was to attend a black tie event dressed as a clown.
The S.S. Britannia had been on a holiday cruise in European waters and was returning home early due to frequent disputes among both crew and passengers about the direction the ship was taking . ‘It seemed to me that no one could agree about the meaning of those letters N E W and S on the compass,’ said one hapless holidaymaker adding, ‘some of the crew couldn’t even agree about which way up to hold the thing’.
Eventually it is believed that the constant bickering meant that most passengers decided they would like to return home and claim a refund. A decision to hold a final dinner on the evening before the ship docked in Southampton, however, proved fatal.
‘We thought it might it be a good thing if we could try and end this unfortunate incident on a dignified note,’ said one badly bruised victim, ‘but it was a definite mistake. Most of us made the effort to dress up but when the Captain, who had been invisible for most of the voyage, turned up in the dining room dressed as a clown, tripped and fell headlong down the stairs, half the passengers applauded loudly and the other half booed. In the best British tradition violence soon followed’.
A spokesperson for the cruise company said that refunds would not be forthcoming. ‘Frankly if this kind of behaviour is good enough for the country as a whole, I can’t see what our customers have got to complain about.’
‘Some board members even suggested that passengers should be charged extra for the violence since it didn’t feature on the original list of entertainments but we decided that would be going too far. However this sort of thing has a great future and we are looking forward to featuring a last night punch up on all of our programmes next year’.