Avast ye Shanghainese sailors of the Yellow Seas, Captain Crickles ship has finally blown in, well actually it were boatnapped by them damned Somalians, me crew's cutlasses were no match for their AK47s. Me ship was lost and me crew were taken for ransom, but crafty old Captain Crickles here evaded capture by jumping overboard and grabbing the dorsal fin of a passing dolphin, who turned out to be suffering from Alzheimers and kept calling me Judy, and was dragged towards the mainland. I spotted a ship on the horizon and intuitively directed the dolphin towards it, aharr, could it be? Yes it were, me old mates from the China Sea, the DVD Pirates, they fished me out and fed me up, one of 'em even tried to feel me up but I weren't 'avin any of it, not with what they put in their mouths. They agreed to take me to the nearest port and now 'ere I am, Shanghai!!! So lock up your 30 year old virginal still living at home with their parents until they get married daughters, and hide your chestnuts 'cos Captain Crickles be here an' he's fixing on staying. . . well as long as he can find himself a Z Visa that is. . .
I’ll be using this ‘ere blog to spin ya some yarns about me plights in Shanghai, they be many and they be weird, some’ll make your sides split and ye teeth fall from your gums, while some’ll turn your insides upside down and inside out, they be plenty and they be nasty, ‘cos there’s one thing Captain Crickles can’t get enough of and thems be adventures me heartys, so lend me your ears, eyes and purses and I’ll begin. . .
Day 1: The Captain wrestles ‘is way into the belly of a monolithic beast and it ain’t pretty.
Boys and gals I’ve met some monsters in my days on the seven seas, some of ‘em would make your ears bleed and your eyeballs burst from their sockets like wha’ ‘appened to that Misser Terminator on Mars, but I tell thee none ‘av been so gruesome, so ‘ideous, so terrible as the beast I encountered and the minions who worship it by sacrificing ‘emselves to it, and I tell ya they’re in a mighty hurry to do so.
Me ol’ buddies, them DVD Pirates had dropped me off up river at a place where crowds of thousands gathered to flash their torches at some space rocket that must ‘av landed on that island, Pudong they call it, a long time afore I set foot ‘ere. The crowds were all too busy looking up to notice me, but boy I noticed them, thousands of ‘em there were, were like an army, their uniforms were strange though, all red 'ats and their leader were dragging ‘em around as fast as their old legs could carry ‘em, these weren’t young’uns no, thems were veterans, and they were tired, but their fierce young leader kept on shouting at 'em to 'urry up look at this, look at that, follow me. . . if I had one of them stupid ‘ats on I would ‘av ganged up on her with me crew and taught her to respect her elders, bit o' rape’s the best way to show ‘em. . . but no, not today, I’d just got ‘ere, can’t go doing everything you want on the first day, so I was off, scurrying along the cobbled streets (although it seems someone had nicked all the cobbles) and headed for the first thing I needed. . . a drink. Problem was everywhere I went that looked like a tavern just sold tea, tea! What kind of tavern expects you to put tea down your gullet?! Tea’s for chimps, I wanted summat strong, summat to put some 'air on me palms and boy I found it.
There I am meandering through these wide streets, getting looks at from everyone who dun saw me, flashing their picture boxes at me, (without me bleeding permission too!) when all of a sudden I sees some English scripture on a sign. . . Law and son, I didn’t wanna mess with no law but it were the only English sign I’d seen and to me joy through their magic slidey ding dong door a feast befell me watery eyes, and there on the shelf. . . DRINK! Sure the bottles were small but drink enough of ‘em and that’ll settle me thirst. I approached the shopkeeper and gave him me evilest, most menacing of looks, that had him shaking, he says summat strange, soun’ed like “By Jove” an’ pointed at a number on some beepy machine, 4RMB, I checked me pockets. . . bollocks, as empty as a witch’s cunny on Sabbath, new plan. . . roar and run. I scared the cockles off that shopkeeper, he didn’t dare give chase and I was off like a whippet being chased by a bigger whippet, fast boyo.
I hit an alley and stopped for a breather, me prize in me fist, I unstoppered that bottle and necked it, grinning ear to ear. . . summat weren’t quite right though, that be no rum, that be summat foul, an’ strong, Jesus were it strong, I felt a fire in me belly that burned stronger than the fires of Hades ‘imself, but it hit the spot, I was as drunk as a pikey on dole-day, and went off on me merry way.
After zigzagging some streets I found meself staring at a crowd of people descending the mouth of a cave, I thought that’s an odd place for a cave, but where there’s caves there be treasure, and I was itching for some coin so follow I did, into the darkest and deadliest of caves, there were even some kind of warning sign above the entrance, ‘M’ for ‘Murder’, or ‘Molestation’, or. . . ‘Murder’, but your warnings don’t scare me, I’ve done plenty of molestation and even more murder, they don’t call me ‘Captain Crickles the evil molestering murdering bastard’ for nothing, so descend I did. . .
. . . and into. . . summat confusing. People, millions of ‘em, like ants over the corpse of a forgotten ice pole, abandoned in the swelteringly mild English Summer sun. I didn’ty know what to make of it, but then I see ‘em descending further, so this must ‘av just bin a lobby to the treacherous treasure caves beneath, how very clever, but not clever enough for sharp ol’ Crickly. I followed a stout sweaty Chinese fella in front of me with breath as rancid as a plague victim’s arse, cor blimey were I awful, “what ya been eating?” I shouts at ‘im, “the quim of a syphilis carrying whore from Chatham dockyards?!” and you know what he does? He stares back at me, and. . . that’s it, he just stares and he don’t stop staring, not menacingly or even in offense, just stares, all empty in the head like, like one of guys who falls off an ‘orse, hits his ‘ead on a rock and turns into a brussel sprout, or as useful as one anyway, who likes bloody sprouts? Not me matey. So what do I do? Without keeping me eyes off ‘im, I backs away all carefully like just in case he springs into action like a cobra. . . and I topple backwards over some metal arms, me own one’s flailing like a tortoise on it’s back. “Who the hell left that there?!” I shout out, but not a soul answers they all pass me by like a leper. But I were in, thems were the stairs to the treasure next to me. So I sprung up and raced down to discover. . .
. . . summat loud and summat big hurtling out a tunnel towards a crowd of people like a shark chasing a seal, and those people weren’t running away from it, they were running toward it, they’d lost their ‘eads and were about to lose much more. But to my astonishment the beast slowed, it stopped and opened its many mouths and more people poured out of it, well tried to anyway, the people waiting next to it were trying to get inside it, it were chaos, I had no clue what were goin’ on. Then the crowd filtered out, the beast closed its mouths with the other people inside, hurtled off, and I were left alone. . .
. . . but no, that noise again, another monolithic beast were coming and there were new people building up behind me. Where were they all coming from? There’s thousands of ‘em an’ they all looked the same. The beast was coming and I admit me pants were stained, I tried to back away but the people behind me kept coming forward, there was nowhere to go, the silver beast was in front of me and was ready to spew a thousand more men and women out of its belly only to be filled up again by a thousand more, waiting to sacrifice ‘emselves, and Captain Crickles, well, I were caught right in the middle. . .
. . . the monster opened up and then chaos, I was dragged forward and pushed back, caught in a sea of black hair, gradually easing me closer to the belly of the beast, I closed me eyes and waited for the pain, the chewing, the sounds of bones being crunched through the screams of those around me, but all I ‘eard was a beeping noise, the beast's mouths closed, and then we were movin' and I opened me eyes. . .
Find out what happens to Captain Crickles in the belly of the underground tube beast and where his following adventures will take him next time, in ‘Captain Crickles' Shanghai Seafaring Adventures!’