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DRAMA: The Classics

Moby Dick - The Chase - First Day

It is highly recommended that you read each synopsis before listening to each day of The Chase individually so that you can keep the story straight.

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Synopsis:

One day, a green as the hills Massachusetts guy named Ishmael decides he wants to be a sailor. He pals up with a heavily tattooed heathen harpooner named Queequeg and they both get hired to work on a ship called the Pequod. Rumor has it that the Pequod was originally named the Pequot until the Connecticut tribe threatened to sue Melville for Intellectual Property violation, so he changed the name of the ship to the Pequod and the Pequots had to settle for opening casinos instead.

The captain of the Pequod – not to be confused with a Peak Wad, a rolled upper after corner of a fore-and-aft sail which could be used as a pillow in a pinch – anyway, the captain's name is Ahab.

He's a spooky kind of a guy with a wooden leg who likes to have a Parsee with him wherever he goes – not to be confused with parsley, which is edible, or the Parcae (pronounced pahr-see), spelled p-a-r-c-a-e , who were The Fates in Roman mythology, or per se which is of, in or by itself or oneself.

Well, anyway, the long and short of it is that Ahab only wants to find the Great White Whale, Moby Dick, who ate his leg. He convinces the crew to let him do this and then the crew gets drunk and shouts and sings a bunch of sailor songs. Yaarrr!

So, they sail all over the place – the South Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and into the Japanese Sea. They meet another ship, the Enderby, whose captain has just lost an arm to Moby Dick. With Moby Dick up an arm and a leg in the game you'd think Ahab would give up. But Ahab gets all excited thinking he’s getting closer to Moby Dick and promptly sails to the Pacific Ocean.

The crew is getting a bit tired of this but Ahab apparently has the charisma to make them stay the course. Then a typhoon hits. We suspect this is just for dramatic effect. After the winds die down the Pequod meets a ship called the Rachel and a post-tempestuous relationship ensues with the captain of the Rachel leaving the area and very disappointed in Ahab.

Moby Dick is sighted and hence the chase begins. And so we come to Moby Dick - The Chase - First Day.

Cast In Order Of Appearance:

Announcer
Ahab
Daggo
Tashtego
Starbuck
Ishmael
Fedallah
Moby
Everyone

ANNOUNCER

And now, the Kranky Kids present Moby Dick, Chapter 133, The Chase, First Day.

AHAB

It's stanky up here. I smell a whale. Change course so we can get closer to the smell. Daggoo, get everyone on deck to look for the White Whale.

DAGGOO

Aye, aye Captain Ahab. Here, let me help hoist you up to the top of the main royal mast-head.

SFX: hoisting sound

AHAB

There she blows! There she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It's Moby Dick. How come none of you nincompoops saw him?

TASHTEGO

I, Tashtego, one of your harpooners, saw him and I cried out.

AHAB

But I still beat you to it. Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah. Look, Moby Dick is going to sound. First mate Starbuck, lower three boats for the chase. But you stay on board.

STARBUCK

Aw shucks, I never get to have any fun.

AHAB

Be dumb, man! Stand by the braces! Hard down the helm! Brace up! Shiver her! Shiver her! So; well that! Boats! Boats!

STARBUCK

Huh?

AHAB

Just hurry up and lower the boats.

STARBUCK

Oh, okay. Don't forget to take Fedallah, your Oriental Parsee harpooner.

AHAB

Right! Quick, you guys, get these boats closer to Moby Dick.

ISHMAEL

Wow! What a beautiful white whale.

AHAB

Can it, Ishmael. I say he's evil and therefore he must die. Besides, if you think I'm ugly with my scarred face and one and a third legs, you should see Moby Dick's jaw.

TASHTEGO

Yeah, it's as deformed as they come.

ISHMAEL

Look! He's diving once more!

AHAB

Sounding, Ishmael. The term is sounding, not diving.

ISHMAEL

But they mean the same thing. One's just esoteric nautical jargon.

AHAB

True. Anyway, we'll have to wait an hour for him to surface again.

TASHTEGO

The birds! The birds!

AHAB

Hey, this is Melville, not Hitchcock.

TASHTEGO

No, there really is a bunch of white birds.

ISHMAEL

And they're surrounding your boat.

AHAB

Uh, oh. I don't like the looks of this. I'd better peer over the side. Good grief, Moby Dick is coming up from below and he's got his mouth wide open. I'd better move the boat out of the way. Fedallah, you Oriental Parsee, switch places with me so I can harpoon him.

FEDALLAH

Hai. Ee-yoosh.

MOBY

Those knuckleheads. They think they can spin their little boat and get away? Ha! I, Moby Dick, am gonna eat their boat.

AHAB

Oh great. Now half the boat is in Moby Dick's jaws. And talk about bad breath.

FEDALLAH

Yikes! He's bitten the boat in two!

EVERYONE

Run for it!

AHAB

Uh, crew? We're on the ocean, remember?

EVERYONE

Swim for it!

MOBY

Ptooh! Yuck, what are they making these boats out of? Wood?

ISHMAEL

What the heck is the whale doing?

FEDALLAH

A pirouette?

ISHMAEL

And now he's circling us.

MOBY

If I do this fast enough, I'll be able to flush them down into the ocean.

AHAB

I feel like I'm desperately trying to stay afloat in a giant toilet.

MOBY

Bingo, buster. Oh shoot. Here comes their ship, the Pequod, to spoil the fun. Oh well, I might as well swim away. I've had my fun for the day.

AHAB

Thank goodness I'm still alive and so are all five of my men. Even my lucky harpoon didn't get lost. On with the chase!

ISHMAEL

We're pooped. Let's go back to the ship instead.

AHAB

Okay. I'll just pace the deck while we chase Moby Dick with the Pequod.

STARBUCK

Just look at your boat, Captain Ahab, it's a mess! This is not a good sign.

AHAB

Starbuck, you are the most pessimistic guy I know. Now, go away and let me pace the night away in peace.

SFX: pacing and boat sounds

Click here to continue with Moby Dick - The Chase - Second Day

©1997-2014 Lishka DeVoss/Kranky Kids®

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