Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Centipede's Dilemma



Shanty Pete was in fine form on Monday evening, but seemed keen on starting songs and allowing lesser shantymen to finish them off.

I took Pete's behaviour as an example of the Master coaching the Apprentice. After all, as the psychologist Geoffrey Humphrey observed "No man skilled at a trade needs to put his constant attention on the routine work. If he does, the job is apt to be spoiled"

I mentioned this to Pete and got, to my surprise, the following reply:


Hi Steve,
Apologies for only singing the first two verses last night and thank you for noticing!I must be suffering from ‘short verse syndrome’ which I believe is a precursor to other geriatric anomalies (which I also suffer from),  or it might just be an overdose of ‘the bloody fishing boat knackering condition’ which I have obviously caught in Ridge over the past few weeks. I have made an appointment with Dr Baker who I am sure will prescribe some suitable pills or send me for a brain scan and this means I will be ok for next Monday @ the shed!Salutations
Shanty Pete


Now I'm no Doctor, but perhaps Pete is suffering from The Centipede's Dilemma?

A centipede was happy – quite!
Until a toad in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg moves after which?"
This raised her doubts to such a pitch,
She fell exhausted in the ditch
Not knowing how to run.

or

A spider met a centipede while hurrying down the street,
"How do you move at such a speed, with all so many feet?"
"I do not have to contemplate to keep them all in line,
But if I start to concentrate they're tangled all the time!


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