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Popeye’s Barnacle Bill. By Samantha Memi.

For Elle Cortes


“Oh Popeye,” said Olive Oyl excitedly, “we’re going across the sea on a boat?” She clasped her hands together and looked adoringly into her true love’s eyes.

“That’s right Olive, we're going to rescue me old ship what’s nearly sinking.”

Olive and Popeye boarded the liner which would take them to the south seas where Popeye hoped to find his old ship the Barnacle Bill.

Under a smiley sun the harbour buzzed with bug-eyed cranes loading unwilling cargo onto unhappy boats which complained about the heavy loads they had to carry. Unknown to Popeye and Olive, Bluto was watching them from behind a factory wall. As soon as the liner cast off he ran along the jetty and jumped onto the stern of the ship. Unfortunately his weight was too much and the ship tipped up in the air, toppled all the passengers into the sea and sailed off by itself, tooting its horn and smiling as it left.

“Oh Popeye, help help,” cried Olive, floundering in the water.

“Don’t worry Olive, I’m coming to get yuh.”

But Bluto wound a rope round Popeye, pulled one end, and Popeye went spinning off across the sea like a top.

So it was Bluto lifted Olive out of the sea.

“Oi gotcha foist,” said Bluto.

“No you don’t. Oh my, whatever will I do. Put me down. Oh dear.”

But once Olive was safe on shore she calmed down.

“Oi dun wanna hoitcha Oilive. I wanna marry yuh.”

“Marry? Oh dear. I don’t know about that. I mean marriage is so long and I never had a boyfriend for long. Except I suppose for Popeye but look what happened to that.”

“Duncha toik ‘bout Popeye,” said Bluto, “his name makes me mad.”

“Oh dear, no. I don’t wanna make you mad. No, I certainly don’t want to do that. Why don’t we go to the park? It’s a lovely day. Then I can think about your proposal. At least I think I can think it over, but well… “

“Yuh’ll think about it?”

“Sure I will. Well I think I will,” said Olive and mumbled, “of course I can’t guarantee what my answer will be. I mean I might say yes but I might say no.”

Bluto and Olive, walking in the park, looked much like any other couple, except Olive was skinnier than most girls and Bluto was fatter than most guys, but Olive was Popeye’s love, and Bluto was his hate. As they walked Bluto held a parasol over Olive to protect her delicate skin. Neither of them saw Popeye hiding behind a tree. As they passed he rushed out and kicked Bluto into the boating lake. Bluto spun head over heels through the air and splashed into the lake making the water rush like a tsunami to the edge of the pool where a group of young children were playing. The huge wave, seeing the children, stopped with a screech, and an angry fish popped out and shouted, “Don’t hurt the children. Get the fat guy who splashed into you.” So the wave turned back and swamped Bluto.

“Oh Popeye! Really you shouldn’t have done that. Oh I hope he can swim.”

“Don’t worry Olive. Bluto’s like a whale, he can breathe underwater. Hehehe.”

At that moment Bluto came out of the water and threw Popeye against a tree which stunned Popeye and made the tree wobble so much all its apples fell down and hammered one by one on Popeye’s head. The poor little sailor was so dazed a myriad of stars twinkled round his head and his eyes swivelled. A woman passing was also hit by an apple and, when she went to rub the swelling bump, she dropped her shopping bag and a tin of spinach fell out and rolled over to Popeye, stopping at his feet. He squeezed the tin between his legs, and a stream of spinach arced into his wide open mouth. A fanfare played and his muscles popped.

Meanwhile down at the docks Bluto and struggling Olive were boarding a ship bound for Puerto Rico.

“Help help, Popeye, I’m all at sea,” shrieked Olive, and then she mumbled, “well no, I’m not at sea yet but I very soon will be if someone doesn’t help me soon.”

Popeye, hearing Olive’s plea for help, jumped into a paddle boat and paddled so fast the tiny boat broke the world speed record and took off from the lake, flew over the town, nearly hitting a goose who went ‘Aargh!’ and lost all her feathers, and landed in the water just behind Bluto’s ship which had just set sail. Olive saw Popeye and screamed, “Popeye, Popeye, save me.”

Bluto threw a huge anchor which hit Popeye’s boat and threw the little sailor up in the air. He landed on the captain.

“Oh I do begs your pardon. I’m most sorry.”

“That’s quite all right,” said the captain, now squashed and only half his height.

“I’ll just straighten you up.” And Popeye pulled the captain back to his normal size.

“That’s what you call a soft landing, hehehe.”

Popeye turned as Bluto lumbered towards him.

“Oh, it's you again is it. Well I'lls soon sort you out.”

Popeye hit Bluto so hard the fat bully flew into the stratosphere and went so far out of the earth’s gravitational pull no one could understand how he got back in time for the next episode.

“Oh Popeye, you’re my hero,” said Olive flinging her arms round her sailor.

“Ah, now we can go much faster,” said the captain, “now the big guy is off.”

“Tells me Captain, what ship is this?”

“Why, it’s the old Barnacle Bill. I rescued her and now she's as good as new.

“You hear that Olive, we’s on me old ship.”

His pipe blew two puffs of smoke, woo woo. And Barnacle Bill with Popeye and Olive sailed into a sunset that winked and waved goodbye. Woo woo.

The end.



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