To Mr. Whitman, With My Apologies

by William Schroeder

O, Stubing! My Captain!

Our season finale is nearly done.

The Pacific Princess has weather'd every tacky plot,

The ratings we sought are won.

The port is near, the boat horn I hear,

The special guest stars all debarking,

While my captain's eyes follow Charo's aft,

For whom love was a'sparking.

But O broken heart! Broken heart!

O the rising socks of white,

Where on the Promenade deck my Captain waves

Till April Lopez is out of sight.

O Stubing! My Captain! Cheer up and move on.

Cheer up, for next week's previews have not yet come.

For you a Barbi Benton tryst may arrive,

Or, perhaps, Bea Arthur is the one.

For you the passenger list is brimming,

With you they dine, the B-list masses,

Their eager agents are a'calling,

Begging for those network boarding passes.

Ahoy Captain! Paging Dear Merrill!

That shimmering special effect in the air,

It is some dream sequence on the viewing deck,

You've stumbled over a cabana chair.

My Captain does not answer the page.

His sideburns, long and gray,

Merrill feels his tow-line slipping,

For he is no Isaac nor Gopher in age.

His dinghy, overboard and sinking,

Its sailing days are nearly done,

While Doctor Bricker rushes to his side,

His stethoscope a'dangling.

But toss your confetti, O shuffleboarders,

And sing, O Mandrell Sisters!

Behind that blue screen horizon

Something new and exciting lingers

Love won't hurt anymore,

For my Captain, now forever duty-free,

Has set his final course---for adventure.

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