Friday, November 25, 2011

Rearranging Lifeboats on the Titanic

I recently read two compelling middle grade books about the Titanic. My reviews will come in a couple days, but in the meantime, I wanted to mention a factoid that struck me as I read the back matter of one of the books:

63% of first class passengers were saved
43% of second class passengers were saved
25% percent of third class passengers were saved

It occurred to me that this would never happen today.

First, there wouldn't really be any second class passengers, and those that were in first class would be a very small percentage of the overall manifest (let's say, oh, 1%).

Second, instead of women and children first, there would be a democratic election in which it would be pointed out to the third class passengers that it makes more sense for 100% of first class passengers to be saved because only they can create jobs so that all those suffering third class passengers have some hope of improving their circumstances--otherwise, what's the point in surviving if you haven't got something to look forward to? Let's face it, no one wants to be in third class forever. The first class is offering a different kind of life boat. It will just take a little longer to arrive.

Third, first class passengers need more room for their valuables, which are necessary to fuel the economy so that they can create jobs for the people sinking into the frigid deep blue.

Fourth, there might be some third class hooligans who object to this arrangement, but they are so poorly dressed and LOUD, it's almost hard to understand what they're saying. In fact, their message is deemed too unclear and, well, not very credible.

It's decided that the obvious choice is to allow first class passengers full use of the lifeboats so that they can go home and make life better for everyone. Besides which, they are already inside the boats and it would take too much time to roust them out, leaving everyone to perish.

It occurs to leaders of the first class passengers, however, that it might look bad if they are the only ones to survive, so they decide to take on some of the third class passengers. Actually, they are crew members, but it's getting dark and hard to tell all the screaming people apart. It works out to be useful because now they have someone to row the lifeboats and get them out of there.

Meanwhile, as the third class passengers are swallowed up by the sea, the survivors hone their message for the folks back home. It's important to present a united, unyielding front, unlike the drowning masses whose voices are all garbled...

Anyway, it's just a thought that occurred to me.


Charlotte Morganti said...

Grier - excellent! Funny, funny, funny and packing a great message.

KarenC said...

Way to go, Grier. I totally agree but could not have said it so well.

Grier Jewell said...

Aw, Karen. Let's face it. You can say *everything* better than I can, but thanks for the thumbs up!