Last month my family and I had an exciting time on a sailboat. We almost died. We got caught in a typhoon. The storm shredded the sail like a cat clawing a sofa to pieces. While trying in vain to patch the sail, laughing like Daffy Duck, my father got struck by lightning. It literally went in one ear and came out the other. The only effect this had on him was to restore his vision, so now he doesn’t have to wear glasses anymore. He also says everything in Japanese, a language he had no exposure to before.
During the storm, the boom swung around hard and whacked me on the side of the head like a sadistic Zen master having a temper tantrum. Blood poured from the cut I received on my cheekbone.
“Don’t bleed on my beautiful boat!” my mother cried. “Hold your face over the edge and bleed into the water.”
I did as she said, even though I knew this would be bound to attract sharks. I thought maybe they were all dead from the shark-finning industry and we’d be safe, or they wouldn’t be able to find their way through the plastic soup the ocean had become.
After the storm abated, my dad spotted a fin coming towards, us, followed by several others. The sharks pursued us as we drifted farther to sea. We were all parched by the heat. My sister tried to keep our spirits up by telling us knock-knock jokes, which only served to annoy everyone, apart from my father, who was perplexed by the language barrier.
One of the sharks stuck his head out of the water like the shark in Jaws and lo and behold, there in his mouth, lay the corpse of Osama bin Laden.
“Hey, watch out who you’re calling a corpse!” he said.
“Excuse me, Mr. Terrorist, but I thought you were dead.”
“I am dead, dummy. Now I’m a ghost.”
“Are you a zombie?”
“You bet your drifting sailboat I am.”
“Can you tell us how to get back to shore.”
“Not unless you pay me.”
“Do ghosts need money?”
“No, but I’d like to make a donation towards my terrorist charity for the next attack.”
“Who’s going to get whacked, and where?”
“I’m not telling.”
“Not even if we water-board you?”
“Have fun trying to make a dead man suffer.”
A sudden explosion rocked the sailboat, cutting her in two.
“Hey bin Laden, cut it out!” my mother cried.
“That wasn’t me. Blame the North Koreans.”
The fatal cylinder was buried at sea in tentacles of fire that licked the sides of the marine vessel. Later, when the coast guard examined the wreck, they found scars caused by a torpedo signed by Kim Jong-un, who’d written, “Smooth sailing, suckers!”
We all felt lucky to be alive. On the coast guard cutter, my father ordered us a huge plate of sashimi in fluent Japanese. The server told us we’d be eating the very last samples of fish available before all the species represented on the plate went extinct, and we thanked her profusely before digging in with our chopsticks and washing the delicious morsels of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and eel down with glittering glasses of dry white wine.