THE HIGH SEAS—Upon being ordered by the captain to “splice the mainbrace” Wednesday, the crew aboard The Bloated Mermaid admitted that not a single one of them had any clue what the phrase meant or what they were now intended to do. “I think it has something to do with the sails, like, whether they’re up or down, maybe? Honestly, I really have no idea,” the ship’s first mate told reporters, adding that he had conferred with the galley steward, other deckhands, the captain’s wench, and numerous prisoners below deck and had yet to find anyone who could confirm the command’s meaning. “I'm still a little fuzzy on what a mainbrace is, to be perfectly frank. Or why one would need to splice it, whatever the hell that means.” At press time, the first mate had begun wondering whether the captain had said “splicing” or “slicing.”

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