____________________________________  Permission to use this line has been obtained from the copyright holder Samuel Plimsoll.

     After a series of maritime disasters caused by too many psychologically damaged sailors manning ships, it was a Bristol MP called Samuel Plimsoll who devised a brilliant test to solve the problem. The test involved painting a line on the side of the ship to show captains how sane each prospective member of the crew was. Plimsoll then stated that the captain should analyse the lines thus:

  1. If the line is straight it means the sailor is sane, so his services can be enlisted.
  2. If the line is perfectly straight but BELOW the surface of the water, DO NOT engage the sailor’s services but those of a vicar instead, as it means he has probably drowned.
  3. If the line is perfectly straight but has been made by the sailor simply applying the brush to one spot and then a line being made by the ship’s movement as it passes by, then DO NOT engage the sailor’s services as he will want everything done for him.
  4. If the line is low down on the ship’s hull, the sailor has criminal tendencies as he is subconsciously trying to avoid a line-up.
  5. If a sailor paints a series of broken white horizontal lines still engage his services, as it means he is middle of the road.
  6. If the sailor paints double yellow lines he is an extortionist.
  7. If the sailor paints a thin blue line hide your contraband, as he is an undercover cop.
  8. If the sailor does a hundred lines it means he was constantly in trouble at school.
  9. If the sailor expresses a preference instead to draw the outline of a curvaceous woman in thin air, refuse point- blank to enlist his services as you have to draw the line somewhere.

Thanks to Samuel Plimsoll’s test voyages at sea became much safer; so due to the psychological aspect of his test, Samuel Plimsoll became affectionately known as The Sailor’s Freud.


copyright Jonty Morgan, Hysterical Bristol, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jonty Morgan and Hysterical Bristol with appropriate and specific direction to the original context.


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