The meek may inherit the earth, but they’ll have a hell of a run for the money from the venal. The meek have faith, ethics, morality, and just plain goodness on their side. The venal – and you know who you are, you cigar-smoking, straight gin drinking devil – they have their impecunious nature to corrupt.
Suppose you live in a country where bribery is not the official means of getting things done. In that case, you might think that the universe’s tendency is towards honesty and freedom of action without the impediments provided by the need to bribe goods and services continually. Then you have never been to sea.
First, my father, then my uncle introduced me early to the beautiful world of Cumshaw. What is this? It is a word meaning a gratuity or payment in return for a service or good. Early China sailors brought it home from the ports in Asia where they learned it. How do you use this excellent word? Well, you can Cumshaw to procure a wrench, a new machine part for a ship, or to have your laundry done. Allow the smooth vowels to roll over your tongue. Your word of the day has arrived.
The always eloquent Bosun’s mate John O’Toole explained it to me this way, ” Cumshaw is a lubricant. It reduces friction in the world of commerce and allows for smooth sailing.” I know for a fact that the parsimonious can indeed experience heavy seas by failing to provide the lubrication John said was needed for proper commerce – Parts not showing up and services not being provided.
If you think that this only pertains to the sweltering parts of the world, you are naive. Turn your head towards the last corrupt politician you saw reduced to private citizen status for abusing campaign funds, and remember the saying, ” As it is above, so shall it be below.”
Now. Go ye forth and sin no more!

3 Replies to “Venal”

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mason. Don’t I wish that was my ship! It’s an incredible model of the old Queen Elizabeth located in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts – one of my favorite museums.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: