“Hey babe, I really like the cut of your jib”, is only something that a sailor could pull off, since the course and speed of a ship is determined by the cut of the ships jib. The jib of a sailing ship is a triangular sail that is set between the fore-topmast head and the jib boom and small sailboats have one jib, but large ships like schooners can be rigged with as many as four. Telling someone that you like the cut of their jib is a way of saying, I approve of your overall appearance, conduct, style and the way you’re heading. Sailors were trained to identify far-off ships by the shape of their sails to help identify if a friend or foe was approaching them.
A drunk sailor is hanging out at a Key West Bar, not having any luck picking up women, and he is saying all these creepy, sleazy things like, “I’ll put the wind in your sails if you raise my mast. Are you seaworthy? Because I would like to ride you till dawn. Looks like your boat needs some seamen and I have the perfect crew. I would love to be in charge of swabbing your Poop Deck”, to all the women he sees. He notices another sailor come into the bar and he goes right up to the prettiest girl there and he says something to her softly and they both walk away together arm in arm. A little later on the drunk sailor sees the sailor who picked up the girl return with a satisfied smile on his face and he orders a cocktail at the bar.
The drunk walks up to the other sailor who just returned and he asks him what he said to the women that worked so well? He replies, “I just whispered tickle your ass with a feather?” If they smile you know that line worked and success is assured. If they look at you aghast and ask, “What did you say?”, you play it cool and reply, “Particularly nasty weather”. The drunk sailor decides to put this new plan into action and he stumbles up to the first woman he sees and shouts, “Stick a feather up your ass?!”. She hauls off and decks him. The other sailor helps him up off the floor and says, “Fuckin’ pouring, ain’t it?”
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix – Mad About Metaphor, December 7 2019 hosted by weejars aka Sarah where she asks us to write about the metaphor “The cut of your jib”.