Chasing Moby




CAPTAIN AHAB is standing on the ship’s deck, looking intently across the ocean. STARBUCK is standing next to him.

STARBUCK:Sir, the men and I are worried about you.
AHAB: What on earth for, Starbuck?
STARBUCK: Well, sir, you seem a bit obsessed with the whale.
AHAB: This is a whaling ship after all, Starbuck. Of course I am obsessed with whales. The exotic, stalwart creatures are my livelihood.
STARBUCK: Sir, I’m talking about only one whale–Moby Dick.
AHAB: Oh. And what is your concern, Starbuck?
STARBUCK: Sir, you have pursued Moby Dick for weeks, nigh I say months, now past our scheduled return. We should have dropped anchor in port long ago. The men are restless and some even miss their families. This maniacal obsession of yours may drive the men to mutiny.
(There is a pause as Ahab continues to intently stare straight ahead over the prow to the horizon while Starbuck stares at Ahab)
STARBUCK (CONT’D): When will this obsession end, sir? After you personally harpoon Moby Dick and transport his freakish, white carcass back to harbor for all to see?
AHAB: I do want to personally harpoon him, but not kill him, if you know what I mean.
(Ahab smiles mischievously at Starbuck and nudges him with his elbow. Starbuck stares at him, somewhat confused)
STARBUCK: What, just torture the poor animal, leaving him disfigured like he left you?
AHAB: Starbuck, you fool, I was speaking euphemistically! I’m not talking about harpooning him with, you know, a real harpoon, I’m talking about, huh…
(makes back and forth motion with his hips)
STARBUCK: You want to fuck him up!
AHAB: Dammit, Starbuck, can you not take a hint? Moby and I are in love!
STARBUCK: (shocked) What? So the rumors are true?
AHAB: Yes, the affair has been going on for years.
STARBUCK: But sir, he bit off your leg!
AHAB: Ah, just a bit of a jealous lover’s tiff. You see, he found out about the herpes virus I contracted from a cute little beluga whale off the coast of Alaska and, well, that’s all history now.
STARBUCK: A beluga whale, sir? Alaska?
AHAB: A mere youthful indiscretion, but one I paid for with my leg. And the frigid Arctic waters almost claimed my beach balls. My scrotum was frozen solid for a month.
STARBUCK: But you are married, sir. Does your wife know?
AHAB: I’m sure she has her suspicions. God knows there have been plenty a night I have come home covered in barnacles and sperm.
STARBUCK: Let me get this straight: you are married to a female human and are having an affair with a male sperm whale?
(Starbuck has a disgusted look on his face)
AHAB: Oh, so that’s your problem. The affair with the whale repels because Moby happens to be male.
STARBUCK: No, it’s pretty much the whale part that I find disgusting.
AHAB: So those libertines Ishmael and Queequeg can carry on a decadent, transitory relationship, swabbing each others decks all over the ship, while I engage in a loving, long-lasting affair that includes a little male blowhole action with my soulmate Moby and all of a sudden I’m the Pervert of the Pequod?
STARBUCK: With all due respect, sir, that is one of your more popular monikers among the men. That and Captain Whale Fucker.
AHAB: (angrily) I knew I shouldn’t have confided in you! You’re just like the rest of the puerile cretins aboard this vessel. You and the others will never experience the deep emotional bond that develops between man and whale, a bond created from an affectionate, sexual relationship.
STARBUCK: I should pray that to be so, sir.
AHAB: Go, you homophobe of gay cetaceans! Go tend to the other emotionally retarded nitwits!
(Starbuck exits shaking his head)

After a few seconds, we hear the call, “Thar she blows!” Ahab raises his hand to his brow and peers intently. He spots Moby Dick and begins waving.

AHAB: Moby, my love! I have come to you once again, you magnificent, white, sperm-filled beast!

Ahab adjusts his hair and clothes like someone primping before a date. He retrieves breath spray from his pocket and sprays it in his mouth. He begins to move off stage while ISHMAEL and QUEEQUEG enter. They walk by laughing, arms around each others shoulders. Queequeq carries a bag. They stop momentarily.

QUEEQUEG: How about a little head?

Queequeq reaches into the bag and pulls out a shrunken head. Ishmael and Queequeq leave the stage laughing with their arms around each other.


Chasing Moby first published at