Da problem with Barnacle Bill and all his predecessor ferryboat drivers is that they couldn't drive straight, no matter how many times they tried it. They could cross New Yawk Hahbah a thousand times always going into just two sets of slips, South Ferry and St. George and they always, always, always, missed.
Did you ever see 'em just once drive straight into the dock and let the people off? Never!
They always managed to hit the pilings. Crunch! First they put the motors into reverse and you felt the boat shudder. That was okay, more or less, if that was all they could do; I guess the brakes didn't work too good on those old ferries, so they had to reverse the propellers. Everybody braced for what they knew came next. Crash! Into the pilings. All those people standing there, like two legged vertical sardines, one knee bent to keep balance upon impact, when the entire crowd shifted 4.5 inches aft to compensate for being thrown forward while the boat scraped the pilings, smearing the black grease they put there because they knew, just knew, their drivers couldn't make it straight into the berth without hitting and pushing those pilings all around. Screech, crruunnnch, squeeek, and bang as the boat finally nosed into the pier and the metal ramp was lowered to the iron deck for all the commuters to swarm across.
It's been awhile since I've been on one-a-dem ferry boats, now, and I'm beginning to wonder whether they've ever managed to do it right.
In fact I'm beginning to wonder whether some Blivet type had the black berthing grease concession and this was all part of the scam to keep him in business...
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