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IIRC, it seems to be a tale of a cabin boy aboard a spaceship (and I read that it was based on a very old dirty joke although there was no actual dirty joke aspect to this story itself). The final line implied that rather than the ship being a ship and the cabin boy a cabin boy the ship was a space-living life form and the cabin boy one of its larvae. I am looking for title.

Probably a "golden age" story like from 1940s, certainly no later than 1970.

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    The "joke" actually relates to an old dirty ditty called "Good Ship Venus". I throw this out there in case the Venus angle has any relevance to the story being searched for. – Emsley Wyatt May 3 at 19:17
  • @EmsleyWyatt:: yes, the lyric is sort of a pun. i like the story much more than the ditty. – releseabe May 3 at 19:23
  • I looked up the lyrics to "The Good Ship Venus" (on my phone, not my work PC - yikes, that's pretty NSFW). I learned the core of that song as "The North Atlantic Squadron" way back when (the 1970s). Some of the lyrics overlap, some don't. The cabin boy stanza is exactly what I remember (except for one word). As far as I know, it dated to the convoys crossing between Halifax and the UK during WWII. I also expect that the song predates that - in the version I know, there's at least one reference to a ship under sail. – Flydog57 May 4 at 22:57
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It's the 1951 story Cabin Boy by Damon Knight.

It ends

In effect, Tommy had circumnavigated the skipper.

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    Adapted into a fine film starring chris elliot whom i waited for a tailor to finish up with at Barney's in Manhattan decades ago. I was going to ask him how much to tip tailors but I did not. – releseabe May 3 at 19:35
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    I don't think that's an adaptation? – FuzzyBoots May 3 at 20:10
  • The Chris Elliot movie doesn't have any reference to the 1951 story, I'm guessing similarities are just coincidence. That movie is awesome, "These pipes are clean!" – Mark Rogers May 4 at 17:21
  • @FuzzyBoots: maybe not intentionally. and the tailor part is important, high point of my life (or anyone's, i would guess). I can't believe I had to wear a suit almost every day. – releseabe May 4 at 18:02
  • It sounds more like a "comedy" version of Captains Courageous – Organic Marble May 4 at 18:04

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