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Titanic’s Deck Chairs Were Rearranged Prior To Sinking, Claims Last Living Survivor


MIAMI– What was thought to be a metaphor for futility was actually something real, according to Delores Gorman, the last living survivor of the RMS Titanic. Gorman, who is 107 years old, claims to have briefly exited one of the Titanic’s lifeboats in order to rearrange the deck chairs moments before the ship sank on April 15, 1912. “The way they had those chairs arranged was atrocious,” said Gorman. “Not only was the set-up ugly in and of itself, but they were crooked as well. You would think that they would at least keep the chairs facing one another on the world’s most elegant cruise ship.”
   Gorman said that she was aware of the dangers in getting off of the lifeboat. “Everybody was screaming at me to get back on, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much those chairs were bothering me,” she said. And according to Gorman, that last minute change might have saved a passenger’s life. “I moved one of the chairs about seven or eight inches to the left,” she said, “which was about the same distance that it came from hitting some guy once the ship was completely upright.” Gorman never found out what happened to that particular individual, but is positive that if she hadn’t moved the chair he would have “most certainly been decapitated.” “Not to toot my own horn, but if that man survived, go and ask his family whether or not rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic is futile,” said a defiant Gorman. On a more philosophical note, Gorman feels that her actions were “a fitting metaphor for life in general.” “Somehow, we have this idea that it’s a waste of time to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic since it was going to sink anyway,” she explained, “but if that’s the case, why bother doing anything? Does that mean I shouldn’t have made the Titanic look better while it still existed? We’re all going to die, so in a way, we’re all on a sinking ship. But does that mean that we shouldn’t make things better while we’re still here?”
   In fact, Gorman has made it her life’s mission to make things better, and her actions on the Titanic serve as a preview of this. She worked as an interior decorator in New York City and didn’t retire until she was eighty-five years old. She didn’t want to retire, but did so in order to tend to her dying husband, Harold, who passed away in 1994. “I was one of the best interior decorators in the business,” said Gorman, “and it was due precisely to my attention to detail. Back in 1912, we didn’t have all these fancy-schmancy terms like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Hell, if the Titanic were to sink today and I rearranged the deck chairs, I would be medicated. And then what would happen? I certainly couldn’t have the successful career that I had.”
   As of last month, Gorman has had a chance to put that theory to the test. Carnival Cruise lines have offered her the opportunity to ride on all of their cruise ships for free in exchange for her professional consultation on the arrangement of their deck chairs. “She takes her job very seriously,” said Patrick Downs, captain of the Carnival Conquest. “I see her out there for two or three hours at a time, moving the deck chairs around. Mrs. Gorman has the energy of someone half her age.”
   And according to some experts, like Susan Casey, author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, Gorman’s expertise could not have possibly come at a more convenient time. “Due to climate change, the ocean has been producing freakishly large waves in recent years,” she said. “We’re talking about waves that are well over a hundred feet high. Waves that could easily swallow up a cruise ship.” “We try to keep that little factoid under our hat,” said Edward Heegan, vice president of Carnival Cruise lines, “but it’s true. And that is why Delores Gorman’s work is now more important than ever.”
   Not only is her work important; it’s inspirational as well. Legendary French aquatic filmmaker Fabian Cousteau has decided to use an underwater submersible to rearrange the deck chairs that are still on the Titanic. “Before the ship sank, and it was standing vertically, most of the chairs fell off the deck,” said Cousteau, “but as the ship sank, so did the chairs, and some of them are still on the deck. They are, however, in an order that is not very pleasing to the eye. And if there is one thing that Delores Gorman has taught us, it’s that it’s never too late to make things more aesthetically pleasing.”
   Cousteau said that in addition to rearranging the deck chairs, he will also use the submersible to place the nearby chairs that fell off the Titanic back onto the ship’s deck. But many of Cousteau’s colleagues feel that his project is a waste of money. “With the world’s oceans in peril of collapse, should he really be wasting his resources on rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic?” asked marine biologist Justin Nadal. Cousteau stands by his decision though, arguing that in addition to aesthetic purposes rearranging the deck chairs will also benefit the oceans. “In the same area that the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic lies a school of White-headed hagfish,” said Cousteau. “However, their population is dwindling to the point of extinction. And a big reason for this is because they don’t have any privacy while procreating. Now if we were to rearrange the Titanic’s deck chairs in a way where the white-headed hagfish could procreate underneath the chairs, their population will grow, which will have positive ecological effects on the entire food chain of the ocean. To put it in layman’s terms, it’s difficult to maintain an erection when a fifteen-foot long swordfish is staring over your shoulder and thinking about eating you for dinner. Ha! I just said layman. Get it?



November 13, 2012


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