A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal for the Improvement of the Chain Ferry at Poole Harbour.

* That the noisome Internal Combustion Engine, so injurious to the Environment, be replaced forthwith with a superior Method of Propulsion, viz: 3 banks of Oars to either Side of the Vessel.

* That there should also be provided several Pedalo-like Machines connected, via Drive Shafts through the Bulwarks, to small Paddle Wheels. This for the use of Passengers of diminished Stature, or Children.

* That the Chains, whose clanking does greatly disturb the Fishes, be replaced with silken Ropes, running over well-greased pulleys.

*That the current System of Fares be revised as follows:

– Firstly, those Passengers able and willing to ply the Oars or work the Pedalos should be permitted to travel Gratis.

– Secondly, those precluded from the above by Reason of advanced Age, Ill Health, or Terminal Laziness, should be charged an appropriate Fare for the Crossing.

– Thirdly, those desirous of acting as Oar-Captains or Overseers should be required to pay a Fee for the Privilege, supply their own Cat O’Nine Tails, and undergo a brief Period of Health and Safety Training.

The Benefits of this Proposal are clear and obvious, viz:

* There would soon be apparent a marked Increase in Profits, due to the Removal of the Need for expensive and polluting Diesel Fuel.

* Passengers would soon recognise the multifarious Benefits to their Well-Being, viz: increased Physical Fitness and Blooming Health for regular Participants.

* Such a Scheme would self-evidently lead to marked Improvements in the Gaiety of Nations.

I propose, therefore, the immediate Creation of a Limited Liability Company to be called “The Sandbanks Trireme Company” with an Issue of Stock at Ten Guineas per Share.

I trust that I may count upon your enthusiastic Support.