The Four-Year-Old Rescues Hostages from Somali Pirates. (McSweeney’s)

By Ross Murray on McSweeney’s:

2035 hours: Engine of Zodiac is cut as Navy SEAL unit arrives at rendezvous point, 16.2 miles off coast of Somalia where pirates have commandeered private American yacht. In abrupt silence, suddenly feel self-conscious and stop singing 20-minute rendition of “Wavy Wave Wave” song.

2038 hours: Commander recaps rescue plan for unit: don swim gear, approach captured American yacht by stern, board vessel, discharge small explosives, disable Somali pirates by lethal force, rescue two hostages below deck, rendezvous with helicopter support. Commander calls for questions. Complain that no dolphins have yet been sighted, as promised.

2042 hours: Put on flippers but refuse to insert snorkel. “It’s spitty.” Commander repeats order. “No, it’s yucky. I’ll puke.” Commander issues menacing threat. Insert snorkel while making exaggerated gagging sounds.

2043 hours: Sulk in corner of Zodiac.

2047 hours: Waiting for deployment, Ens. Klemphorn talks quietly and nervously about mission, how he’s prepared for death but is more worried about disappointing comrades and never being able to tell his family that he tried his best; wonders if it was all a mistake. Reply, “I’m going to kill smelly pirates! Look: duck feet!”

2050 hours: Commander gives “go” signal for unit to begin dive. Slowly descend feet-first into water because getting bellybutton wet is the worst.

2051 hours: Begin surface swim towards stranded yacht. Quickly suffer fatigue. Remove icky snorkel and ask Klemphorn if he’ll piggyback swim. Climb on teammate’s back. Ask Klemphorn to dive to bottom like a whale.

2103 hours: Unit glides silently to stern of yacht. Night is still, save for lapping of waves against hull and muffled sound of music from radio on board. Make bum bubbles in water. Try to suppress giggle. Fail.

2104 hours: Commander looks over, makes circular motion around eyes, points forward. Wave back.

2106 hours: Controlled military assault begins on captured yacht. SEALs scale side of boat. Ask for boost.

2108 hours: Manage to get on board. Flashes, screams and explosions punctuate the darkness. Feel all drippy. Yell “I’m wet!” to no one in particular. Conveniently find towel lying on deck. Sound of running and gunfire. Tie corner of towel around neck. Announce, “I’m Batman!”

2115 hours: Commander rushes over with sidearm drawn. Screams in face about focusing on mission and retrieving hostages below deck. Notice commander has boogers. Reply, “You’re a grumpypants.”

2118 hours: Descend cabin stairs on bum. Open door to find hostages cowering in corner. Hostages ask, “What’s happening? Who are you?” Reply, “I’m a SEAL. But not like a seal at the zoo. I went to the zoo once and there were this many seals.” Hold up both hands. “They swimmed fast. I can swim fast but I get tired. I know what ‘seal’ is in French. It’s ‘phoque.’ Phoque, phoque, phoque, phoque, phoque, phoque. We’re killing the smelly pirates. Is this where there’s treasure?”

2121 hours: With captors eliminated, hostages scramble above deck as helicopter support arrives. SEAL team straps hostages into rescue harness. Tug on commander’s jacket. Ask where the treasure is.

2133 hours: Return to base in helicopter. Tell Klemphorn, “This is two times I’m in a helicopter!” Assuage disappointment over lack of pirate treasure with well-chilled juice box. Stare out window, scanning ocean for dolphins. Mermaids will also do. Feel excited because commander has mentioned something about a courtmarshmallow.

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