It turns out that Capt. Francesco Schettino, who was accused of abandoning the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia after he ran it aground, has a perfectly good excuse as why he stompled over women and chidren on his way to get into a lifeboat.
As he relates the story, "The passengers were crowding the decks, storming the boats. I didn’t even have a life jacket because I gave it to one of the passengers. I was trying to get them into the boats in orderly fashion. Suddenly, because the ship was tilted 60-70 degrees, I stumbled and ended up in one of the lifeboats. That’s why I was there.”
So, apparently he actually just tripped and fell in the life boat by accident. Further, as you can tell from his account above, it was partly the fault of those pushy passengers who were crowding around him. Yea, I believe that.
At any rate his situation -- which is to spend the rest of his life being called a coward and having people giggling over his ridiculous tripping story -- reminded me of the old TV western Branded. In it Chuck Connors plays Jason McCord, the sole survivor or the Battle of Bitter Creek who was wrongly court-martialed for cowardice and thrown out of army as a result.
The show's introduction, embedded above, showed him getting his Lieutenant bars and shiney, brass buttons ripped off of his uniform and his sword busted in half. Hilariously, he then wandered around the old west wearing that torn shirt and toting his broken sword so everybody he met knew he was the Coward of the Battle of Bitter Creek. He tried to clear his name by being manly and doing various good deeds. Inspite of my brothers and I faithfully watching it each week, the show didn't last long.
Something tells me that, as awesome as it would be, there will not soon be a new TV series where Capt. Schettino, because of the ankle he sprained when he tripped and fell overboard, limps around Italy, carrying a hunk of salami and a wedge of provolone cheese, as he tries to clear his honor from the stigma of abandoning his ship and passengers. Instead, the guy has given a new definition to the old nautical expression "lower than whale shit".