The galley slaves were taking a rest after a full day rowing under merciless sun with the sound of the slave driver’s gong still ringing in their ears.
“It’s not the captain’s waterskiing that bothers me so much” said one slave to his shipmate. “It’s that gong, gong, gong every two seconds. I’m going to get rid of it”
The slaves decide that under cover of darkness, they would lift the gong from its chains and throw it overboard.
“We can’t do it like that” suggested one of the plotters “They would be sure to hear us – we’ll have to find a way to slip it quietly into the water”.
So that night, six of the slaves lifted the heavy gong and carried it carefully to the stern of the galley – but there was no way to slip the gong into the water without banging it noisily on the boat.
“I have it! – I’ll slip under the rail and hold on with my back to the stern, then I will act as a slide for you to ease the gong over my body and quietly into the water”, said the brightest of the slaves.
This was working perfectly, when suddenly the slave driver appeared behind the plotters. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he shouted.
To a man, the men sprang to attention, and burst into song …
One, two, three –
“We’re sliding a gong on the chest of a slave ….”