Herman Melville writes for Friends.

Posted by @ 5:39 pm on February 2nd, 2009


So, you know when you’re watching a fairly uninspired sitcom, or a middle of the road comedy film, there’s that scene where two straight guys end up having to share a bed for the night and, invariably, when they wake up the next day, one guy has his arm around the other and they are all cuddled up and then they both freak out and jump up and act masculine? Or one wakes up and the other is so completely out of it, he doesn’t, and the one who is awake has to try to get himself out of the situation somehow?

You know how you watch that scene and say: “Oh, yeah. This again.”

That scene? You know that scene, right?

Did you know Melville invented it?

Upon waking next morning about daylight, I found Queequeg’s arm thrown over me in the most loving and affectionate manner. You had almost thought I had been his wife…

…But at length all the past night’s events soberly recurred one by one, in fixed reality, and then I lay only alive to the comical predicament. For though I tried to move his arm—unlock his bridegroom clasp—yet, sleeping as he was, he still hugged me tightly, as though not but death should part us twain. I now strove to rouse him—”Queequeg!”—but his only answer was a snore. I then rolled over, my neck feeling as if it were in a horse-collar; and suddenly I felt a slight scratch. Throwing aside the counterpane, there lay the tomahawk sleeping by the savage’s side, as if it were a hatchet-faced baby. A pretty pickle, truly, thought I; abed here in a strange house in broad day, with a cannibal and a tomahawk! “Queequeg!—in the name of goodness, Queequeg, wake!” At length, by dint of much wriggling and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style, I succeeded in extracting a grunt; and presently, he drew back his arm, shook himself like a Newfoundland dog just from the water, and sat up in bed…

Did you know? I didn’t.

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