Slurping Sipper Slosher – North Atlantic, 1882
This is one we can positively attribute to Charles Burroughs, painted in 1882 Charles describes his first encounter with the creature in the diary entry for the 15th April, 1881.
‘As we approached we realised that the small speck we observed on the horizon was far larger than we thought, most of its long body was twirled around underneath the water with only the occasional smooth curve shown above. Bottles littered the water and several bounced off the front of the boat as we approached.
The scale of this creature was immense, none more so than it’s capacity to consume bottle after bottle of shipwrecked wine from which it drank out of a bucket sized goblet that took three bottles at a time. Its wine store, if one could use that term was an immense iceberg that had been scooped out, bottles had been placed in the hole and ice scattered back over the top. We had got within a mile of reaching the creature before it spotted us, at least I think it spotted us, it was hard to judge as each eye seemed to have a mind of it’s own until we realised it was drunk and trying to focus.
Slowly it made its way over to us and I swear it smiled as it wrapped itself around our boat as someone would hug a favoured friend. The creature was fantastic, far beyond what I had expected until the unfortunate incident happened. It burped.
Not a small belch but a echoing boom that reduced our clothes to tatters and left us deaf for a little time afterwards. It was immediately followed by the ungodly smell of Pinot Grigio. Steadily it released its grip on our boat looking more than a little ashamed and swam away in a peculiar swim sway motion.’
What we can’t explain is the small sign from the S.S.Titanic in the centre of the painting. It’s an addition from 1912 and seemed to be placed in the painting to bring in to question the origin of the iceberg that had such tragic consequences for the Titanic. Survivors at the time recall a sweet sickly smell just before the liner hit, could it be that the Slurping Sipper Slosher had inadvertently let its wine cooling iceberg fridge drift whilst it slept off another heavy night?