Hello guys, it's TIAW here with my first songfic! Don't worry though, I'm not breaking any rules. Song lyrics in the public domain are allowed, and copyrighted lyrics go into the public domain 75 years after the death of the writer. This song, 'Steamboat Bill', was written by Arthur Collins, who sadly passed away in 1933, meaning this songfic has been perfectly legitimate since 2008 or so.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone knows the tune to this song, as it's what Mickey Mouse whistles in Steamboat Willie (that whole cartoon was a parody of this song). If you don't know it, well, look it up on YouTube. It's funny.
This is rated K Plus for cartoon violence, mild language, and brief tobacco use. It's one of the weirder things I've written in a while. It also contains some 1910's slang, which is explained in the author notes at the bottom.
Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own Total Drama or any of its characters. I do not own the lyrics to Arthur Collin's 'Steamboat Bill', but since they're in the public domain their use here is legitimate. I am not making any profit from this fanfiction.
Ezekiel stepped into the board room, pulling at the collar of his sweater nervously. The year was 1911 and the steamboat seemed like it might become a thing of the past. A captain of a steamboat himself, this should have concerned him. But in all honesty, he didn't care. He wasn't very fond of his job and he didn't much like steamboats either.
The board of directors, however, saw it differently.
They'd summoned him to their offices under strict confidentiality. If he whispered a word to anyone, they'd illegally draft him for the inevitable war in Europe, and Zekey boy did not want that. So he kept his mouth zipped, albeit reluctantly.
He walked through a door and smiled politely at the secretary, a man named Duncan with outrageous hair and a rude demeanor. Not lifting his head from his work, Duncan motioned for him to head on in to the next room.
Zeke gulped and walked in, sitting down in front of three grumpy men by the names of Noah, Alejandro, and Scott.
"Good day," he said.
"Shut the hell up and sit down," said Scott.
"I am sittin' down, eh," he replied.
"Whatever. Do you know why you're here?"
"Um, is it soomethin' to do with our steamboat company goin' out of business, eh?"
"Exactly," confirmed Noah. "As you no doubt know, the ship Robert E. Lee is twice as fast as any normal steamboat. We'll soon be broke if we don't prove steamboats are even better than these fancy new-fangled ships. Ya got that?"
Zeke nodded fervently. "Yessir, yessir, yessir."
"Now," said Alejandro. "It's your job to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee. Fail and you're out of a job."
'Hah', thought Zeke. 'I don't wanna keep mah job anyway. Zeke don't care! I'd be happy to fail and get me outta a job.'
"But if you succeed," continued Alejandro, "you can count one hundred thousand dollars as yours."
Zeke's eyes almost popped out of his skull. One hundred thousand bucks was a huge deal back in 1911. "I'll do it sirs, I'll do it! I'll kick that fancy ship's backside, like nobody's ever done before! Thank you!" He stood up quickly, knocking over his chair, and ran off, skipping and hooting in pleasure.
He exited the building, ran down to the docks and hopped in his steamboat, accompanied by his first mate (and only mate, really) Cody.
"How's your day so far, Steamboat Zeke?" asked the short sailor.
"Splendid, eh. We're gonna win one hundred thousand bucks!" Ezekiel quickly told Cody the events of that morning.
"Oh my dickens!" exclaimed Cody. "Well, no time to waste, Mister Steamboat Zeke. Let's get to that right away!" The two started up the steamboat and started chugging down the Mississippi river, picking up speed as they went.
Down the Mississippi steamed the Whippoorwill,
Commanded by the pilot, Mister Steamboat Bill.
The owners gave him orders on the strict Q.T.
To try to beat the record of the Robert E. Lee.
The ship was already going faster than it had ever gone before when it suddenly started slowing down fast. "What the devil is goin' on?" exclaimed Cody.
"Watch yer language, sailor," said Zeke. "You may be talkin' like a real sailor, eh, but that's no excuse. Lemme check the fuel."
He quickly hopped down to the boiler room to make an alarming discovery. All the coal had burned up. In his excitement, he'd stupidly forgotten to get more before heading off. Even their emergency supply was used up.
"Tarnation!" swore Zeke.
Cody came down the stairs behind him and gasped. "What do we do now? Forget the record-breaking, we're marooned in the middle o' the Mississippi and the nearest town is miles away!"
"Never fear, Cody m'boy," comforted Zeke, "Steamboat Zeke always has another trick up his sleeve. We'll burn all our cargo!"
Cody's eyes lit up. "You're a genius, Steamboat Zeke!"
Ezekiel smiled proudly. "Let's get to work."
Their cargo hold consisted of loads of furniture they were going to bring to the mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition, they had a few hundred books for the town library, an organ imported from Germany, antique clocks, and random bits of driftwood since Cody liked to collect it.
All of this went into the mighty furnace and the fire blazed. "There we go, Codester," sighed Zeke happily. "We better beat that record, chap. If we don't we're outta our jobs."
Cody gasped. "Really?"
Zeke nodded grimly, even though he mainly cared about getting the hundred thousand. "Don'tcha worry 'bout it, though. Steamboat Zeke is more capable of high speeds than any other captain between here and New York."
Just speed up your fire, let the old smoke roll,
Burn up all your cargo if you run out of coal,
"If we don't beat that record," Billy told the mate,
"Then the Maiden Care'll beat us to the Golden Gate."
Cody tended the fire while Zeke went back to the wheel, whistling a little ditty that sounded awfully familiar. The small boat increased in speed as they roared down the river, passing rapids and swamps, marshes and streams. The furnace started to make weird popping noises and the pipes were strained from the speed they were going. Cody was a little worried, but up above decks Steamboat Zeke was oblivious. He was gonna beat that record, no matter the cost.
Oh, Steamboat Bill, steamin' down the Mississippi,
Steamboat Bill, a mighty man was he,
Oh, Steamboat Bill, steamin' down the Mississippi,
Gonna beat the record of the Robert E. Lee.
Unfortunately, the duo ran out of fuel before they could break the record. They'd been extremely close, but so close was really so far in this situation. All was not lost yet, however. The steamboat pulled into a stop at Louisville, and Zeke hopped off onto the deck. He strolled down the streets looking for a place to buy some fuel. He found a good spot and bought more than enough. As he was walking back with his arms full of bags of coal, a shady-looking man approached him, smoking a pipe and wearing a cowboyish hat.
"'Scuse me sir, would you happen to be Steamboat Zeke?"
"Aye aye, eh! The one and only!"
"Nice to meet ya, nice to meet ya. My name's Geoff. Heard yer gonna try and beat the record of the Robert E. Lee, eh?"
"Yessirree! Zeke'll show the world what steamboat's are good for."
The man shook his head sadly. "Look, sonny, you ain't never gonna make it. Look at that old steamboat o' yours! She looks half-sunk already." Zeke frowned. "C'mon kid, you sure you wanna try an' do this?"
Zeke nodded, grinning crazily. "Alright then, son. How do you fancy a spot o' gamblin' in the mean time? I'm a big gambler meself, and a partier too, and you look the type as well."
Zeke wasn't the type, but he shrugged. In a few short hours he'd have one hundred thousand bucks, so why not? "Sure paps, what'cha wanna bet on?"
"On your chances," grinned the man. "What say, I'll give you ten hundred shiny ones if you beat that ol' record? Now, don't be a ding-bat, tell me what yer willin' to pay if ya don't."
Zeke thought about it for a while. "How 'bout ten hundred as well, chap?"
The man nodded. "Sure thing, but keep in mind if ya can't pay up you'll go straight to the hoosegow!" 
Zeke knew that. He also knew he could never pay one thousand. But if he won, it wouldn't matter.
"Say, how 'bout I accompany ya on yer trip? Just as a little guarantee that neither of us are welchers,  eh, mate?"
"Boy! Sure. My ship's a real beaut, I'll tell ya that."
The gambler shrugged and hopped on board with Zeke. After getting introduced to Cody, they started up again and Cody went belowdecks to maintain the furnace. "So, what'cha say yer chances of winnin' this little bet we got goin' are, pal?"
"Better than none and less than nothin', sir," joked Zeke.
"Don't be a wisenheimer  chap, it's unbefittin'!"
"Whatever you say, marshal. Let's get goin'!"
The little ship chugged off and soon they approached speeds faster than they'd ever reached below. Down below with Cody, the whole boiler room was starting to heat up to an unbearable temperature. The boiler looked to be swelling in the heat. The first mate dismissed it as a mirage from the heat, only to wipe his brow and realize the whole thing was about to burst.
Then the ship exploded.
Up then stepped a gambling man from Louisville,
Who tried to get a bet against the Whippoorwill,
Billy clasped the roll and surely was some bear,
The boiler it exploded, blew them up in the air.
Cody was trapped below as the whole thing exploded and he blew up with the bulk of the ship. Steamboat Zeke and Geoff, however, were blasted high up into the air, making the latter's hat fly off. The two glanced at each other as they soared through the sky, being propelled ever higher by the explosion.
"Guess I win," said Geoff. "Where's my thousand?"
Zeke laughed. He was always optimistic, even seconds away from death. He grinned at the gambler. "How 'bout we make a new bet, ya dirty dog? Bet ten hundred I fly higher than you." He closed his eyes and enjoyed the last few moments of his life as he soared through the sky.
The gambler said to Billy as they left the wreck,
"I don't know where we're going but we're neck and neck."
Said Billy to the gambler, "Tell you what I'll do;"
"I'll bet another thousand I'll go higher than you!"
Oh, Steamboat Bill, he tore up the Mississippi,
Oh, Steamboat Bill, the pilot made him swear,
Oh, Steamboat Bill, he tore up the Mississippi,
An explosion of the boiler put him up in the air!
There was a huge memorial service for Steamboat Zeke, with a smaller one for Cody and none for Geoff, as the gambler had lived a shady life and few even knew of his existence. The whole nation was in tears for the brave steamboat captain who had risked everything to prove the steamboat's power, and even though it was now clear that steamboats suck, everyone started buying them.
Alejandro, Noah, and Scott were overjoyed, and they sent the one hundred thousand dollars to Zeke's widow. Everyone who lived next to the Mississippi missed seeing the old steamboat travel up and down river, making weird popping and clanking noises as it went.
The river's all in mourning now for Steamboat Bill,
No more you'll hear the popping of the Whippoorwill.
There's crepe on every steamboat that plows the stream,
From Memphis right to Natchez, down to New Orleans.
Zeke's wife was an angry woman named Heather, who'd only agreed to marry him because she liked steamboats. She woke up the next morning to find the following telegram:
Dear Mrs. Steamboat,
We regret to inform you that there was an accident with your husband's steamboat and your punch-drunk  rinky-dink  loony bin of a husband is now dead. Rather sad for you ma'am, but we've given you one hundred thousand dollars as consolation, and also because the poor bastard's death helped increase our sales.
With all due respect (which isn't much),
The Executives of the Steamboat Company (Noah, Alejandro, and Scott)
Heather didn't care about Zeke's death, although she was glad for the money. She turned to her two little children, Bridgette and Courtney. "Well honeys, your papa's gone and blown himself up. It's a darn shame, but don'tcha worry, m'dears, I'll find you a new pappi soon. Maybe a railroad worker this time. I sure hope trains don't explode."
The wife of Mister William was at home in bed,
When she got the telegram that Steamboat's dead,
Said she to the children, "Blessed honey lambs,
The next papa that you have'll be a railroad man!"
Zeke opened his eyes to find himself on a cloud, with a beautiful clear stream nearby. Next to him stood an old man with a long beard. "Great-grandpappy Sailboat Zeke?!" exclaimed the steamboat captain. The man nodded. Others appeared behind him. "Grandma Ferry Zeke?! Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandpa Canoe Zeke?! Papa Cargo Ship Zeke?" All his deceased relatives nodded. "Where am I?"
"Why, you're in heaven, m'boy," answered Great-grandpappy Sailboat Zeke. "And the Lord almighty's got ya a brand new steam ship. Just look at 'er!"
He gestured behind him, where the most magnificent beautiful steamboat Zeke had ever laid eyes on rested in the water of the stream. Suddenly, Steamboat Zeke actually liked steamboats for once. Any dislike he'd had for them from his job on Earth was gone. The steamboat captain hopped on, and Steamboat Zeke sailed off into the horizon.
Oh, Steamboat Bill, missing 'long the Mississippi,
Oh, Steamboat Bill is with an angel band,
Oh, Steamboat Bill missing 'long the Mississippi,
He's a fireman on a ferry in the Promised Land!
Thanks for reading! I hope everyone enjoyed that and took some time to look up the song, which, as I'm sure you could tell from the lyrics, is quite funny. I wrote this on a whim and I hope it turned out well. Leave a review and let me know what you thought!
: Hoosegow is slang for jail.
: Welchers is slang for people who don't pay debts.
: Wisenheimer is slang for a know-it-all.
: Punch-drunk is slang for someone who suffers brain damage after a boxing match, although it can also apply to anyone who just acts stupidly (like Zeke).
: Rinky-dink is slang for old-fashioned or slow.