working cape race

used to describe someone who is too preoccupied with the task at hand to notice potential obstacles and hazards.

comes from the response of jack phillips, senior wireless officer on the rms t-tanic, to a message from cyril evans, wireless officer for the ss californian, which was meant to notify him of ice dangers in the waters the t-tanic was p-ssing through. phillips — who was busy relaying a backlog of messages from the as-yet-intact t-tanic’s p-ssengers through the wireless center at cape race, newfoundland — responded to the loud interruption with the phrase, “shut up; i’m working cape race!” the t-tanic struck and iceberg and sank
sue: “does john not realize he’s working himself into a corner?”
james: “no, he’s working cape race.”

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