The British Exploring Society (BES) revealed today that Captain Oates, of “I may be some time” fame, has returned to Britain.
Oates, who accompanied Robert Falcon Scott on his doomed trip to the South Pole, left the team with the immortal line “I am just going outside and may be some time.”
Historians have assumed since that day that Oates sacrificed himself in a selfless attempt to save the rest of the expedition. However, Oates insists that there was no ulterior motive: he really was just stepping outside for some time.
The BES has issued a statement regarding Oates’ surprise reappearance: “Oates is disorientated at best. He is unaware of the frosty fate that befell his companions, having been out of news range for the past century. We’ve decided that to find out after all these years would be very damaging for the Captain, and so if everybody could keep the whole “Scott of the Antarctic” thing under wraps, that’d be great.”
Oates is expected to accompany the BES on a trip to find Scott, whom Oates expects “is just relaxing with the penguins near the Ross Ice Shelf.”