Friday, October 2, 2015

Summer vacation, day 10

Today we were at sea.

As I walked through the atrium, the instrumental due were cranking out a medley of Queen’s greatest hits on accordion and violin. They were on “Fat Bottomed Girls” when I went by. It certainly summarizes the increased girth of all cruisers at this point, male and female. There’s an old joke in the industry that you board as a passenger and leave as cargo.

Toward noon I got my iPad to check in with the office. Running the immense Grumpy Neurological Emporium is a 24/7 job, even when I'm on vacation.

WiFi on board a cruise ship is NOT what you think it is. It’s more like slightly advanced dial-up. And they charge you for it. A LOT. Rates on board a cruise are usually 30 cents per minute and up, and it takes you a lot more time to do stuff than it does at home. And it frequently cuts out, requiring you to log back in. It's high on the list of shipboard frustrations. In spite of this, we still can't get Frank's phone to shut-up.

Tonight Craig ordered prawns for dinner. He likes shrimp, and since the waiter described prawns as “big shrimp” he thought that sounded just awesome.

The first sign that our dinner was about to go horribly wrong was when the waiter whisked the covering off Craig's plate, revealing the cooked prawns beneath. They looked nothing like the shrimp he’d expected. Craig screamed and jumped up in his chair, knocking over the guy with the pepper grinder, and began yelling “MOM! MOM! OH MY GOD MOM! THEY HAVE LEGS! OH MY GOD! LEGS! THEY HAVE EYES, TOO! MOMMMMMMMM!"

We were not anticipating this. AT ALL.

The family next to us stopped singing “Happy Whatever” and (briefly) set down their Limoncello.

Marie spilled her water.

Frank’s phone began playing “Amish Paradise.”

Our waited showed why he deserved a good tip. In a single motion he covered the plate up and removed it from the table, saying, “I will bring you a cheeseburger.” Craig was fine with that. Marie asked for more Ranch dressing.

They have what they call "movies under the stars." This means they put some flick on the poolside Jumbotron, and people can lay out on chairs and watch it.

This would be great... in the Caribbean. But at night at sea here the temps drop down into the 30's, and the wind blasts across the deck with enough strength to push your testicles into your chest (trust me on that one). So the deck chairs are empty, the movie is blasting, and 2 bored stewards are sitting there trying to hand coffee and blankets to anyone who might look vaguely interested in watching.

Because my kids are incapable of telling dirty clothes from clean ones, my wife went into their cabin tonight to collect laundry from the floor and stuff it in a suitcase. Unfortunately, this resulted in a frantic Craig beating down our door at 1:00 a.m. when he returned from teen club and immediately assumed the steward had, for unknown reasons, stolen their smelly clothes.


Candida Gomez said...

....That is a very impressive waiter.

And prawns are good, but they do look like they're looking at you. My son and daughter enjoy them nonetheless.

Sigh. You can tell whoever came up with having outside movies in Alaska at night never actually goes on that cruise...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a future vegetarian. Does he know that
cows have legs and eyes too?

Love the "Neurological Emporium." You all could offer massages,
yoga, and aromatherapy too.


Anonymous said...

I'm not particularly a fan of being able to look my food in the eye before I eat it, either. Though I think I would have handled it a little more discreetly than Craig.

Anonymous said...

Ohh, haa, ha, ha. Crawdads look like that prawn, too.One suspect the young man is not going to enjoy lobster, either.

Brr. it defies imagination of anywhere colder than at sea in the northern Pacific after the height of summer. Head cold conditions at least. It sounds as if there should've been marshmallows and weinie roasts, or at least a hot cup of cocoa.

kjax said...

Mrs. Bitchy should have watched the movie. No teenagers.

Bobbi said...

ROFL I was 15 and in Rome when I unwittingly ordered prawns. My reaction was quieter than Craig's, but no happier. I still shudder at the memory!

Packer said...

Good stuff

Fat Bottom Girls is the anthem of bicyclist all over, Get on your bikes and ride.
I could never figure out the connection. But they do make the world go round.

Grumpy, M.D. said...


When "Fat Bottomed Girls" was released as a single (1978), the flip side was "Bicycle Race" (both from the album "Jazz").

In "Bicycle Race" it includes the line "Fat-bottomed girls, they'll be riding today" so each song refers to the other.

The original release of Jazz (1978) came with an actual poster of a women's nude bicycle race. And I had an original copy. That feature was banned quickly, and replaced with an order form. All my friends were jealous.

You can see the original poster at the bottom of the Wiki article.

And so, now you know how the line relates.


ndenunz said...


I'm with you on the fact you check in with your office while away. For a solo practitioner it actually is easier to deal with some things as they come up rather than wait or try and have somebody else back home try and figure it out.

McDuckGA said...

I can think of few things more uncomfortable than riding a bicycle nekkid, no matter the gender.

Moose said...

When my then-best-friend turned 21, her then-boyfriend was supposed to take her to dinner at a nice seafood house in the city, to have a lobster. Unfortunately, then-boyfriend was a shitheap and found a way to weasel out of it at the last minute, so I told her to keep the reservation and I'd take her.

She decided to order not just any lobster, but the lobster prepared with a special stuffing, named for the Chef: "Lobster Larry."

My friend grew up in a tiny town in the middle of Buttfucknowheresville, MidWestern State, and had only had lobster as "lobster tails." So when they set down Larry the Lobster in front of her, she didn't quite freak out as much as Craig did, but she did frantically wave the waiter back and beg him to have the head removed. "I can't eat him like this!" she said. "He's staring at me!"

I caught the waiter rolling his eyes as he turned away and managed not to smile. I then spent the rest of my friend's birthday meal instructing her how to get a lobster apart. ("OW! It's hard to break this!" "What do you mean, suck on the end?!" "What the HELL is this goo in here??")

While I endured the glares from Mr And Mrs Snooty Patootey at the next table over, I did notice that some of the "goo" inside Larry the Lobster was roe. Larry was really Loretta, and I wisely kept my yap shut.

Anonymous said...

Commercial in the near future:

"Hey, you got your ranch dressing in my limoncello!"
"You got your limoncello in my ranch dressing!"

Anonymous said...

In order to dry out his phone better, and to keep it on hand for future mishaps, go to the craft store and buy a tub of silica gel. It's sold as a flower preservative. You can also find it at places like Wal-Mart for cheaper, like Panacea Silica Gel Crystals. It works much better to try out electronics and it's reusable, you just put it on the oven and cook it a bit to dry out. It's what they use for old school hearing aid dryers so it's safe to use on electronics. With the hearing aids you would have the crystals in a perforated tub so air could reach them but the crystals couldn't escape and you'd put them in an airtight container. You could probably put these in a small ziploc bag, stab the bag all over with a fork, then put the bag and the phone in a larger gallon size ziploc. That will get residual water out of it. They also sell it in desiccant packs, often advertised for being used in a gun safe but available online so you don't have to go into a gun store. All of these are under 20 bucks.

Mage said...

Wunnerfula, wunnerfula, and amazing too.

Anonymous said...

What I really hate is when prawns come with the little booklets that have their names and biographies.

Anonymous said...

Wait!?! I'm confused.
Aren't shrimp and prawns the same thing?

If they're not, what are shrimp? We don't have them in Australia.

Anonymous said...

When I was 14, my entire (gigantic) (Catholic) family went on a cruise together to celebrate my grandparents' anniversary. At dinner one night, my 12 year old brother decided to be adventurous and order the frog legs for dinner. The waiter arrived to unveil...the entire bottom half of the frog. My brother shouted, "Oh my GOD! They brought it with the BUTT!" And then proceeded to burst into tears because they'd killed a frog. It was hilarious.

Anonymous said...

"Aren't shrimp and prawns the same thing?
If they're not, what are shrimp? We don't have them in Australia."

What the yanks call shrimp, us aussies call prawns.
For us shrimp are a smaller species.

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