Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sea Cruise

We were drunk before the ship left port.

That's the way it works when you take a cruise with Nelson and his friends. There will be drinking. There will be more drinking. And then a little bit later... yet more drinking. We took a limo down to the Port of Tampa, (because that's the way I roll) checked in and walked right onto the boat. Perfect timing, no waiting. We soon joined everyone else on the Lido deck for cocktails and "bon voyage." It was at this time that someone first made mention of "the turtle." It seemed that everyone was hoping to see the turtle before the vacation was over but the turtle had retired. More about that later....

Bobbi and I had a really nice vacation augmented by the fact that we did not get into an argument the entire time. We don't actually get into arguments very often but when you're on vacation for a week it's not uncommon for a couple to at least have one fight. Having an argument with Bobbi is like negotiating a hostage situation: speak slowly and choose your words carefully or else someone is going to get shot. So, naturally I was relieved to make it out alive.

We went all out on this vacation and booked a penthouse suite on board the Carnival Legend. The penthouse suite is actually on deck six, which is not the top deck, nor is it the highest deck on the ship that has state rooms. Obviously, someone neglected to explain exactly what the word "penthouse" means to the folks at Carnival. Anyway, it was a very nice room compared to the walk-in closet that they call a room on the rest of the ship. Our room had room to move around as well as four closets, a double vanity sink and an actual tub and shower ( in standard rooms you have to stand on the balcony naked and let the sea spray clean you). It cost about twice as much as a regular room but it was worth it because we lived in it for seven days. One night Bobbi was walking out of the room and came across an elderly couple in the hallway who had locked themselves out of their room. She offered to let them come inside and sit down as she called the room steward to come open their door. They were staying in an inside cabin (which means they did'nt even have a window) and when they walked in to our suite the woman said, "Well, this is nice." When Bobbi told me the story I asked her if she had explained to the couple that this was, in fact, the biggest room on board the ship. She said no, because she didn't want to seem like she was bragging. "You're not bragging," I said, "as much as you are doing that poor guy a favor. Right now they're at dinner and his wife, who is under the impression that our room is a standard outside room, is asking him why he's such a cheap bastard and didn't spend the extra $400 to get a room like ours.

Wednesday night the turtle finally appeared.

On past cruises Nelson has done this thing that they call the turtle. Basically he lays down on his stomach on the floor and flaps his arms and legs around like a giant sea turtle. It's actually much funnier than it sounds, trust me. Well, Wednesday night Mike kept bugging Nelson to do the turtle. Nelson kept saying that the turtle was retired. Finally we were all standing underneath the spiral staircase next to the lounge when Mike pointed to the shallow reflecting pool surrounding the staircase and said, "Nelson, you need to get in there and do the turtle."
Now, Nelson was drunk but not stupid. So he turns to Mike and says, "What's it worth to you?"
"50 bucks." Mike replied.
"It'll take at least a hundred."
"I'll match his 50," I quickly said.
So, Nelson got down on the edge of the reflecting pool like he's warming up to do the turtle. We are, of course, convinced that what he will do is flap his arms and roll his head around while laying on the ledge around the pool since he's fully dressed in slacks and shirt.

We were wrong.

He clapped his hands together three times to get himself psyched up and then flopped into the pool face first, chest down, and started flapping his arms and legs like the giant sea turtle that he had become. It was perhaps the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. Then, when he was finished, he climbed out of the water and, soaking wet in his dress clothes, casually walked through the middle of the casino to reach the elevators so he could go back to his room and change. His wife Marisa was in the lounge while the whole thing was going on and saw it through the window. She immediately walked out and said "Who bet him he wouldn't do it? There's no way he would have done it unless somebody bet him!" The best part is we got the whole thing on videotape. If I can get my hands on a copy I will post it on the boolog.

On the last day of the cruise we were sitting and having breakfast when Johnny decided to take a survey and find out which of the five husbands had managed to get laid the most while on vacation. I had previously been in last place because Bobbi had been indisposed during the early part of the week. But I quickly spoke up and said, "I know I've been at the bottom of the pack but I had a "come from behind" rally last night to increase my standings."
"Literally," Bobbi remarked.

While in Cozumel we all went to Carlos and Charlie's. It's a tradition among the group to go to Carlos and Charlie's while on the cruise and get so drunk that you have to crawl back on board the ship. I was proud to be a part of it. If you've never been to Carlos and Charlie's it's like the locker room of a football team right after they win the Super Bowl, only rowdy. There was much exposing of breasts, grabbing of asses and liberal usage of tongues. The women had a good time as well. It was during our stay at Carlos and Charlie's that I presented Nelson with the coveted crown of the turtle.

One night when everyone was in the elevator going back to their rooms, Nelson was trying in vain to talk everyone into partying just a little bit longer. Finally, he stepped off the elevator on his floor and turned to face the group (as well as the strangers who were in the elevator.) "I'll see you fuckers in the morning," he said in disgust. I'm thinking of having that put on a t-shirt.



Not to be outdone, I topped Nelson in the category of "rudeness to perfect strangers on an elevator" just a couple of days later. We were walking back on board the ship after Carlos and Charlie's, which is to say we were all drunk. Nelson got into a discussion with another woman about college football. She was from Alabama and was claiming that Alabama had more national titles than Miami. Nelson replied, "I'm talking about since they started wearing face masks." Well, this woman took Nelson's comment to mean that she looked very old, which is pretty good because that's exactly what he meant. So, once we all got on the elevator Nelson spent the entire ride explaining to the woman that's not what he meant and apologizing. Finally she steps off the elevator and turns back to face the group. Nelson tells her what our table number is at dinner and says she needs to come down and see us and he'll buy her a drink...and he didn't mean to say that...and he wasn't calling her old. She says, "Okay, okay...maybe I'll do that. Then, just as the doors close I speak up and say, "See you later grandma." Nelson started laughing so hard I thought he was going to choke.

1 Comments:

Anonymous said...

I would have liked to have gone with you on this cruise. It's not often that I get to be the skinniest in a group.

10:55 PM  

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