I went cruising again on Saturday Night. It was a little different than the days of my youth, climbing into my buddy’s ‘67 Mustang’ and heading downtown to pick up chicks. For one, I brought my chicks with me this time. That is, if you want to call the Wife and the Kid, my chicks. You can, but I will refrain, due to being tired of getting elbowed in the gut by the Wife and slapped upside my head by the Kid. My problem is, I have a mouth and I know how to use it. I took the Wife, the Kid and my Mouth on a cruise ship to the Bahamas last week. It wasn’t that different from the old days. We drank excessive amounts of beer, had no responsibilities, didn’t really ever care what time it was and just like my past, I never did get lucky. Some things never change. Of course when you are living in a room the size of a broom closet, with the Kid watching your every move, any chance of getting lucky was limited to the craps table at the casino.
There were some major differences in this type of cruising though. For one, after three days and three nights of feeding at the troughs they call the buffets, I don’t think I will ever fit in my friends Mustang again. I had always heard of the expansive food selections on these cruises, but was unprepared for the spectacle spread out before me. I watched as tray after tray, containing mountains of food, were loaded up in front of me. Yeah they were all mine and yes I did clean my plate (s) Mom. I ate at least four meals a day and when not eating, we were drinking. I thought I had died and gone to heaven until my parental instincts took over.
The Kid has blossomed into a teenager of epic proportions, mentally and physically. I thought I had taught her well when she told me that all men are scum with one-track minds. She doesn’t want anything to do with them. That’s my girl. You have learned your lessons well, grasshopper. Unfortunately, she was talking about men, not teenage boys. Those she’s still crazy about. I don’t think she realizes that boys become men right before they become boys again. My little girl had a shipboard romance with a fine looking, upstanding, polite young man. There, I said it. That wasn’t so hard. I can say it now, without becoming enraged, because the shifty eyed little puke lives 3000 miles away. They were walking around like they were on the “Love Boat,” while I was stalking them like it was “The Voyage of the Dammed.” I was told you could get any service you required from the Pursers desk but my request for leg irons was denied. I asked the captain about keelhauling the little Romeo or at least making him walk the plank, and thought I was getting some support for my plan, until realizing I wasn’t talking to the captain. How was I supposed to know that even the bus boys wear those spiffy looking uniforms?
We docked in the Bahamas and were immediately swarmed with peddlers at the dock, offering everything a man could want, but still no leg irons. I did smoke a fine Cuban cigar, drank some delicious beers and soaked in the local atmosphere. The Kid wanted to get her hair braided and beaded, which is the local custom, though I did notice none of the locals had braided, beaded hair, just the tourists. We found out why when she came back looking like a Michael Jackson clone. They had pulled her hair so tight I thought she was from the group of Japanese tourists on the next ship over. She kept complaining about her head hurting and I told her now you know how we adults feel. Of course our affliction had more to do with Rum than hair braids, but the effect was similar.
While we didn’t get any whale watching in, unless you count the buffet lines, we did get to experience some firsts as a family. We had never been to a foreign land, (other than a few trips to California) and enjoyed the adventure. Of course the effect was diluted when our cab driver in Nassau, after noticing my Denver Bronco’s cap said “Go Broncos, Raiders suck.” I guess some things transcend all borders.
I went snorkeling for the first time. The Wife had been after me to try it for years. Little did I realize that while I was diving into the surf, she was diving into the jewelry stores. Smart woman that wife of mine. When we got back I found my prize trinkets of the cruise are of the seashell and coral variety; hers are of the Ruby and Sapphire type.
Overall, the trip was a smashing success and I highly recommend cruising to everyone. If you have kids, take them. The experience is priceless and besides you can let them run wild. Where they going to go, right? That is unless you have a teenage daughter, then I recommend you forget the leg irons and go for the hair beads and braids. Even teen-age boys are turned off by a Japanese looking version of Michael Jackson.
© Mike Ryan 2003
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