Friday, February 16, 2007

Jumped Out The Window With A Guit-ar In His Hand And Said "Shoot Me Daddy, I'm Superman, I'm Superman, I'm Superman..."

So, I went on a cruise with Scarlett and the Weege to Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. It was Royal Caribbean cruise on their lovely ship The Grandeur of the Seas, and it was truly a week of legend. Let me just explain the explosive mixture that was going to be dumped onto this boat even before we all met up in Baltimore.

Things I Have Done With Scarlett:
1. Danced/leaped/careened around our dorm room bellowing to the tunes of, amongst many others, "Muskrat Love," Elvis' "Blue Christmas," and "All I Want For Christmas Is You." This is how I met Other Former Roommate, The Pharmacist - he came up to investigate the giant crashing sounds.
2. Chased ducks through the United States Capitol Reflecting Pool in full-on going-out-wear. At one a.m.
3. Peed in the United States Capitol Random Stand of Trees, most likely while being surveilled by Capitol Police. Of course, in DC there is always the chance that we were being eyed by the FBI, CIA, DCPD, and any other variety of law enforcement officials. At one thirty a.m.
4. Met and hung out with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in the West Wing of the White House.
5. Roamed the AU campus hugging and babbling about the Party Animals. At midnight.
6. Watched Gone With The Wind roughly nine hundred forty seven thousand times.
7. Spent the rest of the time watching CNN, the Discovery Channel, or the History Channel.
8. Assorted political/academic/public misdeeds, many of which we probably SHOULD have been arrested for but were not.
9. Developed an entirely new shorthand for language, so as to facilitiate easier covert mocking of people.

What you need to know about the Weege is basically that she'd never met Scarlett before, but that I had made her watch GWTW with me and explained her as "like Scarlett O'Hara, but without know, evil." And also that she rocks extra super hard.

And thus the trip began.

Southwest was kind enough to fly us from Manchester, NH to New Orleans, LA for 137 bucks, so at 5:30 I picked the Weege up at my parents' house in the snow (naturally - 60 degrees through the ENTIRE DAMN WINTER and then it snows when I need to fly AND check bags AND transfer flights. THANKS, NATURE.) and we headed up north. Leg #1 went well, and we met Scarlett at BWI, to much screeching, Norweigan roaming and getting to knowing. We had used Miracle Product Board First, so we all had A boarding passes, which let us sit pretty far up. We gabbed all the way there, and good times were had by all, until we realized we were running almost an HOUR LATE thanks to a charming 200 knot headwind. THANKS, NATURE. Needless to say, we were informed of this by a completely annoying stewardess (N.b. - I usually LOVE Southwest employees, in general, because they tend to be infalliably cheerful and helpful. This goober was the exception, not the rule.), who couldn't just say "yes, we're running an hour late. We'll get you there," but instead felt that a good game plan would be to lecture us about how we should have come down a day early and gotten a hotel, and went on about this at SUCH A GREAT LENGTH that Scarlett and the Weege should be counting their blessings that I did not leap over them to slap her. Lady, I see your point. It's not a bad point. However, maybe instead of antagonizing people you should understand that people book flights with the expectation that they will be transported in a time frame SIMILAR TO THE ONE THEY BOOK THEIR FLIGHT FOR and just freaking say "I'm sorry, but we are delayed. We'll get you there." Needless to say, we were a little edgy by the time we got on the ground in N.O., and I muttered most of the way to bag claim about "god help the first Southwest employee I see if my bag does not come off that bleepety-bleep carousel." Luckily, there was no need for violence, and we jammed out to the taxi line and met Awesome Couple Number One, who said "oh come on, just cut the line. We'll back you up if people whine" as we started heading for the back of the (extensive) line. We ran into them again in the Royal Caribbean check in line and then never saw them again. We got in a nice truck with a Honduran driver who had TEN sisters and TWELVE brothers, for a total of a lot of goddamn birthdays to remember. He got us right over to the pier, and I overtipped him extravagantly because my fight-or-flight response was still tweaking out all over the place because of the delay.

Got to the stateroom unscathed, although we needed to fill out our check-in paperwork AGAIN despite checking in online. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Royal Caribbean, although it says NOTHING ABOUT THIS on its online check-in web page or anywhere else on the site, doesn't let you print your SetSail Pass less than 24 hours before you sail. Yes, this is demented. It does tell you you can't do the actual checking in less than 48 hours before your cruise, but if you are like me and do the check in, then print your assorted passes right before you leave so as not to spill liquids on them, lose them, have them get eaten by your pets, etc., make a note to do it in advance if you are going on an RC cruise. THANKS FOR THE STRESS, Y'ALL. And also for the scary, pissy woman who gave us the forms to fill out.

Now, when we got to the room, we saw only two beds, and couldn't figure out where the third person would sleep. We found Super Steward Alex in the hallway, and he showed us where the bed was (It awesomely folds up into the ceiling and needs to be unlocked to come down - supercool) and unlocked it for us. This marked the last time that Super Steward Alex did not live in stark terror of all three of us. We went up to the Windjammer, which is the buffet restaurant up at the top of the ship, and it was there was we ran into the reason Scarlett had wanted to come on the cruise - the Dominican bartender, The DR, who she had developed a life-threatening crush on during her LAST cruise, which was in..........December. (Her next cruise, for those keeping track, is in May. I don't know.) Needless to say, this was already an event of iniquity, but he then proceeded to QUIZ HER ON HIS NAME while covering up his little name tag like a complete weirdo. Also? Nappy hair. Un. Ack. Cepatable. Luckily the muster drill sounded, so we had to leave the bizarre scene to go stand out on the deck while wearing our stylish life vests and bounce off of people for a while. In a way, the muster drill was kind of fun because everyone's in the same "heh heh, sorry I keep whomping into you, but this stupid thing is messing up my groove" mode, and you can feel the excitement of being about to leave.

So we started off, heading down the canal and out to the Gulf of Mexico, and the three of us went back to the cabin to change for dinner. The dining room was gorgeous, all decked out in an Art Deco was called the Great Gatsby dining room, and I have to take a side trip for a second here for a public service announcement - people, PLEASE STOP NAMING THINGS AFTER THE GREAT GATSBY. The Great Gatsby is a wonderful book and I really enjoy it, but it is a SAD, UGLY BOOK about the folly of decadence and excessive cash. It is NOT a celebration of the flapper era. STOP IT. Thank you. Our table mates included one nice older couple who had been cruising since 1976 and came to exactly one dinner before spending the rest of the week going up to the buffet, three mystery people who never came to a meal, and Neil Diamond and the Missourienne. We LOVED Neil and the Missourienne - they were this really fun couple who were celebrating their 10 sorta-anniversary. They weren't married but had been dating for 10 years, living together, Neil put it, "we'd rather spend money on doing cool travel and stuff than a wedding right now," which I think is a pretty good idea, actually. But Neil did not tell us this on the first night, oh no. We thought he was probably a serial killer on the first night, because the only thing he said the entire meal was "Bears" in reference to who he wanted to win the SuperBowl. Good times.

We had some time to kill between dinner and the next thing we wanted to do, and decided to go spend some time in the Solarium, a very cool area with a sort of Roman bath feel and a retractable roof, as we discovered later in the week. There's a pool and two hot tubs in there, and all the chairs have awesome cushy pads on them for maximum relaxing. We hopped in the hot tub, hoping we'd be able to find a member of the bar staff to bring us a bottle of champagne. Not only were there exactly zero members of the bar staff around, but there were no PEOPLE around except for the occasional passer-by. Eventually it got to be time for us to go get dressed for the next round of activities, so we started looking for towels. Scarlett lost the nose-touching/not-it round, so she got out to look for them, only to be told by the scariest, pissiest woman ever that towels were on the other side of the Solarium. She had been sweeping up the floor when she noticed Scarlett looking around, and got all "Looking for TOWELS? They're over THERE." It was just that...she was REALLY PISSED! We didn't understand it but we knew enough to fear for our lives so we got towels and jammed.

We then went and hung out in the South Pacific Lounge for a while, had a bottle of champagne. This was when we first discovered The Problem With The Weege, that being that every time someone tried to serve her, she would get this utterly panicked look and stare at us for approval and instruction. Now, bear in mind, we weren't planning on ordering her up seventeen shots of grain alcohol or anything, we just wanted her to have a beer. Furthermore, in this particular case, I had gone to go get the champagne and three glasses, so the waiters already assumed she was legal to drink since she HAD a drink already. But no, she did the freak out thing and they asked her for ID so that was more or less the end of, I didn't have MY license with me either, since it didn't seem relevant, but the point remains that she never would have been given a second thought if she hadn't gotten all deer in the headlights about it. So we watched some suprisingly GOOD karaoke, including performances from both halves of a newlywed couple, both of whom were great.

Now, midway through our time in the South Pacific, we switched location in the room so Scarlett could better flirt with The DR. We also wanted to see if there was something on the Weege's SeaPass that identified her as underage...Scarlett remembered from the last cruise that most kids had their SeaPasses punched with a hole to indicate their underage status, which did NOT happen on the Weege's card, but we were assuming there was some other way to tell, and had noticed an "M1" on her card that ours didn't have. We sort of thought that told the staff she was underage, but it also could have been something connected to her being Norwegian and thus not a US-citizen. We decided that the safest way to find this out would be to ask Scarlett Crush and Skilled Communicator The DR about it, at which point we embarked on Stilted Conversation Number Two, to wit:

The DR: "Are you 18?"
The Weege, finally making a stab at bullshitting: "Yeah!"
DR: "No you're not."
Weege: "Yeah I am!"
DR: "You're seventeen."
Weege: *silence* *nervous laughter*

So we figured that out pretty easily, and then the note passing ensued. Now, the last cruise Scarlett had been on, the grand romance had been kicked into high gear with a note passed to her asking her to meet The DR somewhere off the ship in one of the port cities. She accepted, and fierce making out happened. They exchanged emails at the end of the trip, and she emailed him but never heard back. So this was Note, Part Deux, which asked which cabin number she was staying in, and why she didn't reply to HIS email. She wrote back, now several Diet & Cokes to the wind, "honey, I emailed YOU, and you never got back to me." So then he went over to snigger with his odd friends, and returned to say that he would call the cabin later. Clearly, despite the fact that she TOOK ANOTHER CRUISE TO SEE HIM, Scarlett apparently did not want to seem to codependent so she was all "yeah yeah whatever, I'll be at the club, call me in the morning." I'll let you digest all that.

After the karaoke, we roamed aimlessly a little bit, popped in briefly to the show that was going on, found the comedy show marginally entertaining (although the comic was roaming the audience doing some kind of interact with the audience business at the time so for all we know his actual standup was hilarious), and then headed up to the Viking Crown Lounge at the top of the ship, where we got the Weege's underage ass in the door by lecturing her all the way up the stairs to not get all freaked out looking and then inaugurating the "we were all college roommates" lie which proved to be successful throughout the trip. The very first thing - and I do mean very first thing - that happened was for this insane woman to throw a fit on us because her drink had been spilled. Now, as far as I know, I may have spilled it, since people were jostling around and stuff, but there is a basic rule of bars, that being - leave your drink undefended and be prepared for it to be spilled, swiped, rufied, whatever. This isn't a glass of wine in your kitchen...there are other people around, and if you leave your drink laying around....shit happens, is my point. So anyway this woman starts pitching a complete hissy fit and asking who DRANK her drink, which was straight up insanity since whatever was missing from her drink was ON THE BAR, and insisting that Ash buy her a new one, which, also insane. The bartender happily gave her a new one, but needless to say, the kind of Dirty Jersey chick she was, she continued giving us the stink eye for the remainder of the week. Because she's a crazy bitch. (NB - Don't start with me on the "Jersey isn't that bad" crap because I know. We have established that I have family in Jersey, and that there are beautiful, idyllic parts of the Jerz, but I think we can all be realistic and admit that there are some heinous parts of Jersey, too, and that those heinous parts produce some heinous people. Who cut their bangs with weedwhackers. I'm just saying is all.)

Once that got settled, by which I mean "we got our drinks and got the hell away from Jersey," we found some comfy chairs to hang in, and proceeded to get going on the drinking. At one point, a very tall dude named Elroy showed up to serve us drinks, and he will become important in later escapades. We drank, we danced, we had a blast, we finally got ready to leave because the Viking was closing, and we went back down to crash. Good times had by all, and we weren't even 24 hours into the cruise. FAB!

Thus concludes day sorta-one. Tune in tomorrow for the first days of at-sea troublemaking!

Here's our ship, the Grandeur of the Seas! I did not take this picture, but merely pilfered it from someone else. Thanks, Anonymous Internet Person!

No comments:

Post a Comment