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The Last Hoorah
Episode #20 (Updated February 10, 2018)
by Charles Reuben
Edited by Linda Schwebke
Click here to start from the beginning

The photos shown below were created by Dave Niblack of imagebase.net. These photos are not related to the story. Dave's photos are here to add some much needed color to my gray text: Thanks for your support, Dave!

A little boy asked the Cruise Director, “What do they do with the ice sculptures after they melt?”

The seas have settled down and the ship is cutting through the waters at a rapid clip.

11 a.m. Preparing to return to Key West. I noticed Jack Freedman at breakfast and, after complimenting him on his outstanding performance, invited him to join Mom and me at our table.

We must have spoken for a good half hour, if not more, telling each other about our lives. David lives on cruise ships, has been performing for over 30 years and loved what he does.

In between telling us about his adventures, he told jokes. I said I would write them down but he said not to worry and that I would remember them.

For example:

A Japanese visitor to Manhattan asks a New Yorker for directions to Macy’s. The New Yorker turns to him and says, “You could find Pearl Harbor, but you can’t find Macy’s?”


An old Jewish lady approaches a man at a bar. "So what do you do for a living?" she asks.

"I just got out of prison after 30 years," he says.

"I see, what did you do to deserve that?"

"I murdered my wife," he said.

"Oh, so then you’re single!" she cries happily.

And a bunch more.....some you've just got to be Jewish to understand.

Like the man who went to his doctor and said, "Doctor, I think I’m turning into a woman!"

The doctor examined his patient and affirmed that yes, he was indeed turning into a woman.

The patient returned in two weeks, this time as a ravishing blond.

So, the doctor says, "Now that you are a woman, is there anything left of you which is male?"

"Yes," she replied. "Every morning when I get up I have this desire to lay tefillin."

And finally:

A doctor asked her female patient to give him a urine sample. When the results returned he said, "I cannot believe it, your specimen is 95 percent alcohol!"

"Oh my," she replied, "what are you going to do?"

"There's only one thing to do, the doctor said.

He picked up the sample, looked her in the eye, said “L’chaim” and drank it.

Freedman is a delightful man - frank, very cordial. He made our day.

Dec. 28, 8 a.m. Rendezvous Lounge.

This is the meeting place for departure from the ship. We are all tired and weary after a week of relaxation, the stress of packing our belongings the night before and the anxiety of getting off the ship.

Mom and I have landed prime sofas with excellent back support as we settle in for the long wait for Customs to clear us for leaving the ship. Mom is happy as a clam, working on her crossword puzzles, and I have a paperback novel to crack open once I have transcribed my thoughts.

Mom called Uncle Mike and Aunt Leah from the ship to come pick us up, and this is one time I am most definitely grateful for cellphone technology. They are en route. Mom laid out the tips last night, a task she takes very seriously. She tends to tip everybody generously, according to American Express guidelines.

Mom never tips the Matre d’, however. As she puts it, “He doesn’t do anything,” and “the ship takes excellent care of him.” I am not about to contradict her good sense, as I did when I was a child. I do respect her wisdom (and fear her wrath).

Whereas the people who deserve the tips (the waiter, the assistant waiter, the cabin boy and his assistant) are always polite and pleasantly surprised when we hand them the magic envelope, the Maitre d’ is overeager with expectation.

He did have the good sense to shake our hands and thank us, but I could tell he was disappointed by the fact that he was not getting an envelope from us. And the irony of all this is that we seem to keep bumping into him in the hallways, where he continues to be polite and gracious. Still, you can tell he's kinda pissed.

Now the PA system is beginning the amusing process of public humiliation for those who have not settled their bills.

After a lovely dinner last night the highlight of which was frog legs (tastes like chicken), we attended a delightful, final show that featured a comedian who made unfunny fat jokes. (For example: "You really should pay attention to your weight when it has a comma in it.”)

We were blessed with an abbreviated encore performance of “Stars on a String,”- the puppet masters who entertained us a couple days ago. I was particularly pleased with this encore marionette performance because Mother missed their first show due to her inflated foot (which has since receded to its normal level.) Mom was delighted with the show. The legendary theatrical “fourth wall” definitely disappeared after they took the stage.

Following the show, it was time to pack. Somehow our luggage had expanded to four times its original size, and I regret to say that there were some tense moments between Mother and me as we sorted out the logistics of how to compress everything into our bags. Fortunately, I followed the suggestion of my packing book, and the nylon duffel bag that I had stored away came in very, very handy.

And so we sit here, waiting, waiting, waiting.

This marks the end of the TWENTIETH installment of "The Last Hoorah." If you'd like to start from the beginning, then please click this page.

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