The Last Hoorah
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10:45 a.m. Salt water has splashed all over my little AlphaSmart 3000, and it’s still working like a champ!
My only regret about not going to Chichen Itza was the prospect of climbing one of their iconic pyramids — because I'm turning into a lazy slug and I desperately need some physical exercise.
Mom is hanging out at the Cabana all by herself and probably loving it. Earlier, we sat side-by-side on its big, cushy seat, and she pointed out the dark and light patches of the water in the horizon where the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean meet. I don’t think that’s technically correct, but at her age, you just don’t argue.
The swimming pool is now a wave pool, thanks to the rocking of the ship and has been closed. But my favorite Jacuzzi pool is open, so all is not lost even though its water is splashing all over the place. I also enjoyed the dry sauna and cleared out my congested lungs in the steam room. Then I put on my formal Ralph Lauren suit and vigorously walked the upper deck. The wind was fierce in places, and I almost got blown overboard.
5:30 p.m. Heavy winds and high seas persist as night descends upon us. I walked around the deck a few times hoping to make the spasm in my back go away.
8 p.m. We're cruising somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. The ship is groaning, and the waves are beating its side. A waiter dropped his tray at this evening's formal dinner and made a big commotion. It is almost impossible to keep one’s balance, and it's a waste of time asking a crewmember what’s going on outside. We are stuck in the middle of a big tropical storm, and our lives are in grave danger!
The crew is doing their job as best they can, cautiously moving about the ship, maintaining their dignity as well as their balance. Vomit bags begin to appear throughout the ship for those who might get seasick, but Mom and I found our sea legs long ago.
Meanwhile, The Horizon is rolling more and more, and the passengers are starting to get concerned. In the dining room, the strings softly play their ballads while we carefully cut and savor the lobster (cooked to perfection), sip the consommé, and nibble the salad. We cleanse our pallets with wine-sherbet and then dig into a generous slice of baked Alaska.
The dinner conversation was lively even though the Green Beret and his wife did not show up. Neither did the lesbians who lacked a proper wardrobe for this formal dinner. It was just mom, the missionaries and me. We said our prayers (seemed the right thing to do considering the horrific storm outside) and talked endlessly about the situation in the Middle East.
Now Mom and I are back in the cabin. I look out the window and see the huge waves and listen to them roar. I was about to go to the talent show after dinner to see the Missionaries sing but Mom decided to take a moment to present me with a pin that belonged to my Uncle Moe, a war hero who died in the Battle of the Bulge in 1945.
Uncle Moe was a member of the Canadian Grenadier Guards, and at this sentimental occasion it would not have been polite for me to leave suddenly just to see a silly talent show. Hey, you just can’t do everything in life! You can’t clone yourself and be in two places at once. A person does the best they can to satisfy themselves and the people around them.
The next day I apologized to our missionary friends for not attending their performance. They were a little hurt but got over it. We all get over stuff. If we don’t, that’s a problem. We must live in the present. Life’s too short to regret things that don't go our way.
10:15 p.m. It’s hard enough to walk on this ship, let alone dance but the Celebrity Dancers and Singers entertained us almost flawlessly with a spectacular collection of favorite Broadway Classics. As the ship rocked and rolled, so did the dancers, who performed one set under black light with the dancers wearing psychedelic, skin-tight costumes.
About the only thing that went wrong was a dancer whose mustache went crooked during her rendition of “Hello Dolly.” She fixed it once (much to our laughter) and then it went crooked again. She finally gave up and finished the set with a twisted mustache. The show must go on!
The storm outside is fierce, pushing our arrival time to Key West back yet further. We are scheduled to arrive at the Naval Base at 11:15 am tomorrow. I just received a fact sheet about the Horizon in the daily newsletter. Here’s the lowdown: The Horizon is 682 feet long and weighs 46,811 tons. It was built in 1990 in Papenburg, Germany by Joseph Meyer GmbH and is rated one of the top ten cruise lines.
11:15 p.m. A brief note about jumping to conclusions. I noticed that my passport was missing and after tearing the place apart, I was tempted to conclude that it had beenstolen. Since the steward cleans our room when we are at meals, I figured he must have taken it. But I could not believe that. No way.
I searched the place again, and I finally found the passport, underneath the mattress. Probably when the cabin boy was cleaning, it somehow fell between the cracks of the bed frame. I was extremely relieved to find the mask because my faith in the cabin boy was restored. What is most important was that I did not make a horrible, unforgivable accusation from an unfounded conclusion. The cabin boy will receive a handsome tip.
1 a.m. Dec. 27. We're somewhere in the Caribbean, heading back to Key West at well over 20 knots. Sparks are flying out of the smokestacks, and we will have covered the required 600 nautical miles from Mexico to Florida by 11 a.m. tomorrow.
I just returned from the Grand Buffet, and it was first class: Lots of ice sculptures and everything from Lobster to caviar for the taking but my God how much can a person possibly eat? I reached my limit after only one plateful.
This marks the end of the NINETEENTH installment of "The Last Hoorah." If you'd like to start from the beginning, then please click this page.
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