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Friday, February 26, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 22 Chapter 11 Part 2

Last week we began the endless Chapter 11 of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother. This week we reach the end… or do we?
The answer is – kinda.
Last week Elmer, the bland and helpless hero of this saga was chatting semi-romantically with Ono, who clearly wanted something from him in spite of an age difference of several thousand years.
“So,” she asked, “the school is full of these great teachers who will teach you anything you want to learn?”
“That would make sense, but I didn’t run into any teachers there.”
“Other students?”
“No other students,” I said, “unless you count Dirk.”
“So how do you learn?”
“From the building. There are switches and dials, and other such devices all over the school. You shouldn’t move any of them unless you know what it will do – most of them won’t budge for me anyway.”
“So you can fly?” she asked, and I knew what she was thinking, why didn’t I fly up and grab Jonma Claim when he was thrashing around.
“I can’t fly,” I said. “I haven’t learned how. I can’t control animals, or stop time, or any of hundreds of other things that must be in that building. I can make dirt jump off my clothes; I can get nutrients from the soil, or gather them into algae bars. I can do a few other, simpler things, but nothing flashy.”
“Can you stop Lustavious from banishing you to oblivion?”
I shook my head. “I have no idea how Light Bringers do that. Every time the Light Bringer banishes Dirk, I’ve been there to watch. It’s different every time. They say something, or do something, and suddenly, he’s gone.”
“So if you don’t know how…” she didn’t finish her sentence.
“It’s a bit like the school, I guess.”
“I see,” she said.
Neither of us said anything for a while. Our cigars got shorter, and as they shortened, I realized that my moment alone with her was coming to an end.
“So All Bore made me an offer,” she said.
“An offer?”
“He saw that Lustavious was…”
“After you?”
She blushed. “I guess that’s right. He said I could go with him and that with all of his wealth and international prestige, he could protect me from Lustavious.”
“Oh,” I said brilliantly.
“Things didn’t work out with his first wife. He was a bit fuzzy about why.”
“Wait,” I said. “He made you that offer in front of Lustavious, and everyone else?”
“They’re all asleep,” she said. “Well, it’s kind of hard to tell about Jon.”
“The Jonma Carry?”
“He prefers Jon. Anyway, All Bore made me the offer, and I thought that maybe…”
“Maybe what?” I asked.
“Well maybe if you could shush Lustavious or maybe whollop him with tinkle whizz pop ping…”
Ono looked like she was about to hyperventilate. I took her hand and her breathing slowed. “You thought I could save you?” I asked
“We could save each other,” she said tentatively, hopefully, and at that moment I realized that she was right. I needed saving as much as she did.
“I don’t know how.”
“You could go to that school and figure out how!” she said. “We could be together.”
Silence. It wasn’t complete silence. All Bore was still talking, though I have no idea why. Maybe it was one of those dream talking things practiced by the Sublimin people.
My throat was dry, and it wasn’t because of the cigars. She was asking me to be the hero, the guy who comes through and makes things happen. I’d never been that guy. Dirk was that kind of guy, if you count upsetting everyone in power as coming through and making things happen.
“I can’t,” I said.
“Oh.” She didn’t say anything else until our cigars burned down near our fingertips. “What do I do now?” she asked.
“You push the lit end into the earth and grind it out.”
I watched as she ground out her cigar, and watched my hopes die at the same time. I finally knew how incomplete my life was and now I would be going into oblivion to contemplate that forever.
I watched her walk away. Swampy’s head swiveled all the way so he looked me in the eye.
“Idiot!” he squawked.
And he was right. I got angry – not at Swampy, but at me.

And so (seemingly) Chapter 11 ends with our protagonist giving up on the love of his incredibly long life. His chance has past, the chapter is written. What can save his sorry heart now?

What is DMI? Come back next Friday and find out.

Poor Elmer, He never had an older adviser like Luke did.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Just Plain Stupid Year (3) in Review

I know, it’s February, not December. Putting together a year in review post seems out of place.
But not in a Just Plain Stupid world.
My first post for JPS was February 28th 2013. There are now over 300 posts on this blog, and I, for one, am surprised. I never thought I had so much to say, even if most of it was useless dribble.
This Year’s Failures
The dribble has flowed slower this year, and so I began the immensely unpopular serialization of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother. S.B. and someone I don’t know from Russia faithfully read each post of Dirk, so it hobbles along. If you’re off your meds and wish to start reading this Donald Trump-less political satire set in a world inundated by sheep, here’s a link to the firstinstallment, and better yet, here’s a link to the firstinstallment that has anything to do with the story.
Several posts other than Dirk Destroyer have failed to attract attention this year; many because they didn’t deserve any, but a few I thought were worth reading. Tricycle Baskets Full of Evil falls in that latter category, along with Apply Yourself, and the not-yet-immortal story of Mortimer the Drop of Goo.
This Year’s Successes???
Picture posts – those stolen from FB, or taken from tee shirts or catalogs have always been among my more popular subjects, along with guest posts from other Go Figure Reads writers.
So I should just shut up and plagiarize?
Particularly surprising was the popularity of Will Wright’s rant about his bad cruise on Royal Caribbean, but less surprising was Walter Bego’s lionization of the art of Terry Gilliam.
Unfortunately for my more faithful readers, I remain incapable to taking a hint. I continue to write a few posts with a minimum of plagiarism, and some of them have done well (if sickening large numbers of people can be defined as doing well.)
Gloves vs. Mittens preyed on the public’s fascination with celebrity, and I exploited my brother’s secrets in the post, Horatio.
Clearly, many of my readers would prefer Horatio to be the Hauser that writes this blog.
The top post of this third year, Body Part Insults (written with assistance by Kim Webb,) was based on an ill-advised Facebook post of a Grammy award nominated FB friend who probably wishes now that A) she hadn’t posted her desire to not insult our noble excretory system when addressing jerks, and (especially) B) that she hadn’t clicked ‘accept’ to my friend request.
But even Body Parts can’t hold a candle to the most popular post of the life of this blog, Basketball, BWG, but no Little Debbie Twinkie, which I wrote very early on in the first year.
So much for showing progress.
I’d like to thank you each personally for reading my blog, but I don’t want to risk the ensuing storm of rotten vegetation (or worse.) As we limp into year Four there’s always the hope that somewhere along the line I’ll learn to write good stuff.

Or at least learn to shut up and plagiarize.

So for the video I looked up Best of 2015 on youtube and got this.  These are toys, right?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 21 Chapter 11 Part 1

This is the first section of the annoyingly durable Chapter 11 of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother. There will be moments you will think this chapter has ended – but no – it’s like that last bit of snow at the end of your driveway that hangs on into June. I thought of putting all the aspects of Chapter 11 in one post, but that would be over 5000 words.
I just can’t do that to you.
So find a comfortable spot as we begin to delve into the abyss of Chapter 11.

Chapter 11
A Moment in Time

I’d say I was in deep thought, but as Dirk would tell you, I’m not really known for that. I was in deep fuzziness though. The drone of All Bore, the stench of the sheep, the pleasant effects of the smoke, had me suspended in that hammock of thoughtlessness that isn’t asleep, but isn’t aware either.
Otherwise, I think I would have noticed her.
“Wake up, Stupid,” said Swampy. Ono was standing there looking down at me.
“Um…” I said wisely – at least by my standards, “you want to sit?” As if Ono needed my permission to sit on the cold earth.
“I think,” said Ono. “That I’d like to sit on that ledge.”
“But the sheep.”
“I’ll try not to bug them.”
Slowly, ponderously, the corner ram began to rise. If he was bugged, he gave no sign of it. I resisted the temptation to try to help her. My telekinesis and her magic might make the ram into a wooly blood spot on the wall. Besides, I didn’t want to draw any attention to what she was doing. If Jonma Claim woke up she would probably be condemned to oblivion with me.
The thought made me smile.
Surprisingly, the ram touched down without complaint or mishap, and together, we clambered up onto the cliff.
“There’s still the smell,” said Ono.
“But it’s an improvement.”
“You don’t have another algae bar, do you?” she asked.
I cursed myself silently. “No, I’m sorry,” I said. “I gave the last one to Mage-e-not.”
“And he ate it?” She laughed. It was a pleasant laugh, not timid or loud, but like the sound of a brook bounding down a rocky bed.
Sound of a brook bounding down a rocky bed? Alright, I admit, my mind was getting a little flowery. Then I noticed the way she was talking.
“You’re not using your…”
“My sound words?”
“Most people make me nervous, and I talk that way when I’m nervous.”
“But I don’t?”
“Not anymore.”
“But I thought you were angry at me.”
Ono smiled, and it looked like sunrise in the dark cave. “Swampy explained about that.”
Swampy explained? When did Swampy explain anything?
I fidgeted even though I was trying to look comfortable and not spoil the moment. “I could offer you a cigar,” I said off-handedly.
“Please!” she said. I reached into my fanny pack and removed two cigars and what might have been a small food item, or something less pleasant. There was still enough of my first cigar for us to use it to light two more. “Teach me,” she said.
I showed her how to draw on a cigar. Seeing her lips moving on… Well, it was a happy sight, even the ever-present Swampy looked content.
“Now if I could just learn how to eat dirt like you do,” said Ono.
“It was Dirk that taught me how,” I said. “It was back when the first Light Bringer was hunting him.”
“The one with the glorious hair?”
“Something like that. It was the night before he went off to oblivion for the first time. I didn’t know it was only going to be for a while. I thought it was forever back then, and maybe he did too.”
“Remember,” croaked Swampy.
“That’s right,” I said. “That’s when I met Swampy. Dirk brought him to me, and showed me about the school.”
“The school?” asked Ono.
“Yeah,” I said. “I know it sounds strange, but all the really interesting natural powers can be learned at this school building that doesn’t exist as far as all of us can tell.”
“That’s where you learned telekinesis?”
“No,” I said. “That’s a basic ability. Many people learn it in a single lifetime, but almost anything else you can imagine, flying, soaking up nutrients from the soil, controlling wildlife, even stopping time can be learned at the school.”
“Magic,” said Ono.
“No, not magic. It’s all logical. It all makes perfect sense once you learn it, or figure it out.”
“And it comes from a school?”
“It looked like a school to me.”

Tune in next week and see if Elmer screws up his romantic interlude with Ono – or if you’re confident he will screw up, you can see how. Of course, chapter 11 goes on forever so you won’t necessarily see how anything turns out next week. But if you enjoy annoying narrative and dialog, there’s no place more reliable.

Speaking of learning odd things in school, here's a clip from the greatly-missed Robin Williams

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meteor Pee

 Meteor Pee
Back in 6th grade Miss Blossom taught us the hydrological cycle. Water evaporates, gathers in clouds, and then rains back down. I listened, wrote it all down and even nodded my head.
But I knew better.
Rain was (and is) meteor pee.
You didn’t know that? I don’t blame you. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive.
So, you ask, why do you see rain a lot more than you see meteors, and why does rain usually occur where there are clouds in the sky? It requires a more thorough unpacking of the facts for the truth to soak through.
Rain that falls during the daytime could come from either source. Meteors are rarely visible during daylight. There could be thousands of urine-packed meteors above us at any given moment. Some, I imagine streak on by. Others treat our atmosphere like an interstellar rest stop.
You find that unlikely? You think you’d notice so many meteors? Do you see the stars during daylight? Surely if billions and billions of immense suns are rendered invisible by a few sunbeams, a few thousand comparatively tiny meteors could vanish as well.
So why don’t they tell us about meteor pee?
They created the hydrological cycle as a clever fiction to hide the truth from international gambling and resort concerns. Were such moneyed interests aware, they might attempt to redirect essential celestial waste products to casino fountains and golf courses. The hydrological fiction is almost universally accepted, but our English language betrays it.
What is a large grouping of meteors called? A meteor shower.
This is not to say that everything that showers in our language creates rain. There are baby showers for instance. But even the layman can see that babies have insufficient bladder capacity to create weather. Even if they could, you rarely see babies streaking along at 100,000 feet.
Meteors are unlimited in size, from the tiny squirt gun meteor, to the million ton super-soaker. A large meteor’s bladder holds more pee/rain than the collected bladders of a thousand day cares.
Still doesn’t sound right?
Meteoric behavior is at least in part, accounts for our confusion. When they urinate, meteors tend to do it through banks of clouds (which presumptuously take credit for the rain.) Why is that? Do they see clouds as opaque bathroom stalls to ensure privacy? Nobody can be sure, as meteors are notoriously impatient, and rarely, if ever pause to answer questions.
But attributing precipitation to clouds is transparently false. Clouds are like fog on drugs, flying up in the sky all airy-like. There’s nothing to them – no bladders, or canteens, or even tiny tea cups. How are they supposed to hold rain up there?
All the clouds carry with them is lightning. If they were really the source of rain, wouldn’t the water put the lightning out before it even got started?
Lightning’s another possible reason why meteors might choose clouds accumulations when they pass water. When the clouds do their lightning thing, meteor pee puts most of the fires out before it can hit the ground.
Imagine how much trouble we’d be in if that didn’t happen! We’d have lightning fires all over the place, burning down houses and barns and zip-line stations.
You could make a good case for intelligent life out there by observing how often the meteors pee on places that are under lightning siege.
Then there’s the behavior and content of rain.
Rain falls both straight down and at angles, just like meteors fly at different trajectories. Clouds just float like lazy bums. Do you really think Mr. Stratus Fractus and Ms. Cumulous Nimbus have the energy to throw rain sideways?
Rain sometimes has minerals, or acid content. Do you see rocks and acid flasks up in the clouds? Heck, if it weren’t for airplanes and high-flying birds, clouds wouldn’t have any solids in them at all.
So at the end of class, I went up to Miss Blossom, and I told her that I knew the real story.
“The real story?” she asked.
“Yeah,” I said, “about rain, and where it really comes from.”
“Where do you think rain comes from, Headley?”
“It comes from meteor pee,” I said.
“Meteor pee? That’s just plain ridiculous.”
“That’s right, Miss Blossom. You keep pretending it comes from the clouds.”
“Headley,” she said, “where did you get this astonishing notion that rain comes from meteor pee?”
“From the weather people on TV,” I said.
“C’mon, Miss Blossom. They’re called Meteor Urologists after all.”

That shut her up. Make believe is fine, but they really should teach the truth in school.

  Here's some early George Carlin playing the Hippy Dippy Weatherman

Friday, February 12, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 20 Chapter 10 Part 2

The Fellowship of the Bring is in dire peril of mortal boredom, hemmed in a cave with a phalanx of un-sheep-like at the entrance, and All Bore in the cave’s bowels. Read on to find what crap proceeds.
I had no idea why Jonma Carry stopped digging. It was still early but it looked like people were settling in to spend the night in the cave with All Bore. It wasn’t because anyone wanted to be around the man, but because a phalanx of sheep formed and blocked the entrance.
“That’s very un-sheep-like,” said Lustavious.
“I don’t like caves,” said Mage-e-not.
“No showers,” said Lip Ton Tease.
“You may as well get used to it,” said All Bore. “We’ll all be living in caves soon.”
All Bore must have studied with the same teacher that taught Uriculous, because the look of disdain he gave me was first rate. “Global swarming,” he said.
“Global swarming?”
“That’s right,” said All Bore, “but don’t say it again without permission. I already have the copyright on it.”
As I thought about it, it made sense. “So you’re saying that the swarms of sheep covering the earth eating everything that grows except tobacco, is a threat to the livability of our planet?”
“Sacrilege,” sputtered Jonma Claim.
The dull face of All Bore stared at me with slack mouth. “I had never thought,” he drawled, “that I would ever hear something so stupid in my life.”
“Global swarming isn’t about the sheep?” I asked.
“Of course not – it’s about the honey bee.”
I scratched my head and tried to understand how the honey bee was a threat to the planet. It’s true that bees might sting you if you’re stupid enough to bother them, but I could think of nothing more innocuous than honey bees. They helped plants grow, and the planet Two was in desperate need of plants.
What could be wrong with honey bees? I thought.
So I asked, “What could be wrong with honey bees?”
“Nothing,” said All Bore, “if they were left in the natural balance. The problem is man-tended honey bees.”
“But,” said Mage-e-not, “there are maybe a hundred wild honey bee hives for every tended one.”
“But that’s enough,” said All Bore. “That extra one percent has thrown off the whole balance of nature, all because of mankind’s greed, and desire for honey.”
It occurred to me that a man who was patenting and copyrighting things he didn’t invent just to gain wealth might lack the moral standing to preach against greed. I kept that particular thought to myself.
“But what about the sheep?” I asked, and pointed at the hundred or so sheep soldiers keeping us shut in.
“Sheep are natural,” said All Bore, “don’t worry about them.”
“Wolves were natural too,” I said, “but humans wiped them out because they were eating sheep. We used to eat sheep as well.”
“Vicious rumor,” said Jonma Claim. “It never happened.”
“I was there!” I said. “So were you. That RunPol fellow is probably eating sheep right now.”
“I wonder,” said Mage-e-not, “if I turned invisible, I might be able to get by the sheep and have a chop… I mean get us help.”
All Bore shook his head in a paternalistic derisive way that strangely did not make me like him much. “It’s all about man-tended honey bees,” he said. “Consider the plight of the pola-beers.”
“Pola-beers,” squeaked Ono. “Uncle Sudsy was snatched and squished splat by a Pola-beer.”
Pola-beers were the most vicious, carnivorous, dangerous trees in the world. A single pola-beer sprout immediately destroys all vegetation growing within its reach, and establishes a hard cap of ground where nothing can grow. As it matures, the pola-beer produces sap that smells like the most enticing brew you can imagine. Anyone unaware, drunk, or too stupid to notice the hard cap of earth surrounding a pola-beer is seized by its branches and slowly consumed. The victim frequently lives for hours once it is trapped, which sometimes allows the pola-beer to grab fellow drunks and stupid people who come to attempt a rescue, or who come to see what all the noise was about.
There are those who claim that the pola-beer perform a public service. I might agree except pola-beers don’t eat sheep.
All Bore went on with his monotone lecture. My mind wandered as words like the pola caps, and hockey stick – whatever that was – vibrated in my ears.
“I like honey,” I heard Mage-e-not say at one point, but the drone went on. Jonma Claim was blinking like he was trying to stay awake. Lustavious was staring at Ono’s butt. Jonma Carry was leaning stiffly against the wall of dirt he’d excavated. With his stone-like features, it was hard to tell if he was awake or asleep. Lip Ton Tease looked like he was meditating – until I heard him snore.
All Bore didn’t seem to care if people were conscious. He just went on in a monotone drawl.
I looked in my fanny-pack and saw a single match. I considered asking Lustavious for a light, but I didn’t figure there was much hope there. There wasn’t any wood in the cave, so we didn’t have a fire going. I wandered out towards the sheep to light a cigar with my last match. The sheep held their formation as I approached, and didn’t say a bah. There was a nice rock ledge one rank in. It would be simple to brush past the corner ram and sit up there.
The corner ram glared at me in a fashion not much different that Uriculous Wisehind’s look of derision.
I sighed and sat on the loose soil.
The cigar almost didn’t catch. That would have been upsetting, but not unexpected considering how my life was proceeding. I took a deep draw on my cigar and wondered if they had tobacco in oblivion.

   Speaking of things that might drone you to death.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

(mostly) Non-political Pun-dit.

   Happy New Hampshire primary day.  I'd ask when this political season will end, but 12.3 seconds after we elect someone this November, the 2020 political season will begin, so...
   The heck with it.  Let's just do a bunch of puns.
   Star Wars has been popular since the last pun post.
Here are a couple spoilers from little-known parts of the movie
He convinces us to take our shoes off by the power of his mind
Hopefully she has a better air handling system.  Speaking of which, have you met...
Vlad the Inhaler.  Okay, that wasn't star wars, but air-related, like this next one
And speaking of bad air - 
Sorry for the politics... You just can't excape it unless you're...
There's a long tradition of animal stand-up
So bad the whole species died on that stage.  Maybe due to...
What?  You didn't like that one?
Books change the way your head works.  Sometimes too much
Shifting to a cultural reference - How about this one?
You lose the castle, there's always...
Poor Richard might not have had the best claim to the throne because
It's important to know where you came from and who you are...

Alright - one last pun to wishing Happy Valentine's Day to smart people
No, I don't get it either.

   Here's a British weather forecast crammed with Star Wars references.  How many can you catch?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 19 Chapter 10 Part 1

The Fellowship of the Bring has gone underground to escape a large number of unsheep-like sheep. There they meet someone.
Chapter 10
All Bore

So Jonma Carry ran into someone while he was digging deep into the earth and slinging mud on everyone. That was curious. I hoped it was someone alive. I repelled the dirt from my person, and easily caught up with the waddling Jonma Claim. The man I caught up to wasn’t Uriculous – at least not at that moment.
“Probably a rich widow,” muttered Jonma Claim, “or maybe a big money campaign contributor. He’d think that’s important. Too much money and dirt in politics! We need straight talk, and no temptation.”
I didn’t think Jonma Claim was talking to me so I didn’t respond. Maybe he wasn’t even aware I was there.
“Look at this big hole in the ground,” he muttered. “Cap and trade will fix it! Cap and trade will fix it all! I heard that once and it’s straight talk. That’s what I’m known for – straight talk.”
By this point we encountered Jonma Carry, who grumbled something back at Jonma Claim, I kept my distance from the two Jonmas, as much to avoid the tedium of their discussion as anything else. Little wonder that both the Jonmas had been politicians. Most politicians seemed to believe that if they talked to you long enough, that you had to agree with them.
Dirk told me once that there was a place where politicians could speak into the air and be heard by millions, all at once. I wondered if these millions of hearers had any choice in the matter. Dirk didn’t say, and I suspect – as Dirk spent most of his time in oblivion – that he was just making the whole thing up.
Imagine a place where you had no choice but to listen to politicians. What kind of crimes would you have to commit to be condemned to such a place?
“It’s called, Boogle,” said a droning voice at the end of the excavation. “Just try it.”
“But doesn’t it cost money?” asked Lip Ton Tease.
“Not initially,” said the voice, which emanated from a rotund man, as bland looking as his voice sounded. “We make our money with repeat customers.” Then he looked at Tease. “Say Boogle.”
“Boogle,” said Tease, and a magical red arrow appeared over Tease’s head, though as we were in a cave, it was hard to determine what it was pointing at, other than the cave wall.
“It’s true,” said Tease. “The arrow is pointing to the legendary showers of Wa-Wa World. I have always desired to experience them.”
“Who’s next,” the voice said with a slight elevation in its drone.
“Boogle,” said Lustavious. A red arrow appeared, pointing directly at Ono’s butt. Having seen what his arrow was pointing at, I knew that this was not a good time for me to say, Boogle.
The voice laughed humorlessly. “It’s very useful magic, to show you what you desire. I didn’t invent this particular application, but as I am the inventor of magic, I receive a royalty every time someone uses it.”
“You invented magic?” said Mage-e-not.
“By the legal definition, yes,” said the dull voice, “and you, Sir, owe me quite a tidy sum for all the times your head has disappeared.”
“But no one told me…”
“Ignorance of the law is no excuse. What a handy phrase that is when suing people.”
“Milk the cows,” said Swampy for no reason I could think of.
“Say,” said the bland man, “is this the destroyer?”
“That’s his brother,” said Jonma Claim behind me, who was apparently back to being Uriculous.
“All Bore,” said the man, holding out a limp hand for some reason.
“Elmer McFarland,” I responded, guessing that All Bore was the man’s name, and not some command that I begin to speak like he did.
“McFarland,” said All Bore. “I have no copyright on that name, or on Elmer. I guess you go free.”
That didn’t make any sense to me, so I ignored it. “Did I hear you say you invented magic?”
“For all legal purposes, yes,” he said.
“How old are you?”
“I am sixty-five years old.”
“But magic has been around much longer than that.”
“That may be,” said All Bore, “but no-one claimed the rights to it until I did.”
“So even though you did nothing, you claim the credit?”
“I did something,” said All Bore.
“What’s that?”
“I filed the proper paperwork.”
“But then what’s to stop you from charging people for running, or whistling, or even breathing.”
“Keep your voice down,” said All Bore. “Those patents are still pending.”

Will the Fellowship get out of their underground predicament? Will they be assaulted by the unsheep-like sheep? Will they be bored to death by All Bore? Will the Chicago Cubs ever win a World Series? Some of the answers to these questions can be found in future installments of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother!

   Here's a song from Tom Lehrer that All Bore might like - assuming he shut up long enough to listen to it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Royal Caribbean by Will Wright

Will Wright – who can be a bit of a whiner wanted me to post his experience on a cruise he just did. Sorry for the downer, but when you’re looking for material for two posts a week, you get desperate for content.

Royal Caribbean
by Will Wright

I just finished a 5 day (?) cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Sea. I’d never been on a cruise before but I’d heard people rave about them. I went having high expectations. Some of my expectations were met. For instance I expected the live entertainment to be terrible and the cruise director’s announcements to be insipidly cutesy.
But some things I experienced I didn’t expect.
1) They offer a room safe to keep your valuables secure. Then they require you to swipe your credit card to open and close it. How are you supposed to keep your credit card secure if you can’t leave it in the safe?
2) I look in the bathroom at the tiny shower. It has mold growing on it. Am I supposed to get clean in a shower so tiny that I have to lean against walls with mold on them?
3) They have a hundred lounge chairs for relaxing on the pool deck. All of them are packed tightly. The only lounge chairs you can get into easily are the ones on each end of the row. That doesn’t sound very relaxing to me.
4) The ship has a library for quiet reading or composition. There’s a band playing a bad imitation of Village People music just over the rail. There isn’t even a wall to soak up the sound. I didn’t get any reading or writing done there.
5) I’m thirsty at 9PM and I check the interactive map in the stairwell. It says the Windjammer Annex is open 24 hours a day. I go up 6 decks and it’s open alright – but all the cups are put away. Am I supposed to drink lemonade out of my hand?
6) The fifth day of my 5 day cruise consists of getting off the ship before 9AM. I’m on vacation and they want me packed, showered and off the ship an hour before I want to wake up?
7) I learned something nautical. I found out what a bilge smells like. It came up through the drains in my tiny bathroom.
8) They advertise movie night on the pool deck. No popcorn. No drinks available. Check that – the bar was open if I wanted to buy a drink.
9) Internet was available for 20 dollars-a-day. It worked almost a third of the time if you went up to the top deck. Sorry – no power outlets on the top deck.
10) They charge you 12.95 a day to take care of all the tips. I’m not even on the ship and the luggage porters have their hands out and demand a tip. Then they steal my sister’s folding cane from out of her suitcase!
Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe I went on a cut-rate cruise, or Royal Caribbean is the Yugo of cruise lines. Maybe I should give it another try.

Or maybe next year I’ll just rent a waterbed and tip a dishonest luggage handler to annoy me all week.

   Two of the highly professional Royal Caribbean staff enjoying some down time in their moldy bathtub.