You always wonder about what you DON’T see when you’re on a cruise ship: like what do the kitchens really look like, and how about those wee windowless cabins where the crammed-together staff-people have to duck their heads whenever they stand up to zip their pants?
Mostly if you look around at all us fat first-worlders waddling to the midnight buffet you think “Gad, we’re generating a hell of a lot of waste here, people!” I picture the hold of Noah’s little cruise-ship the morning the waters finally receded enough to let down the ramp. But then you step into one of the rest rooms and it’s like something out of a Renaissance palace, all rosy-hued marble and honey-colored tile – or you go back to your cabin and see this bathroom that is a pure jewel of efficiency, mirrored shelves with tiny guardrails for your cosmetics and then the toilets! Those vacuum-powered toilets strong enough to suck down even your dainty washables!
Ah but what we learned this week is that even a vacuum doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It needs power and that’s what they lost on the Carnival Cruise Ship Splendor…
There’ll be more to learn in the days to come, though delicacy will probably forbid most people from unpacking their full store of figurative language on the experience. It’s a good reminder that really we’re all still animals just like the scaled, the feathered and the four-legged underneath our Speedos and our thong bikinis,. And as for us first-worlders sucking up all the resources, then going off to the Captains’ Ball? Well, our day of reckoning is bound to come too – and that time there won’t BE any complimentary second cruises to compensate us for our trouble.
Now, just so you’ll know I don’t see myself as above it all, here I am with my gang, dressed up for – what else? – Toga Night on our own ship of fools in ’99. (You know that clicking on an image will enlarge it, right? ) Now somebody call Nero! And tell him to bring along that fiddle!)
♫♫ Oh it’s Cryin’ Time Again, You’re Gonna Squeeze Me ♫♫
Hello children and welcome To Two Good Tidbits Of Info Picked Up Yesterday At My Own Yearly Squeeze-Fest.
Tidbit One: Nobody Faints After 11 In The Morning. This according to the radiology person administering the exam . “I have to warn you, I’m a fainter,” I had just told the woman as she screwed the two icy plates of that Inquisition-style vise tighter together – but really I said this only AFTER she asked like six times if I was OK was I OK was I OK – which of course began to make me feel that I wasn’t. “Breakfast is the key,” she pronounced. “People only faint if they haven’t had breakfast.” ( Hmmmm I thought but is that true? Because I faint in extremes of pain as when the quacky old doc in my hometown tried to burn two tiny warts off my arm with something that looked like the hot red coil of his car’s cigarette lighter, leaving me with side-by-side twin scars the size of Cheerios. I also fainted in church religiously ha ha and was heard gurgling under the kneeler Sunday after Sunday and once in the necktie department of the Harvard Coop and they dragged me by the armpits back behind the counter so commerce could continue.)
Earlier, as we stood there before the session started, she fully clothed, I as naked from the waist up as the Venus De Milo, she asked if I did regular self exams, causing me to blurt out my own sad truth, that actually? truthfully? I almost never do which brought us to….
Tidbit Two: Nobody Does the Self Exams. “Nobody does ‘em” she said matter-of-factly and just left it at that. There was no tongue-lashing, no lecture not even a sigh of disappointment at how dumb humans are, choosing all kinds of bad possibilities just because they‘re too dopey to slide their hands around on their bare skin now and then. If I wanted to get sick it was fine with her; she was dead on her feet she said, goin’ since 7:30 this morning and now it was after 5.
“I guess it’s been a long day for you,” I said and she said “yep” and that’s all she said so darn it all and isn’t that just my luck: looks like once again I’m stuck having to save my OWN life!
oh and Five bucks if you know at a glance why this guy should be mammography’s mascot 😉