DO YOU REMEMBER THE WONDERFUL OPERA BY GILBERT AND SULLIVAN? (Actually, it was the “Pirates of Penzance,” but you get the point.) Did you know that Gilbert had a brother named Filbert? (The guys was a real “nut.”) Both brothers knew “the score” when it came to cruising… and here are some impertinent facts about my last voyage…..
Our ship averaged 15 knots per hour, but we never got tangled up. We traveled roughly 2,000 nautical miles. The captain kept a detailed log, but one of the crew threw it in a fireplace. (It must have been difficult carving all those details.) Our gross tonnage (not including the passengers from Arkansas) was 113,ooo tons. The ship’s draught was Guinness. Any more questions?
Now here’s the funny part… when we stepped ashore I was confronted by a reporter from the Houston Chronicle who wanted to know if I enjoyed my trip. I tried to restrain myself, but to no avail. So… I recited a funny bit of dialogue from a Marx Brothers film called “A Night at the Opera.” (Which was fitting, considering my previous mention of Gilbert & Sullivan!) Try to imagine me speaking in an Italian dialect, ala Chico Marx…..
“Sure, I’ll tell you about our trip. The first time-a we start-a, we get-a half way to Mexico when we run out of fuel and we gotta go back. Then we take-a twice as much-a fuel. This time we were just about to reach port, maybe three feet, when what do you think? We run out of fuel again. Then back we go again and get-a more fuel. This time we gotta plenty of gas. Wella we getta half way to Mexico… when what do you thinka happen? We forgota the ship!”
Since I delivered these lines with a straight-face, the reporter wasn’t sure if I was kidding or just crazy. Nonetheless, my fellow passengers were quite amused. (Homeland Security not so much.) What can I say?
The purpose of our voyage was to scout out possible film locations for the movie version of THE PIRATE PATH. We found some beautiful spots, drank some wonderful rum, ate like little piggies, and came home with a tattoo of a manatee on my knee. (Just kidding about that last part.) The best part? It was all tax deductible!
We met some terrific folks on this voyage, and we enjoyed reminiscing with complete strangers. Every time I think about the past it brings back memories. How did I get so deep? Never mind, I have to run. Tonight is the Annual Judge Susan Birthday Dinner & Lamb Swallowing Festival, hosted by the incomparable Max and Barbara Talbott, formerly of Muncie, Indiana. We are looking forward to another memorable evening of frivolity!
Have a wonderful week and please do not be concerned about my fading tan as you shovel snow from the sidewalk. Nobody ever said that writing was easy! Love to all…..
Doc Yanoff, “The Original Globetrotter”