THE SAGA CONTINUES....
After hitting the street once more I remained in shock. My Fair Lady was nice enough to hold my arm while I staggered around not even paying attention to where we were. All I could hear was "The Fanfare" and all I could see was Nick autographing something to me while I stood in the presence of Yoda.
Meanwhile, My Fair Lady's eye was caught by a number of different shiny baubles in some stores so away we went. I think at some point I stopped repeating "I met him... I met him..." I figured this out not so much because I couldn't hear myself anymore but because bystanders quit staring at me and giving me a wide berth. When we walked into one particular jewelry place we found several items worth closer inspection. One of the ones that caught my eye was a heart-shaped light blue crystal on a simple rope necklace and it looked dazzling. I'm not much for jewelry, being a guy and all that, but I figured My Fair Lady might get a kick from it. I called the clerk over and had her pull it out then motioned to My Fair Lady that she come inspect it as well. Her initial reaction of breathlessly staring at it told me she fancied it far more than I. Upon inquiring of the price we found it wasn't unreasonable so My Fair Lady would soon depart St. Maarten with something heartfelt. 'Cause the necklace was in the shape of a heart.
I'll be here all week, folks.
As we walked back down the street something caught my eye down an alley. Next to Star Wars it's about the only sign in the universe that captures my mind, body, and soul all in one go:
"Ice Cream This Way."
Naturally we headed "this way" and found ourselves in a French cafe/ice cream parlor with open-air seating. My Fair Lady ordered up some mint chocolate chip while I wanted to test how well the French did Swiss chocolate. The proprietress was a cute French girl in her 20's who makes all of the ice cream by hand. She was working on some crepes when we arrived and ordered our respective ice creams. One taste sent me even further over the moon. By then I think I was approaching Jupiter. I tasted the mint chocolate chip and even though My Fair Lady was in Heaven as well it seemed to me to be too heavy on the mint and not enough on the chocolate chip.
Once we finished our ice cream we decided to walk out along the boardwalk near the ocean. Everyone from the cruise who hit the beaches must have washed ashore there because we recognized quite a lot of the people lounging about. My Fair Lady has a compunction about putting her hands in water wherever we are (no stone throwing here as I just groveled at the feet of a Star Wars artist) so we walked on the sands and stood in the water for a bit.
"Oh wow the water is warm," commented My Fair Lady.
"That's because it's very shallow here and since the water isn't as deep the sun warms it that much quicker," I replied with great insight. Mr. Skim, marine biologist. At that point I looked around to make sure I wouldn't experience a repeat of the "Seinfeld" episode where a beached whale demands George's immediate attention.
"Is anyone here a marine biologist?" cried the masses.
I casually looked around as though trying to find one myself, and then we walked down the boardwalk. After seeing the rest of the stores and restaurants on the front we finally decided to retire back to the ship. We hailed a cab and sped over to the wharfs where we looked at a few more shops (My Fair Lady picked up a backpack for $5 which broke the second we returned home to the airport) and then walked back on board the ship.
Since My Fair Lady was a tad sleepy at that point in the afternoon I let her rest for a few minutes by leaving and heading to the top of the ship. My destination? Johnny Rockets and their vaunted chocolate milkshake. By the time I arrived, though, I figured it wouldn't be the smartest thing in the world to have due to our special dinner plans. So I decided to sit down and watch the ship depart St. Maarten. Then I heard the music of Johnny Rockets grow louder. My head turned and looked down at the restaurant known for playing "classics" and this was no exception. Yet I couldn't figure out why they felt the need to blare "Staying Alive" as loudly as they were.
Until the entire wait staff came out on deck and started grooving to the beat.
Seeing a bunch of people in aprons and little white hats spinning their hands and pointing to the sky all set to the Bee Gees was too much hilarity to accurately describe. They were actually quite good considering how well synchronized their choreography was. After this I walked back to the room passing in the meantime the Couple From LA who were enjoying an early-evening burger on the deck. I arrived back in time to find My Fair Lady awake and ready to move on to our next event.
We figured, correctly as it turns out, that the evening of Day 5 would be the best suited to receiving a couple's massage. So we booked it upstairs to the spa and signed in. We were escorted back to the massage rooms where our respective masseuses came in to meet us. My Fair Lady wound up with The Czech Chick and mine was Thai-One-Ahn. Both were extremely nice and managed to work us over very, very well. As mentioned in the blog before, I'm a huge fan of massages and this was a nice romantic way to spend the evening. Our usual banter continued to fly back and forth as well and you know you're scoring some hits when even the masseuses find themselves laughing. Afterwards they also threw in a spiel about taking care of ourselves but by then we were thinking about dinner. Once the couple's massage ended we raced back to our room to get ready for it because that night was a special night.
For it was Lobster Night, you see.
If there's one thing My Fair Lady loves more than putting her hands in strange waters in strange places it is lobster. I wondered aloud if she had ever combined the two.
"Well, there was that one time rafting through the Congo when I stuck my hands in the water and came up with some lobster-looking space aliens," she said. "Does that count?"
"Was this a regular dream or did you have a little help from a mysterious Spirit Guide?" I asked.
"Nope, regular dream. Not even one of my stranger ones now that you mention it. Dinner time! Whoo-hoo!"
Once at the dining room table we greeted our fellow guests then noticed the Couple From LA was not among us. It was odd because the guy was fervently looking forward to Lobster Night but I guess the siren call of the Johnny Rockets burger was simply too loud to ignore. So we left it alone and proceeded to enjoy a seriously strong dinner with equally enjoyable conversation. Our talk covered the majority of topics both high and low, and many times all of us were busting out laughing. Eventually our conversation moved on to what we were doing for the rest of the evening.
"Well, we're going to see The Quest," said My Fair Lady. "I'd heard about it from some other people who've done it and they said it's hilarious."
"Oh yeah that's supposed to be one of the best parts of the cruise," replied Seattle Sue, the original missing member of our dinner party.
Her husband, The Barbequer (so dubbed on account of both his ability to turn anything into top-notch barbeque and also his custom-made barbeque oven/cistern), also expressed interest in it.
"What exactly is it?" I wondered. When everyone at the table looked at me as though I'd just grown a second head I said softly, "I don't read the manual."
"It's supposed to be this big scavenger hunt all in the confines of the theater," said My Fair Lady. "Apparently it's hilarious and really fun and oh I want to do it so bad!"
Once dinner finished we whisked away to our cabin so My Fair Lady could freshen up before Questing it out with a bunch of strangers. We opened the door to our cabin and found disappointment.
"Oh," moaned My Fair Lady. "There's not a towel animal!"
It should be noted up to this point that every night while we were away at dinner our steward would cleverly craft an animal out of our available towels. He would also use either of our sunglasses to give an aura of "cool" to the animal. We'd taken pictures of each one, but sadly there would be no picture-taking that night. Then I bumped into something hanging to my left and freaked out.
"Oh!" exclaimed My Fair Lady. "He made a little bat!"
Hanging from one of the curtains was a coat hanger wrapped around which a series of towels were forming a bat. Atop its little head were my sunglasses. The picture taking began in earnest, and then we raced downstairs to the ship's theater for The Quest. The theater was packed when we arrived, and only then did My Fair Lady clear up for me that we weren't actually in the theater. We were in the ice rink and they had obviously covered the floor for the event. We made our way to one of the far edges looking for seats but couldn't find two together. I made the offer to give her the seat while I sat in the aisle, but right as I finished speaking the announcer spoke over the loudspeaker.
"Could I have everyone's attention please?" spoke the Cruise Director. "I need two volunteers per section to act as team captains. Will two people from each section, a man and a woman, come forward?"
I don't quite recall exactly what happened next but it involved something colliding with me full force and knocking me out of the way, the explosion of the sound barrier being broken about an inch from my ear, and my body connecting with the floor as it was unceremoniously hurled out of the way. When I came to a minute later (a guesstimate) I found the seat next to me empty and My Fair Lady standing out on the floor next to her partner for the event, Sancho Panza.
I dropped myself in the recently vacated seat and steeled myself for the night's events. The Cruise Director began once every one else finally settled down.
"Alright, welcome to The Quest," spoke the Cruise Director. "Tonight we're going to have lots of fun with lots of events and what do we have for the winning couple?!?!?"
Chita Rivera showed up at this point holding up a very sexy looking set of keychains.
"That's right, gang, we have these swank keychains for the winning teams. What does that mean? That it's not worth killing each other over some keychains. I mean they're cool and all, but we're here to have fun."
Judging from the looks in the contestants' eyes this statement fell on deaf ears.
"Alright, I want a nice clean game. Here's how this thing works. I give you a task to either find or perform. If it's to find something then your section will help you find it. If you have to perform something, then you're going to dance like the monkeys you are. IS EVERYONE READY FOR THE QUEST?!?!?!"
The crowd roared their approval not unlike ancient Rome. Each team buckled down and steeled one another against the coming storm. My Fair Lady and Sancho Panza stood ready to leap into the fray.
"Alright," began the Cruise Director. "Here's how it works. I give you an item to find, you find it and the first team that brings it to me gets X amount of points. For each team that brings it to me after the first team will see diminishing points so get things to me as quickly as you can. For your first Quest, we need to see how many of you can fry like bacon on the floor. GO!"
And with that every one on the floor not working for the cruise line fell to the floor and "fried like bacon."
I'm half tempted to just stop now and leave it at that because the image of all these people, My Fair Lady included, on the floor "frying like bacon" was an image heretofore unknown to the annals of comedy history. Once everyone was crispy, the Cruise Director drew forth additional mandates to send people flying.
"We need at least five guys to take their belts off and show them to us."
"We need at least five women to show us their thongs."
"For the guys, we need at least five shirts right now."
"We need at least five women to show us their tattoos."
"We need each team to bring us a pair of false teeth. Yes, used."
"We need at least five women to show us their piercings."
"We need each team to bring us a sock with a hole in it."
"We need at least five women to hand us their bras."
"We need at least five pairs of guys' pants."
During the course of The Quest there appeared a rather colorful blonde woman on our team who was obviously having a blast and possibly a little inebriated. When the call rang forth for guys' pants and Sancho Panza immediately dropped his, the blonde's head whipped around and she shrieked at me.
"GET YOUR PANTS OFF NOW!!"
Ordinarily this would be viewed by Yours Truly as both complimentary and a turn-on. Under the circumstances it just freaked me out.
"Uh, why not those guys over there?" I asked as I randomly waved my hand at the rest of our side.
"GET YOUR F^&$IN' PANTS OFF NOW!" was the reply from Saucy Wench who still pointed at me.
Fortunately for my dignity, I immediately felt several pairs of men's pants hit my head as guys behind me threw them at Saucy Wench. She quickly gathered them up and threw them towards My Fair Lady standing on the floor. Saucy Wench spun back to face me.
"Next time I tell you to get your pants off you better do it right then and there!"
"Will do, chief," I replied.
Ultimately The Quest came down to all the guys on the floor wearing women's shoes, their bras, and smearing lipstick all over their faces then marching in a conga line. Again, my dignity was safe so I enjoyed watching those who were not so lucky. Our team lost, sadly, so the Sexy Keychains were not to return to Casa de Skim. My Fair Lady was soaring as high as a kite though when she left the floor.
"Alright, now it's on to the midnight buffet!"
Previously announced on the cruise was a midnight buffet that night where the chefs went out of their way to craft exquisite foods for the passengers. We hiked to the other side of the ship and entered the dining hall to see a massive feast laid out. There were some people among us who were on the heavier side of life that were stocking up. As for My Fair Lady and Yours Truly, we sauntered over to the desert tables and stocked up there. We returned to the room and snacked away.
"Hey, you want to watch a movie tonight?" I asked. "We're not going anywhere tomorrow since we're at sea all day so what do you think?"
"Sure thing! What do you want to see?"
"Well, I was thinking Mission: Impossible 3 to be honest."
"Oh, that sounds good. I liked that one."
About half way through the movie was when My Fair Lady passed out. As I dug the heck out of the flick, even on pan-and-scan, I watched through to the end before passing out myself. So concludes the saga of Day Five and begins the remainder of the voyage.
To be continued....