Tag Archives: hazards

I’m On A Boat! (Or: Adventures In Alcoholia)

I recently took a cruise in the Caribbean in celebration of my mother’s birthday.  I had gone on another cruise in my early teens, which I enjoyed, so I was really looking forward to this one.  The concept of a cruise is fairly fascinating, especially when you break it down.  A bunch of people pay a lot of money to live on a floating hotel, and that floating hotel goes to different places around the world, all while stuffing you with all the free food you can possibly stomach. “This must have been what it was like to be Columbus,” I actually heard one passenger idiotically say at one point.

Sure, provided Columbus’s vessels had two movie theaters, a casino, 47 full bars, and a constantly playing reggae band.  Then it was EXACTLY like sailing in olden times.

Now, was the cruise fun?  Of course it was.  It was especially fun for me because on the night before we left, I was having a conversation with my mother about various aspects of the cruise, and at one point she said the following:

“Oh, and since we’re all going together, I’ve decided to pay for everything.  Souvenirs, t-shirts, drinks—it’s all gonna go on my tab.”
“Wait, you’re paying for drinks, too?”
“Yep.”

Now, what I said in the response to this was, “Oh, cool.” But what I was thinking was, “HOLY FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!” because I’m a new drinker.  I turned 21 just a few months ago, so I’ve only recently begun to work my way around the trenches of Alcoholia.  This revelation was a nice little bonus to the rest of the cruise—all my drinks were covered. (In fact, she even kind of encouraged it, by saying, “And since you don’t have to worry about driving or anything of the like, go crazy!”)

Did you know that, on a boat, if you get so drunk you can’t maintain your balance, the rocking evens it out?  It’s true!  And by the way, before I go any further, if there’s anyone reading this (particularly any of our fine youth of America who identifies in any way with this so-called, “straight-edge” movement) who has a problem with this kind of talk, allow me to state for the record: don’t base your entire opinion of me around whether or not I drink.  I can’t stand people who do that.  There are plenty of fine people who drink just as there are plenty of fine people who do drugs just as there are plenty of degenerate fuckheads who do nothing.  It’s a two-way street.  Besides, I don’t need alcohol to have a good time—I just need it to have a great time.

***Now, I’m not promoting the use of alcohol here, especially for underage readers.  Some boundaries must be kept.  Don’t drink if you’re underage.  Just move to a country where you can drink legally.  Okay, now that that public service announcement is out of the way, we can continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.***

I got super-drunk on this cruise.  Easily the drunkest I’ve ever been (so far).  However, I didn’t just go all crazy; I had a plan.  See, in our travels, sometimes it would take more than one day to get to a particular destination on the cruise, so we had a number of “sea days” in which it was just a day at sea, on the ship.  The nights preceding these sea days were the nights I got DRUUUUNK.  Let’s go through the list, shall we?  One night, I had the following:

Two beers (Dos Equis, because the boat had a shitload of them for some reason), three White Russians, a Long Island Iced Tea, a mojito, an apple martini, and, to top off this array of alcoholic adventure, something called a raspberry fizz.  Because apparently, when I get super-drunk, I develop the tastes of a 40-year-old woman.  I also learned something else about me when I get super-drunk: the drunker I get, the more passionate I am about increasingly mundane things.

After consuming all of those drinks, I was walking around the boat sometime in the early hours of the morning, when I ran into my brother.  He and I started prowling around the boat, killing time and looking for something to do.  We stopped at a deck near the rear of the boat and hung out, when suddenly, out of the corner of my ears, I heard something.  I turned around, and saw a teenage boy and girl standing together—presumably they were a couple—and the boy was singing.

And this pissed me the fuck OFF.  No, I don’t know why.  And to answer your other obvious question, I don’t know what he was singing, because I was: A. drunk; B. too angry about the fact that he was singing to take note of exactly what he was singing.  I turned to my brother, and unleashed a passionately angry drunken tirade:

“What in God’s name is this?  Why is he singing?  Why the FUCK is he singing?  Nobody wants to hear this shithead sing!  Fuck that kid—WHY IS HE STILL SINGING?!  Goddamnit, dude, what in the name of shit is he singing for?  He’s not even singing to the fuckin’ girl next to him!  Jesus fuckin’ Christ, WHY THE FUCK IS HE SINGING?!”

At which point my brother quietly excused himself from the proceedings, and I traveled up to the late-night buffet to eat a giant plate of mashed potatoes at roughly 2AM.  Have you ever had THAT existential nightmare?  When you’re drunk and eating mashed potatoes at two in the morning—for NO REASON WHATSOEVER?  That’s not an aspect of the vacation you envision on the ride over to the airport.

Some people deal with an element of fear before a massive experience like a cruise.  As we were driving to the ship on the morning that we were to embark, my mom was talking to everyone in the car and giving us all The Mom Rundown: Cruise Edition.  This is meant to be a conversation warning us of any potential hazards related to health/crime/etc. that, while highly unlikely, are not completely out of the realm of possibility on the cruise ship.  Which is a perfectly fine conversation to have, but not when we are DRIVING TO THE SHIP BOARDING LOCATION.

“Oh, wow, look, there’s the ship right over there!  Okay, you guys, we are gonna have a lot of fun and—HOLY FUCK WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE AND GET DEATH-RAPED BY PEOPLE WITH PUPPY AIDS!”
“Hey, Mom, uh…not the best time to bring this up.”

Not that it mattered, because unbeknownst to all of us, we ended up choosing a cruise week that was completely dominated by senior citizens.  I’d wager that less that 20% of the passengers on the cruise were under 40.  We weren’t gonna get raped by anyone—after all, they’d get worn out just from trying to hold us down on the bed.  The abundance of old folks was disappointing, but it did lead to the creation of my new favorite game: Man or Woman?  Many times, it was nearly impossible to tell.

And I wasn’t even drunk.

Until next time,

–Riley