Santa Maria Sun / Humor
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 51
Love and marriageGo together like a horse and carriage--not a boat
BY ROB KRIDER
I hate cruise lines. I know most people love vacation cruises, but it turns out I’m not most people. Sure, all-you-can-drink booze and all-you-can-eat buffet sounds enticing, but I like to be in direct control of my schedule. I’m not a big fan of being told when I can or cannot eat my soft-serve ice cream. I don’t need Cruise Director Dave to tell me when it’s time to have fun.
I was recently stuck on a boat for five days with a soft-serve ice cream machine that was “all-you-can-eat,” but only “when-we-turn-it-on,” so I was instantly bored out of my mind. So to entertain myself on the ship, I made friends with a sailor. His name was Sailor Jerry, and he was a bottle of spiced rum.
Cruise Director Dave decided it was time to have fun. However, this fun did not include turning on the soft-serve ice cream machine (BASTARD!). This sort of fun was the act of jamming all of the occupants of the cruise ship into one large room like a herd of cattle. The room was an auditorium with a stage in front where bingo was played 23 1/2 hours of the day. This particular half an hour was the non-bingo portion of the cruise. I was sitting in the auditorium next to my wife, bored with a belly full of rum and a mind for mischief.
The “fun” show was set to be The Love and Marriage Game, where contestants would be plucked out of the crowd and asked embarrassing questions about their spouses, and the couple who knew each other the best would win a bottle of Champagne. After my friend Sailor Jerry and I became so close, a bottle of Champagne was the last thing I needed. Cruise Director Dave jumped on stage and started “the fun” by getting the crowd riled up: “Who wants to see The Love and Marriage Game?” I decided that my wife, whom I love, and I must win this game. I took another swig from my flask of rum. It was show time.
I looked over at my wife—both of her, since I was seeing double at this time—and slurred, “Baby, we are gonna win this thing. We’ve been married for 17 years … in a row! Who’s going to be better at The Love and Marriage Game than us?”
Spoiler Alert: It would be the Petersons from New Brunswick, N.J., a retired teacher and a retired police officer, who had been married for 32 years and had gone on more than 20 cruises together.
After I asked my wife to do the show with me, she looked at me with some concern. She knew I was a bit of a ham, and she also knew had recently made a dangerous new friend with this Sailor Jerry character. She wasn’t sure that being a contestant on a family-friendly cruise show was a good career move for me. I told her, “Let’s let fate decide. If it isn’t meant to be, they won’t pick us to go on stage.” We were picked right away to be in the show.
As we got on stage, Cruise Director Dave did a quick assessment of who he had to work with. He had a newly married couple (they had been married on the boat just a few hours before and still loved each other), the Kriders (a drunk and his unsure wife), and the Petersons (old fiery folks from New Jersey who had been married for more than three decades). Cruise Director Dave huddled us all together and gave a quick pre-show speech, “Don’t try to be funny. I’ll bring the funny out of you with the questions. Just act natural. There’s no need to overdo it.” He was looking directly at me.
I thought to myself, “Don’t tell me not to be funny. I’m funny, dammit!”
They separated the men from the women and asked us questions in secret. As I walked away from my wife, I gave her a thumbs up and a “we got this” look of confidence. She didn’t return the same glance. Hers was more of a “why are we doing this?” look of apprehension.
We came out on stage in front of a huge crowd and began to play the game. After three questions, the score was New Kids: 1, Kriders: 0, and Old Folks: 3. It turned out that after 17 years of marriage, my wife and I didn’t really know each other at all. We sucked! The Petersons were killing us with their perfect score, while my wife and I couldn’t even agree on who was the most annoying person in her family (in our defense, there are plenty of choices). To redeem ourselves, we had one chance to agree on an answer to the final question for double points. Cruise Director Dave held the microphone in front of me and asked, “Where is the craziest place you and your wife have ever made whoopee?” I knew this one! I stood tall and proud and announced as loudly as I could, “At the golf course! You know Dave, I carry a big driver!” The crowd laughed. I knew I was funny.
Cruise Director Dave announced, “Golf course was the correct answer. Congratulations, you two finally got one answer right!”
I looked out at the crowd, who was cheering for me and my poor wife, who were terrible at the game. I put my arms up in a “V” for victory; the crowd was laughing. Sailor Jerry and I felt like we had just won the lottery.
Then I saw two people in the crowd who were not laughing or cheering. In fact, they looked pretty sick and disgusted. Then I recognized them as my two teenage children. Oops, sorry kids. I guess that golf course secret is out of the bag now. I think we might need to use some of your college funds for therapy.
Now nobody wants to play golf with Rob. However, his wife has received numerous propositions to play a few holes. Send comments to his editor at email@example.com.