When Teh 'Bride and I went on our first cruise, wellllll over a decade ago, it was because our friends, Matt and Sue, had already been on one like the year before and we all wanted to vacation together and they lobbied hard for a Carnival cruise because they'd had such a great time on their first one. And Teh 'Bride and I were both kinda reluctant because we — me especially — kinda associated cruises with old, paunchy, gassy geezers of like 50; and who wants to be around (or read the blog of) old, paunchy, gassy 50-year-old geezers? I mean, really ... who1?
But Matt & Sue assured us there'd be young, swingin', groovy foax of our own early-to-mid-30s age on this cruise thing and that there would be tons of non-shuffle-board-related things to do, which we kinda didn't quite believe, but what sold us was their (M. & S.'s) description of the food. Because it was my favorite kind of food, viz., LOTS.
And I said, "You're not lying to me, are you, Matty?" And he said, "No, I am not." And I said, "Can we also go off together occasionally, just you and me, and take homoerotic pix of ourselves?" And he touched me in my special place and said, "I wouldn't dream of having it any other way." And I said, "Uh ... not to be a buzzkill, but that there really is just a banana in my pocket which I carry around because I've been a bit potassium-deficient lately."
And it's not a lie2. Because there is just a ton of it. In fact, that's a gross underestimation, because there are TONS and TONS of food. In fact, one day, on the good ship Celebration3, Matty and I sat down with that day's FUN Times4 and counted the meals and saw that, including the Midnight and post-Midnight buffets, the Celebration featured thirteen formal meals5.
And one day, Matty, Sioux-zee, Teh 'Bride and I made it to eleven of those meals. We6 intended to get to all thirteen — the elusive, rarely-attained Glutton's Perfect Game — but after the eleventh, which I think ended at like 2:00 a.m., we were simply unable to get up from out table and waddle to the next buffet station, which was, cruelly, all the way at the other end of the ship. The truly disturbing part of this is ... if we could have, we would have. Because if you wanna know — really know — just how much food you are capable of cramming down your gullet, past the point of even being able to taste it, much less enjoy it ... just go on a cruise vacation.
But trust me — you7 don't want to know.
By our second or third cruise, Teh 'Bride and I finally figured out that we didn't have to eat everything we saw8. In fact, if you limit your intake of food? You can actually enjoy some of the other, non-eating-related shipboard activities better, because many of them involve some movement, and movement of any kind is difficult when you are in a nearly comatose state of gluttony-induced torpor.
In fact, one of the things you can do on the ship is visit the spa. You can go there to have a massage or get a facial9, or, here's an idea — skip a buffet line or two and have a workout at the gym. And on this latest cruise, I visited the gym every day except the last one (we were off the ship by 9 a.m., though, so there was no time) and actually got in two runs: one of 6.25 miles on the elliptical machine; and a second of 7.05 miles on the treadmill.
Which is not to say that I didn't manage to eat like a disgusting, muthafukkkin' PIG, too. Because I'm sitting here right now looking at the results of the blood work from my yearly physical, the physical I had done just before leaving for vacation, and my overall cholesterol level was 183 (which is great) and my HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol, which has never been higher than like 38 for me and which the doctors want to be at least 40) was a fucking PHENOMENAL 58 and I know, I just KNOW, I undid all that hard work last Thursday on the ship when I saw the dessert buffet line and I found myself inexplicably drawn toward fat-drenched sweets that I literally hadn't had in years and I stood in line and waited 15 minutes to get as many as I could and I came back to the table where Teh 'Bride and Ian were waiting for me and Ian spotted the Deep-Fried Banana Fritter Drenched in Vanilla Sauce that I had on my plate and asked if he could have some and I said, "NO! Go get your own fucking10 fritter!"
And I just know I undid a year's worth of Fat Eye-Fighting Sensible Eating in that Single Afternoon.
Ian and me at Peggy's Cove, Halifax, NS. (Click to Embiggen)
Note: I am not trying to narc any of his potato chips, mostly because that look on his face seems to indicate the chips?
Not every tasty.
The Carnival Foax are constantly taking pictures of you. Just CONSTANTLY. Which they then display in the lobby and you can decide which ones, if any, you want to buy. The first picture they took of us was before we even got on the ship: We were posed in front of a phony NYC backdrop and the photographer snapped away. When Ian and I saw this picture, we thought it was BY FAR the best one, and we knew we'd only buy one, so he and I lobbied to make it that one. But Teh 'Bride was convinced that she saw a hint of a double chin in her own face, so she wanted to nix that one. I didn't see this alleged double chin myself, but I would have said that even if I had. Not so Ian. THAT little charmer - who is destined to grow up to be a REAL lady-killer, because he knows just what to say - sez to Teh 'B.: "It's just a flap of skin from your neck to your chin! What's the BIG DEAL, Mom?"
Needless to say, we did NOT purchase that one, but this one (below - click to embiggen) instead, which has the advantage of being set in front of the actual skyline of NYC, not a fake one, as we steamed out to sea on the first day:
Tomorrow's Post: We are saved from Teh Despair caused by the Tininess of Our "Stateroom" by Teh Ladder of Hope.
1 If you're reading this? Yeah, that'd be you.
2 I mean the part about the food, not the homoerotic, touchy stuff. That latter stuff's just there for Cavewoman B'ogg, and that's only because I can't find any good ... um ..."art" pix of Matty & me; and I refuse to even attempt to describe a fatty ménage à trois, which is apparently the only other thing that gets Ms. B'ogg all sweaty and revved up ... or maybe cavepeople in general are into that; but it just makes me glad that I, for one, evolved past all that.
Plus, two fatties have a hard enough time getting their genitals to make meaningful, Pope-approved, baby-making contact. If you wanna know how three are supposed to accomplish that, go ask Cavewoman B'ogg, because, evidently, she's worked out the logistics in her mind.
Just don't ask on my blog.
3 I remember the ship's name — lo! these many years later — because they played that fucking Cellllllllll-uh-BRATE good times, COME AWN! song over the fucking PA System like 50 times a day, until I wanted to fucking kill Kool & the Gang, which — i.e., driving me to such murderous rage — was kinda pointless because I'd already wanted to kill them for years for being a fucking disco band.
So maybe I'll just transfer all my excess hatred to Erasure, whose existence I just, unfortunately, learned of, and who are "an English synthpop duo" — and here's the plain-English translation of that phrase: "a Gay gaypop gayo" ... with, I assume, killah @$$es.
4 Which is the mock-daily paper they slip under your door each night — and don't even bother checking, Dr. Nic, because I can tell you right now, right here, that it, like all Lamestream Newspapers, of course has a pronounced liberal bias. It doesn't even mention Rush Limbaugh and if he's not relevant in the context of a cruise vacation — where Fat, Demanding, Overly-Privileged Sybaritic Americans have Every Single One of their Whims and Desires Catered To (mostly involving Fall-of-The-Roman-Empire-level gluttony) and then retire to their staterooms to attempt to engage in Viagra-enhanced coupling with each other that is so disgusting even B'ogg would be grossed out — if, as I say, Rush is not relevant in that context, then I don't know who would be. I mean, all you'd have to do is add a subplot involving the use of illegally-obtained Hillbilly Heroin and the ship'd basically be a floating, off-off-Broadway dramatization of Rush's fucking life.
And yet teh so-called FUN Times failed to mention him even once in the five issues we got during our last cruise!
I guess Carnival Cruise Lines just wants Teh Terrorists to win.
Way to Hate America, Carnival Cruise Lines!
5 And by "formal meals" I mean we didn't include the various Grills and Cafes that were open all day and had food available all the time.
6 Well ... Matty and I. Not so much Sue and Teh 'Bride. We just brought them along so there's be someone to roll us back to our cabins when we were through.
7 The "you" here just assumes that you're not Rush Limbaugh.
8 In my previous post, I dealt with the burning issue of how much shit, piss, vomit and (for good measure) jizz are produced on the average cruise. If I really wanted to depress and disgust you, I'd do a post on how much food is wasted on a cruise. You just see platefuls and platefuls of the stuff being whisked away to be unceremoniously tossed into the garbage — to the point where you just wanna paraphrase Homer Simpson and say: "My food! You never had a chance to become my poop. *SOB!*..."
9 Which latter I truly did not see the point of and, in fact, thought the word "get" must be a typo for "give" until I learned that these so-called "facials" were not the good, wholesome, porn-movie kind, but some other boring kind that causes you to "exfoliate" or something; and I don't know what "exfoliate" means but I now know that you don't need to have a boner to "exfoliate", and "exfoliations" don't even have Happy Endings, so, again, what's the point?
10 Relax. I don't actually us that kind of four-letter-word language with my ten-year-old. But I did say, "Get your own fritter!" and while I was saying it? I was thinking Your own FUCKING fritter!
Because I stood in line for that! Why should I give it to him?