Monday, January 23, 2006

Shuffleboard, Anyone?

Like some sort of harmonic convergence, the number, 50, has cropped up in the lives of my in-laws, my wife and her twin sister, and me, all within the span of nine months. My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month. This month I celebrate (not quite the right word, actually) my 50th birthday, and my wife and her sister will be celebrating their 50th birthday later (but not much later, I keep reminding them) this year. So, my beautiful bride and her homely twin sister (we love to hate each other) have hatched a plan to lump all of our celebrations together on, and I am loathe to write the word, a cruise.

You see, to my way of thinking, cruises are what yankees take as reward for their having made the decision to live in a part of the country that really only has two seasons--winter and the 4th of July. I'm no yankee, and we live in Florida for crying out loud! The weather is beautiful all year round--it's the end of January and the temperature outside as I write this is 72 degrees! Why would I need to go on a cruise?

If you go in the bathroom right now, look in the mirror, and place a combination of "Why did I marry this idiot" scorn, and "You never take me any place nice" scowl on your face, you will in fact be looking at the face my wife gave me when I raised the above objection to taking said cruise.

Undeterred by the scowl (I see it so often that it has lost most of its effect on me), I launched into my "been there, done that" argument. I've been on ships. I've sailed the seven seas. I've visited exotic ports. And, I got paid to do it!

"Oh, but a cruise liner is so different than one of the Navy's BUGS (Big Ugly Grey Ship)", my son injects uninvited and drawing one of my practiced "Whose side are you on, Son?" looks. Despite the look (he's seen it so often it has lost most of its effect on him) he continues with, "The food is fabulous and you can eat as much as you want whenever you want..." I cut him off at his description of the 24/7 soft ice cream machine, "Does the phrase 'diabetic coma' mean anything to you? Do you think I check my blood sugar all the time because I enjoy pain and the sight of my own blood?"

Okay, I'm only a borderline diabetic and I don't check my blood sugar very often, but it is a nifty debating ploy, don't you think?

So, I'm going on a cruise. They better have good coffee.
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