The Colonel's flurry of activity over the past week or so, tackling long overdue chores and projects, has been reminiscent of the last two times he returned from long(er) "cruises" in the Roman's Mare Nostrum.
While the flurry of catching up on "honey-do's" has been similar, the accommodations aboard the most recent Med cruise vessel were a tad bit better than those the Colonel experienced on the Navy's BUGS (big ugly grey ships) three decades ago.
At sea the first day the Colonel was reminded of an old Marine saying and shared it with the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda,
"Hey, you know the difference between being on a ship and being in prison?"
"No, knucklehead. But, I'm sure you're about to enlighten me and then follow up with a largely fabricated and interminably long 'sea story'," she said in the loving way she reserves only for her man.
"Huh? My sea stories are not interminably long," the Colonel countered. "Anyway, the difference is that in prison you have cable television and no danger of drowning."
The Colonel's lady was clearly highly amused at his wit, "Whatever. Now can you quickly sum up the accompanying sea story so I can get back to working on my tan?"
"Get it? No danger of drowning."
"I got it. Why don't you go get some soft ice cream and leave me alone?"
"Soft ice cream?!? When were you going to tell me about that?"
"I pointed it out to you earlier, but you were busy telling some largely fabricated and interminably long sea story about the last time you were here in the Mediterranean."
"My sea stories are not interminably long!"
"Go tell that to somebody who doesn't know you. Now go get some ice cream and give me some peace."
The Colonel headed for the soft ice cream kiosk, but on the way passed a member of the crew who wished him a cheery "good morning!" The Colonel noticed the man's name tag had Philippines below his name, "Where in the Philippines are you from?"
"That's on Luzon, right? I was at Subic Bay for several short stays 35 years ago. Great country, the Philippines."
"Very good, sir. Can I get you something to drink?"
He was clearly excited to hear that he and Colonel had so much in common.
"Eyud!," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda hollered from her chaise lounge. "Leave the man alone! He's got work to do!"
The Colonel clapped the man on his shoulder, winked conspiratorially, and whispered, "Gonna be on your boat for two more weeks. I'll talk to you later and we can compare notes on the future of Filipino-American relations vis-a-vis the Chinese."