Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Tuesday, 14 Dec 2004

My uncle Richard warned me this cruise ship would have the "mature" crowd. Yeah, he wasn't kidding. They hobble down the corridor grasping the hand rails in one hand and their canes in the other. They are the pedestrian version of the "Blue Hair 10 and 2" drivers you might see on the road. Passing these folks is dicey at best. They'll stop in mid stride, or rather mid shuffle, and try to remember where they were headed. I've seen several electric scooters.

I was thinking we might get some anniversary cake but Richard says that they abandoned all cakes, including birthday pies, after an old lady's blue wig caught on fire. Burned down the entire dining room before they got it out. Besides, he says the celebrant doesn't have the lung capacity to blow out the candles. "Avoid" he says, "asking them what life was like when they were young. The cruise is only seven days!" I'm not saying I'm real young or anything, but I'd say some of these folks have hemorrhoids older then me.

After the dinner we went down to the theater. It's a three story theater with a balcony and moving platforms. Just before the illusion show, they put together a three panel, twenty questions quiz show. Fun stuff. It's just entertainment to warm the crowd. The place is jammed. This illusion show has drawn quite a crowd. (I'm typing this while we wait for the real show. Kind of rude, I know.)

In our finest with a 1991 bubbly

Earlier today Ruth went to a Dutch Tea Party. The Vista Lounge hosted the event complete with ice sculptures, sweet delicacies, and flambe coffee. I went to see the show Irobot with the guys.

The show is starting. I'll finish this later.

Wow, that was great. The guy is cracking jokes and used the thumb trick for several things. He tore a paper up, burned it, and restored the paper. In the intro illusion, there's a glass box that fills with smoke. The smoke clears and he's inside the box. In the dagger illusion, he has 45 seconds to escape before the 32 daggers drop. This is hard since he is shackled to a bed. Of course he runs out of time, the knives drop, and there's a gasp because you were just looking at his silhouette struggling with the chain across his waist. Finally, the hooded man that's been helping with the mechanism reveals himself as the illusionist. I actually thought he was better than Copperfield. He was much funnier, lighter, and
quicker with the sets.

Just to give you an idea of his sense of humor, he says: "I've even performed for the queen of England, at least that what he said he was. No, really, if I were that good do you think I'd be performing on a boat? The last boat I performed on was a 98-day tour. Unfortunately that was also the average age of the people on the boat. Hey, there's an advantage in performing for old folks like that. We can do the same show each night and no one remembers. In fact, we just go in and out of the same pier. Even the amenities aboard are different for that crowd. Instead of leaving a chocolate on the pillow in the evening, they leave a prune. In fact, the casino's one-arm bandits don't have the three cherries for jackpot, they have prunes, then they just go straight to the craps table."

Would you believe that they have a different show every night? Some are singing shows, others are the illusions, but all of them are great.

I've got to tell you a little about the ship. There is a complete sewage treatment plant in the hull of the vessel. What is called "black sewage" is treated until finally it is as clear as drinking water. There is also a glass shredder for recycling. Paper is burned in the incinerator and other waste not able to be processed is stored until they reach shore. On channel 32 (on TV), they take you on a ship tour explaining all the facilities you would never really get a chance to see.

"Travel is the ruin of all happiness. There's no looking at a building here after seeing Italy." Fanny Bujrney


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