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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sunday was the day everyone started throwing up. It was also the day they closed both the pools and cancelled half the onboard events due to inclement weather. And don't even get me started on the outbreak of food poisoning.

But for me personally, the day started well when I was stuck in a lift with half of Table 39. It doesn't get much better than that. It gave them a chance to fill me in on the hideous seasickness which had confined them to their beds for most of the morning, and the dodgy shrimp which was threatening to wipe out most of the King & I regulars.

As for our travelling companion S, she was forced to stay in bed for 36 hours due to extreme nausea, giving Big Sis a chance to take me to the Casino Royale and demonstrate her mathematical formula for winning big on the Wheel of Fortune. It basically involved feeding large denomination bills into the slot for five minutes, pressing a few buttons, saying "oh well" and walking off. I learnt a lot.

From there, Lisa and I went to see 'The Artistry of Fluoresence', followed by a woman with a whip who said "Ole" a lot. Personally I preferred Elaine Lesley the previous night. She's apparently an "internationally acclaimed singer and entertainer", though not quite internationally acclaimed enough to have her own website. She was followed by the 'Splendour Quest', a scavenger hunt which gave drunk Americans a chance to take their clothes off in public and wave their false teeth around.

We finished Sunday night back at the Viking Cown Lounge, where word reached me that a search party from Table 39 were out there scouring every bar on the ship in the hope of finding me, taking my photo, and getting my e-mail address. It's the kind of news that makes you wish plastic surgery was available in nightclubs. Sure enough I was hunted down within half an hour, tried to hide on the dancefloor, and ended up pretending I couldn't hear them over the loud music. They eventually left empty handed.

Monday morning was our last on the ship, and with great kindness, Royal Caribbean insist you're out of your cabin by 7am. Which, if you're Big Sis, means you're still packing at 7:30. But a freezing cold breakfast later, and we were ready to leave. Having arranged to meet Sis and S at the main exit a few minutes later, they went to buy photos of themselves, and Lisa and I headed down in the lift.

Forty-five minutes later (or maybe it was more like an hour), we began to wonder if they'd left without us. Suspicions which were confirmed when a member of staff came up to us with a walkie-talkie, asked if I'm Philip Gardner, and told me my sister's gone through customs, immigration, and baggage reclaim, and was halfway to Galveston town centre when she realised we weren't with her. Apparently I was two minutes from having my name broadcast over the ship's tannoy, and seeing my picture at the lost child desk.

Half an hour later, and with Sis close to calling the police, we were eventually reunited, and headed back to Dallas, taking a short cut through toll-booth country and stopping only to eat white gravy at a branch of Dairy Queen.

After a holiday like that, Lisa and I clearly needed a bit of peace and quiet to recover, so we were naturally delighted when Big Sis's landlord turned up unannounced yesterday afternoon, let himself in, told us he thought the place would be empty, decided to wander around upstairs, and then started watching TV. Anyone would think he owned the place. Oh hang on, he does. But by the time he left, we were firm friends. You can't help but feel close to someone who's walked in on your girlfriend in her pyjamas.

As for today, well I've just answered the door to the pest control man, who insisted on coming in to check for termites. He'd been booked by the landlord, who clearly felt we enjoyed the company of uninvited guests yesterday, and could do with a few more today. But the good news is Big Sis's house is officially termite-free. The only problem is the underground flooding which could cause the place to collapse at any moment. Though hopefully not before we leave tomorrow afternoon.


Phil said...

Kristy White gravy at Dairy Queen? What was that all about?

16 February 2006, 17:35:56Dave
What a full and rich life you lead. You haven't seen my wallet in your travels, have you?17 February 2006, 07:57:15An 'old' friend from BexhillYou obviously had a good time!!13 December 2007, 13:24:07