Friday, September 26, 2014

Observing the Herd

I am about to get my land legs back after a trip at sea.  Between Newark and Bermuda we encountered high winds and a pretty good chop to the ocean.  For me there is something very relaxing about a ship that is rocking and rolling.  It reminds me of being rocked in a cradle before the "Bough Breaks." 
It never dawns on me that the motion is an issue to some passengers until I see pouches of "vomit bags" placed on the stair well of each deck.  That is when it becomes clear to me that most people do not share my love of the angry sea.  
Now in total honesty, when I am alone on a ship, I become a guiltless people watcher.  I pass the time watching those who are on vacation trying to get along.  I have come to the conclusion that some people save up for a long time to take a cruise so they can  have heated arguments about what to do for fun. While trying to appear that I am uninvolved with anything other than my iPad, I observe body language and study the countless types of people on board.  Since the odds are that I will be able to observe the same people for several days, I imagine what their stories might be.  Grandparents traveling with a grandkid, honeymooners, Old people who can barely make it down the corridor (part of a bucket list I assume), extremely large whale like humans being propelled by sit down scooters, and some of the worst examples of tattoos and  body art that one can imagine, are all fodder for my bored imagination. If they only knew the world they occupy in my sea fairing pastime.   
On day two of the trip I went to the Windjammer Buffet to have lunch. People were having trouble walking on deck due to the pitch and roll of the ship. The Windjammer is on one of the highest decks so the motion is much more pronounced.   I noticed a table occupied by a family with matching neon day glow colored tee shirts that said,  "The Bufano's - Bermuda or Bust".  Those shirts were hard to miss.  One of the little girls was looking quite pale leaning up against her Mom.  She wasn't eating nor did she look like that was even a possibility.  The Mother repositioned the little girl who came to rest on the shoulder of her older siister who was perhaps eight.  The sister did not have the same compassion for little sister's current situation and continued to eat. The Mother left the table to refill a drink. 
A moment or two later I hear the splatter of some viscus liquid hitting the floor of the dining hall.  Before I can quantify what the sound is I hear the scream of an eight year old girl followed immediately by a very loud call to her mother, "MOM.... PUKE!"  The word "puke" ricocheted  around the restaurant full blast. 
Like a herd of Antelope sensing an approaching lion, every head in the Windjammer turned in unison to the table of neon clad Bufano's.  The little girl continued heaving after covering the table, the deck and her sister with rejected breakfast.  
I suppressed a natural gag reflex as did others in the Antelope herd, and following the lead of most, excused myself from the area.  I fled quickly to a more pleasant deck no longer interested in the second act of the Bufano Story.  I assume the day glow shirt was washable. 
So here is my take away from this experience.  Next time I decide to enjoy the rock and roll of the Atlantic Ocean, I will enjoy it with room service, alone in my cabin.
As you were,


Pete Biro said...

I was seasick foe a week on a troop ship going to Germany... but was able to MC a show and publish a daily newspaper. Years later on a rocky trip, I found a patch behind my ear kept me totally well. Cruising can be fun.

Eddie Siller said...

My wife and I cruise once a year and have seen our share of your experience. We too don't get sick sick so can enjoy the rough seas.

Eddie Siller said...

*sea sick*

Dan Elder said...

Howdy Jay, I am the co-host of the podcast Taco Tuesday ( and I would like to invite you to be our guest via Skype to follow-up our discussion about you in our upcoming episode. Can I follow-up with an email or phone call to discuss?