- By the Casual Swiss
“I feel wastey.”
The announcement was coming over the intercom system, although I
didn’t recognize it at first. Since
I’d come aboard The Haughty Wench in May (in a working capacity, not as a
passenger) all of the announcements were book-ended by a parrot squawk. You would hear, “SQUAWK! Breakfast buffet being served on Deck
C. SQUAWK!” Or, “SQUAWK! Seafood buffet being served on Top
So, when Seth (who I had just noticed was missing) announced to
the whole cruise and its couple of hundred elderly passengers that he was
“feeling wastey” I couldn’t believe it.
Though he did have every reason.
Moments before, our boss (aka The Mod) had accosted Seth in the
middle of a whip-it hit. With no
patience in waiting for Seth to exhale the hit, let the room vibrate, and
recover, he just blocked the poor bastard’s air while grilling him about a room
service order. I wasn’t much
help. And while Seth’s brain
exploded I tried to find out why our boss had gone nutty. I started things off by saying that,
“Whenever I feel low, I just say that it could be worse. I could be Seth…or a crack baby.” My inquiries were the final straw and
our boss confessed everything (a sorted tale of greed and horse meat that was
about to be retold over the intercom).
“I feel wastey.” he began as I took a hit of cooking wine and
passed it to the Mod. “I’m, pttph,
ooh, um. I can’t get over the way
my voice sounds.
So far his public speaking was limited to gibberish. A few minutes of animal sounds and he’ll
stop. No real harm done. “Nomb-de-la-hay-na-nomb-diggy-do.”
“Cow-lickah-necka-minah-weeblo- You’ve all been eating horse!”
“Yes. All passengers,
if you have eaten meat while on this ship, chances are, you’re a horse
eater!” There was a pause and a
whinny as Seth collected his thoughts.
Up on deck people were getting the truth, and below deck people were
getting nervous. The Mod, bottle of
cooking wine in hand, stormed out of the Cabin Service Kitchen into the main
kitchen area, I thought it would be a good idea to get out of all kitchens.
I was in a narrow stairwell leading up when Seth started to talk
again. He was going on about parts
of the horse versus parts of other animals when I met with some trouble. Diane Zephyr was her name, low salt and
allergic to strawberries. In the
Cabin Service Kitchen, we have cards on all of the passengers detailing their
dietary needs. The cards were also
color coded, Mrs. Zephyr had a blue card.
That meant she was fat as hell and would be calling down for room service
Fat or no, she was a darling woman who would come down to the
kitchen herself twice a day to “not put us out over a lemon.” She would suck on the lemon for her
throat and tell us about her grandson.
A cordial woman. Three
hundred pounds of cordial woman, and it was blocking my escape.
As Seth reached the part in his speech about how he himself
doesn’t eat meat, not because he’s humane but because after a couple of years as
a cook he became disgusted by it, I could hear a terrible commotion coming from
behind me. Pots and pans were
crashing. Back in the kitchen
people were screaming and swinging doors were bashing against something
hard. I was listening in horror to
Seth’s announcement echo cruelly off the ship’s narrow metal stairwell
“I don’t even eat mayo anymore, because it has egg whites in
them. Eggs come out of chickens and
I can’t dig that anymore even though I LOVE potato salad. Still, could never eat potato salad by
accident and actually be eating Horse like you Horse Eaters!”
The screams were getting louder and I had to go over or around or
through Mrs. Zephyr. I climbed the
steps up to her. She bore an
expression of pale nausea.
“Mrs…” was as far as I got, because as I climbed the steps, she
let out a swift voluntary motion to kick me in the neck. I went to my knees, as she retreated
back up the steps, gasping for breath and holding my neck.
I couldn’t stay that way for long. This was one of the four stair wells
which lead to the kitchens. They’ll
be pouring down soon, looking for the kitchen staff (of which I was a known
member) and screaming for our livers on a stick.
I came out onto the top deck just in tome to see Joseph (fellow
kitchen pirate) getting held down and his extensions ripped out by a couple from
Sioux City while an elderly man in a powder blue shirt beat his legs with a
I could smell smoke and deck chairs were being thrown like snow
balls. The passengers outnumbered
the crew at least nine to one and I saw Tammy (an activities instructor from
Wilmington, NC) spit out a tooth as she ran past. I saw those passengers who weren’t going
after the crew, doubled over and vomiting.
A bartender (think his name was Kevin) slipped on some while fending off
eight advancing veterans with a shuffle board “stick” (whatever you call that
thing, pole? Lethal bugger if used
It was mutiny on The Haughty Wench, it was more than just the
kitchen staff getting railed and it would be more than just my neck getting
kicked if I didn’t get out. I
staggered over to the edge and doubled over the railing, gasping for air. A few screams were mixed with seagull
calls. Bad scene, and I could taste
I heard glass break and wood splinter. Someone had set off what sounded like
the fire alarm and something was making the deck beneath me thump. I hadn’t noticed, but sometime in all of
this Seth got off the intercom, satisfied in what he had done, in vengeance (I
supposed) to being held in suspended whip-it.
“Could be worse, you could be me…or a crack baby,” Seth said,
appearing nonchalantly behind me, the whip-it volcano almost completely worn
off. I tried to laugh. I think I just wound up spitting and
It’s a terrible thing, I now know, to underestimate someone. People don’t usually think much of the
elderly, and even less if they’re wearing Bermuda shorts and fanny-packs. But it was geriatric Lord of the Flies
up on deck and Seth (who the Mod and I had underestimated) had put me
there. But such is human error and
Seth was quick to forgive as he pulled me across the deck to where I could see
land for the first time in two days.
Only minutes ago, Seth was in as bad of shape as I am in now and he succeeded in creating a world of mob terror in that short time. Once we got on land it would be my turn to recover and spark mass panic and destruction. But it would take a few days.
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