Jewish World Review Dec. 6, 2002 / 1 Teves, 5763

Jeff Kramer

Jeff Kramer
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Consumer Reports


The specter of mass shipboard vomiting doesn't have to ruin the good times


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | You've plunked down big money for the luxury cruise of your dreams. You're happy, relaxed and settling in for three to seven days of fun at sea when -- Blammo! -- you and several hundred fellow passengers simultaneously part with Chef Francois' lobster thermidor and winter vegetable medley.

Relax.

Despite widespread media scare tactics, the specter of mass shipboard vomiting doesn't have to ruin the good times. All you need is a positive attitude, a basic understanding of toxic cruise etiquette and in rare cases, several liters of saline administered by a lecherous, moderately competent shipboard physician such as Dr. Adam Bricker of television's award-winning documentary, "The Love Boat."

Actual "Love Boat" infirmary scene:

Dr. Bricker: What seems to be the matter?

Attractive female passenger: I twisted my ankle on the spiral staircase.

Dr. Bricker: Let's get a look at that chest.

Attractive female passenger: Shouldn't you be using a stethoscope or something?

Dr. Bricker: Oh. Right.

Unfortunately, modern medicine can only accomplish so much due to limited facilities aboard a virus-spewing vacation death barge. This in no way absolves you of your responsibility to have a great time.

Below, are three typical encounters you might expect aboard a toxic cruise. Note how discretion and common courtesy helps smooth over the rough patches:

ENCOUNTER 1 --- AT THE CASINO

First Passenger: Excuse me, sir. I realize you're having excellent luck at this craps table, but I feel it only fair to inform you that you are standing in a puddle of your own sick.

Second passenger: How very thoughtful of you to point that out.

First Passenger: Really, it's no big ? BLLAWWWWWW ? deal.

Second passenger (extends hand) Name's Ed. I'd like you to have this free copy of "Dianetics.''

SCENARIO 2 --- AT THE SPA

Massage therapist: Your neck and shoulders are way too tight.

You: It's been a stressful couple of weeks at work.

Massage therapist: I'm just going to rub a little coconut-citrus massage oil into your b-b-baHHHHHHAAAHHHHCK.

You: Oooo, that feels good. Nice and warm. I can't smell the citrus, though.

Message therapist: Ohmygod. I can't believe I just did that.

You: Why don't we skip the facial?

SCENARIO 3 --- ABOARD DISNEY CRUISE SHIPS MAGIC OR WONDER

Young Child: Look, Dad. Mickey just took off his head and his body is stooped over a trash can.

Dad: It's OK, son. Mickey just has a Norwalk-like stomach virus. He'll be fine.

Young Child: But I thought Mickey was a real mouse and now it turns out he's just some Jamaican guy upchucking seafood tamales all over the Lido deck. My Disney vacation experience and childhood are ruined.

Dad: BLLAAWWWWW.

Young Child: That's OK, Dad. You stay here and throw up. I'm going to give the vomit-splattered Mickey character a big hug!



JWR contributor Jeff Kramer is a humor columnist based at the Orange County Register. Comment by clicking here.

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