It was about a month ago that I asked the Internet for questions that one might like to have answered by a comedian who makes a living telling jokes on a boat. To say that the result was overwhelming would be...a total lie. In fact, to imply that there was ANY response at all would be less than honest.
I did receive a few questions, but they were submitted by my wife and kind of stuck to the “Other comedians take their spouses on a cruise, why don’t you do that?” theme.
But I was able to get this week’s (Weekly? I know. LOL!) question based on a portion of another of her inquires...something about her being exasperated that I hadn’t finished researching all the different models of refrigerators that we were considering to buy. Let’s see, as I recall, her exact words were, "I asked you to do one simple thing. ONE THING. What the hell do you do all day?!”
….and there’s the question :)
I AM asked this fairly often...and by people to whom I am not related by marriage.
I have developed a handy response to this inquiry...unfortunately, it’s also complete BS.
What I say I do:
What I really do:
First, the only benefit to the crew cabins (I’ve never heard anyone here call them “staterooms”, by the way.) where I am lodged is that there is (almost) never a window (porthole...yeah, they do call them that). That means darker than dark sweet, sweet slumber. Even when the mattress feels like it has been stuffed with clam shells and old life-jackets, something about the absence of any light makes it magical.
It’s easy to get sucked in by the availability of some type of food -for free, already prepared, around the clock. Is it sumptuous, five-star, James Beard award winning, Top Chef judges table worthy cuisine? All of it? No. Some of it? Maybe...but...
...it doesn’t matter. (I don’t know what to do with that fifth fork anyway.)
It’s plentiful, convenient and (did I mention?), FREE.
On Fiesta Cruise Line (yeah, we’re doing that!) there are three places that a guest entertainer is permitted to dine. The first is the Crew Mess...a good-sized cafeteria type place (off-limits to passengers) where the bulk of those who work on-board take their meals. Most of those folks tend to be of Asian lineage and the fare reflects that. But this isn’t a US-centric version of the cuisine like PF Chang/Panda Express/Pei Wei. I’m led to believe that this is an authentic, “just like home” offering. Now as a person who never held a bottle of Kikoman’s until I was in college, It’s easy to make fun of the dishes (with my elite western sensibility) by making up entree names like “Chicken Beak Stew” this and “Goat Rundown” that, but the truth is, who the hell am I? They seem to like it and it’s not FOR me anyway.
Next is the Staff Mess, also just for employees..a little less cafeteria and maybe a little more buffet. The Staff (as opposed to Crew) tends to be more European and western (though by no means completely) and the menu is adjusted. Still, a lot of curried-up Indian food (which I don’t reflexively think of as being Asian, though I know it technically is) and lumpy, borscht-ey Baltic dishes I don’t recognize. I only eat here when I’m in hiding.
The saving grace (for me, and most comedians, I think) is the passenger buffet. Kind of a Golden Corral affair where, if you are smart, have restraint, and are creative, you can assemble a nice (and somewhat healthful) meal for yourself. Always a salad bar, soup du jour and a hot vegetable available. If you’re like me, ya’ gotta’ watch out for the carbs, which are prominent, plentiful, and always beckoning.
The passengers also have the option of the main dining room for the fancy, gourmet, Julia Child-style spread. I can’t be more specific, as that is beyond the velvet rope for me.
Whole lotta' this….
We’ll cover TV in the “exasperating technology” chapter of a future post.
More to come.
Will you see a new post from me again in a week? Send a question. You might be surprised...