Talking Story

shipIt’s no secret I hate perky. Chirpy, gleeful, happy—particularly in the morning—rubs me like sandpaper on a sunburn. But my personal seventh level of hell is reserved for cruise directors.

Hellllllooooooo! He cackles every time he gets on the mic. The blue-hair set twitter helloooo back to him like a Greek chorus. Flamboyant, hair pomade slick and eyebrows waxed, he’s the kid we used to pound behind the library after school, the one who wore angel flight pants, Members Only jackets, and carried a Pan Am flight bag.

He also gave me the best laugh of the trip.

One night he was nattering on the loud speaker about all the special, so cheap almost free deals going on right now at the Fun Shops. He said, “Can’t miss special, gold and silver by the inch.” But my finely-tuned Pidgin ear heard, “Goats, DeSilva, by da inch.”

I flashed back to my childhood neighbors, the DeSilva family, and their weekly Sunday goat slaughter eyed though the hole in our fence.

“Goats,” I sputtered, “by the inch.”

My son jumped on it. “I’d like three inches of goat, please.”

We snickered, then full-on belly-laughed. People walked around us, giving us the side-eye reserved for drunks and fools.

DeSilva’s goats by de inch.

Like the best jokes, you had to be there.

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