Sunday, August 1, 2010
Hey, Do You Get Yours?
One of the more memorable passengers from my cruise ship days was a young woman named Trish. She was in her mid-to-late twenties and she had slight mental retardation. She was like an outgoing grammar school girl, and she was one of the more ardent fans of the stage revues. She soon became a familiar face, sitting near the front row of the show lounge, right on the carpet, no matter what the scheduled dress code was for the evening.
On most nights, before we had reached the end of our live performance, Trish was usually stretched out on the show lounge carpet, snoring away,
Trish seemed excited to recognize us during the day time, walking throughout the ship's corridors or up on the outer decks. "Hey! Hey, you guys!" she would eagerly call. "Hey, you guys! What are you doing?"
During Trish's cruise, I got dressed in my tuxedo to greet the passengers at the Captain's Cocktail hour, as we did every week on the first formal night. I got on one of the ship's elevators with a couple of the other dancers, Graham in his tux, too, and Jo in one of her cocktail dresses. An elegant and elderly couple were already in the elevator, dressed to the nines.
The three of us greeted them politely, asking the usual questions: Where are you from? Are you enjoying the cruise so far?
The elevator stopped at the next level and Trish stepped in, unaccompanied, wearing a very ruffly, blue party dress.
"Hey! Hey, you guys. What are you doing?" Trish looked pointedly at Jo. "I just got my mennis-stray-shun. Do you get mennis-stray-shun?"
I don't know how we managed to keep from bursting with laughter. I had to look away from Graham and Jo. We didn't want to behave rudely in front of our senior citizen guests, or even in front of Trish.
We waited until after we got out of the elevator and then hooted like loons with the other dancers when we told them what Trish had said in front of a couple of passengers.