Tales Of Cruise Ship Life, Part 6: Release The Pigeons!
Tuesday 20, October 1998. Deck 5- Stateroom 5230- 3:00 am
Alan was standing at the top of a huge golden staircase dressed as Peter Pan in a green sequin gown, crowing with the ocean crashing at the base of the staircase below. Thom was dressed as Captain Hook throwing fried fish heads at Alan, but he couldn’t quite get the fish heads high enough to actually hit Alan. I was standing behind Alan dressed as Tinkerbell drinking warm coke and vodka out of a tiny box of cereal. Alan began descending the staircase as Bob Mackie kept yelling at him, “Head up Alan, I don’t want to see the top of your fuckin’ head…I want to see your beautiful face.” Just then, a school of Mermen swam up to the base of the staircase all waving to Alan shouting in very New York accents…”Alan, show us your tits!”
Bang, Crash, and the Lightning Flashed!
I shot up out of my dream and was face to face with a Shrek-like giant glaring down at me looking as confused as I must have looked myself. Then without a word the ogre turned around mumbling to himself and started playing with the smoke detector on the ceiling of my room. He swiftly popped off the existing detector from the ceiling pulling on the wires that were attached to it and switched to a new detector. Snapping the device back into place and without another word, slaps off the lights and slams the door behind him.
I looked at the alarm clock…3:00 am…Bastard!
The next morning Thom, Alan, and I walked to the crew mess hoping to see breakfast that wasn’t looking back at us. Beyond the powdered eggs it wasn’t too bad and the mystery meat at least didn’t have feet attached to it.
Thom told us that there should be a crew bar on the ship, at which both Alan and my ears perked right up. Alan and I asked in unison, “Where? What time does it open? Are they open during dry dock?” Thom just shrugged and looked at us like a couple of crazy alcoholics.
“Okay, at least there’s liquor in this tub. Last night I was dreaming of ways to pull together a still in my cabin and utilize the undercooked potatoes from the buffet to make some vodka”.
After breakfast, we checked out the ship’s map to find the theatre. Making our way through the maze of plastic covered hallways and staircases we arrived at a 2nd level high proper theatre.
“Not too bad, it looks like a small regional playhouse…I can make magic in this space”, proclaimed Alan.
We made our way backstage to find the smallest backstage area I have ever seen outside a strip club.
“I know theatre is not meant to have any backstage space, but you can’t even raise a small family of midgets back here”, was all I could say.
We walked up to the dressing rooms above the stage, which was made up of a long hallway that ran the width of the ship. One side was lined with cabinet doors with a small sign above each set of doors that were labelled…MS1, FS1, MD1, MD2, etc.
I approached the cabinet marked “MD1” and I could smell what was inside before I even opened the door…Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
I swung open the cabinet doors…”Sweet Jesus!”
Both Alan and Thom rushed to either side of me and viewed what can only be described from the scene of the movie called ‘Seven’, with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. I expected to see the words written on the back of the cabinet wall saying “Sloth”. Hundreds of Pine Tree car fresheners were hanging from the ceiling of the cabinet and on each of the rusted hangers piled on with brightly colored sequin costumes. I slowly closed the cabinet doors and I looked at Alan and said, “There are just some things a white woman shouldn’t see.”
Thom piped up with, “Well, get used to it…I heard the last Wardrobe Supervisor quit the last 2 months on this contract and the cast were on their own”.
Before I could even respond to Thom’s statement, I was interrupted by shouts, screams, and what could only be described as a herd of drunken drag queens at a hen party running up the stairs outside the dressing room door.
The dressing room door banged open with an explosive crash and out shot a flock of beautiful, statuesque, exotic birds. A tall handsome caramel-light skinned gentleman stepped forward as the leader of this exotic tribe. He extended his hand to Alan and said, “You must be Alan the Production Manager and the new Wardrobe Supervisors, my name is Zach”.
Alan accepted Zach’s handshake and I noticed as they chatted that the group behind them was once a flock of exotic birds but without their leader only looked like a group of pigeons picking at the group not knowing what to do.
I leaned over to Thom and whispered, “They must be the production cast, release the pigeons!”
Don’t miss any Tales Of Cruise Ship Life excerpts from The Floating City of Misfit Toys by Tony Yamashiro:
Return to Tales Of Cruise Ship Life, Part 1: Dream
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