Sunday, July 22, 2007
Cruising vs Cruising
The wife has been interested in doing the cruise thing. No, not the two wheeled kind with a v-twin engine, lots of chrome, shiny black leathers, and a vest covered with patches from 30 mile, police escorted fundraiser rides. No, she apparently saw too many episodes of "The Love Boat" as a kid, has watched too many Travel Channel shows, and has become convinced that traveling in a floating city while wearing floral print shirts and plaid shorts as we watch the world go by is a fun thing. Given that the our Gold Wing is a bit of a land yacht you would think that she'd be satisfied with that, I certainly am.
Now, the wife has been on a short cruise or two before we met so has some experience with ocean travel. I think she's done more miles on the Gold Wing than ocean going vessels so she should be able to see the easy choice of bike over boat when it comes to vacation travel. Zillion dollar cruise ship, soft beds, cool breezes, unlimited food or Gold Wing, Magic Fingers Motel, and mom & pop cafes? No brainer choice for me, that's for sure. Start packing the 'Wing!
I've not actually been on an ocean cruise myself but I did tour the Queen Mary once in Long Beach twenty-five years ago and that seems like enough. As all TV viewers know, even a "three hour tour" on the water can go terribly wrong.
Keep in mind too that a snazzy ocean cruise costs as much as a decent used bike unless you want to row the boat yourself, sleep in an ocean going foot locker, and eat pickled carp lips with the Zamovian immigrants traveling in steerage. Why spend thousands on a fleeting week of sea sickness and shuffleboard with when you could buy another motorcycle and have it forever? OK, I don't keep bikes more than about a year but you get the idea.
I even showed Mrs. Cruise fan an on-line video of a storm tossed cruise ship and carefully explained that a ship being tossed by the waves like a cork in a flushed toilet was a common occurrence. Happens nearly any time one of those fancy cruise ships gets more than a mile or two off shore. Trust me! She asked why we never hear of such things on the news and I explained that there is a huge conspiracy by the cruise lines, travel agents, and pharmaceutical companies who specialize in drugs for the treatment of sea sickness to suppress the stories because they are making a lot of money.
Moreover, the problems don't stop with just the "price-of-a-bike" trip costs, oh no. When you finally get on the ship the party of the 1st part, the wife, expects the party of the second part, the husband, to wear new "cruise clothes" that are not permitted to have motorcycle logos anywhere on them and to "socialize" with dull people who probably don't like motorcycles (or they wouldn't be on a cruise). Henry David Thoreau warns us "Beware of any enterprise that requires new clothes."
Worse, sometimes the party first part, the wife, requires that the part of the second part, the husband, to "dress for dinner" which of course is followed by the ultimate degradation: Dancing in public. I know for a fact that one of the tortures used to persuaded captured terrorists to talk consists of sending them on a cruise and making them dance in public. Most spill their guts at the first sight of a cruise ship brochure. I love my wife but there are limits to what I can endure for her. Need kidney donated? No problem. Pick up dog poop on the carpet. Got it done. But public dancing? Well, there are some things even a bug splattered old motorcycle guy like me won't do.
Sadly, she bought none of my stories and is still talking about cruises to Alaska. Makes no sense to me since we own paid-for adventure bike and the Alcan highway goes that way anyway. I sense that I am losing battle though and should next try to lose some weight so I look my best in my tuxedo for "Passengers Talent Contest Night." The thought of it all makes road rash seem like being tickled with a feather.
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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence
An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison