We embarked on the Jolly Rancher and immediately after we were inundated by a torrential downpour. Our ship was tipping back and forth, the wind and rain were smacking us scurvy Yankees in the face and I was about 95% certain some stranger aboard was going to lose his/her continental breakfast all over me. The snorkel trip was essentially a lost cause, but that didn't deter Master and Commander. We decided it best to freeze off our pirate booties above boards (I don't know ship lingo), use our best pirate accents and drink a couple pirate punches. So we're frozen but laughing on deck, enjoying scenic Aruba, its uncharacteristic storm and its local fare--rum--when the captain tells us we as passengers must make a decision: cancel the excursion and return to the island or stay on the ship and see if the rain subsides. Most passengers wanted to get off the ship but there were a few folks who wanted nothing more than to stay. I have to go on record to say Master and I were ambivalent, that is until this rabid couple attached themselves to us. Master was wearing a shirt with his company's logo on it, which this deranged woman saw and got all titillated:
Middle-aged Woman: (to Master, as she barrels through me, nearly knocking my pirate punch out of my hand) Do you work for insert name of company here?
Master: (politely sipping his pirate punch) I do.
Meanwhile I am regaining my balance on the tumultuous sea vessel in the wake of mother battleship's collision.
Mama Battleship: My daughter just started with them!
She proceeds to ask a few questions. She's very interested in my Master as he is attractive, intelligent, well-mannered and in the know. She's very uninterested in me because I'm the woman with whom he is traveling. Master seems to get Mama Battleship's undivided attention until she realizes the Jolly Ranger is land bound. She does not care for this, as she is one of the four (all in her family, by the way) who wanted to stay on the vessel despite the weather. Much like a first year acting school student, Mama Battleship isn't diplomatic in expressing her feelings and she quickly turns full-throttle against the bride in our party, literally getting in her face saying we shouldn't turn around. I'm uncomfortable. This is about the time I realize that if I decide to stay on the ship I have left the bride's camp and moved onto team Battleship; I'm not interested in this proposition. I tell Master we should go with our friends and leave the Jolly Rancher for a sunnier day.
We reach terra firma and the race begins to get back to the cashier's hut for refunds. I'll be honest, I was a little tipsy from the pirate punch and hour of talking like a pirate, therefore, inordinately excited for what I expected to be quite a confrontation between Battleship and whoever got between her and a refund for the failed excursion. Battleship's husband, who I also expect has something intrinsically wrong with him, was proud of his wife's bullying, bragging to Master and me that, "if anyone can get a refund my wife can!"
When Mama Battleship finally got to the cashier and began the refund process she also began the thick passive aggression, a trait I'm sure her children get to enjoy in fair frequency. Master and I were observing the fine beer koozie selection in the hut when Battleship honed in on the cashier,
Battleship: You should never allow the passengers to make a decision about whether we stay on the boat or not! They don't understand the sea the way you do!
That's right. The sea.
Master and I are giggling in the corner, diffusing extreme discomfort with more idle pirate chatter. Another passenger says that he appreciates being asked his opinion on the expedition and this only fuels Battleship's cannons, as she begins laying it on even thicker. She and her family are leaving tomorrow and there isn't time for them to re-book the Jolly Rancher.
Battleship procures her galleons and begins to exit the giftshop, but before she leaves she imparts these finals words: "thanks for ruining our vacation!"
In the words of Master, "are you fucking kidding me?"
We ended up laughing about this loon for the next twenty-four hours. Needless to say "thanks for ruining our vacation!" became the punctuation to every experience. For example:
|View from our Room, otherwise known as one of the ways the hotel ruined my vacation.|
|Me, otherwise known as the girl who ruined Mike's vacation with general high maintenance.|
|Freddie the Adorable Lizard, otherwise known as the adorable lizard who ruined our vacation.|
|The Jolly Rancher, otherwise known as the place where everyone ruined Mama Battleship's vacation.|
I wish this was the end of the story, but it isn't. No. After twenty-four hours of ruining each other's vacations Master and I almost actually have our vacation ruined by the terrible airport in Aruba. What a mess. We get through multiple levels of security, customs and fools and finally get to Gate 8. And who do we see when we get there?
Mama Battleship and her cheerleader husband.
I can't control my laughter. Oh brave new world that has such people in it! Sweet Master is trying to maintain composure. They greet us as if we're old friends yet quickly abandon us when they begin calling zones for boarding.
Battleship must control the boarding process. After all, last time she left it to others it ruined her vacation.