He sure do like it when the dessert cart comes around twice.
"That's my hubby. Ain't he sweet?"
Six chocolate eclairs on his plate, two in his lap. Seven slices of devil's food cake with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream on top of each one. He smiled. He was waiting for the dessert cart to come around again.
"We don't go on cruises often."
They wanted to know what the man was waiting for.* He was holding all his cards. He wasn't eating, just smiling. Being on the ocean always made his tummy upset. He used special medications he bought from a kiosk in the mall, but that didn't seem to help. He even tried bleeding himself with leeches**, like his godmother recommended, but that didn't seem to take hold either.
Food sure do look purdy.
Once he had himself a Harley and he would ride it up and down the coast with no helmet on, just a bandana securing his once proud mop of curly long hair***. Those were different days. He hung out down on the seacoast eating plate after plate of steamers. He could put away three 2-1/2 pound lobsters even after the steamers. He was proud of his cast iron stomach.
Here come the dessert cart for trip number two!
"What the hell is this?"
the man asked with righteous indignation.
"Tenderized llama balls. A delicacy in parts of Chile."
An expert on South American history and culture happened to pass by at that moment. He looked at the waiter**** and at the man with the eclairs on his lap and shook his head. "No truth to what he says," mumbled the historian.
Iron stomach thought to question the cultural expert, but he moved away too quickly. He wondered if the historian was telling him that tenderized llama balls were not a delicacy in parts of Chile or if the waiter was lying about what the product on the cart formerly known as the dessert cart was. He was facing a quandary and facing it alone. His wife was now absorbed in a conversation with an elderly couple about the benefits of making your own macrame pot holders.
"So, you are saying they are tenderized?
How exactly do you administer this process?"
"The chef must keep some secrets, sir."
The man shrugged and dreamed about riding up the coast on his Harley again. Once he snapped out of the misty dream sequence, he shrugged and told the waiter to place a couple of tenderized llama balls in the breast pocket of his dinner jacket. Then he asked for a bag, preferably one of the plastic bags from the gift shop with the logo of the cruise line on either side, to put his eclairs, pie and ice cream in*****. They were going ashore tomorrow on a private little island where the natives were said to walk around wearing nothing but dried banana skins. At least that was what the brochure for the cruise said. Once ashore, he could enjoy all the foods he had collected from the dessert cart over the past two days.
Something crashed through the port side window and onto the floor of the dining room. It was big, orange and ticking. The man hoped it would not explode, for this was the night the cruise had scheduled a full airing of the Shogun mini-series starring his favorite actor, Richard Chamberlain.
"No one can touch Richard Chamberlain for dramatic acting!"
Armed members of the cruise line crew moved into the dining room. Their rapid movements and excited words disturbs the man who was waiting anxiously for a bag for his eclairs. They were talking in another language and they were shouting. How rude. This was supposed to be a nice relaxing cruise.
The ticking orange item was examined and removed. As the armed, non-english speaking crew members moved it out of the room, the man could take no more. He took his belt off and went running after them in the most threatening manner imaginable.
"Take his shoes"
"His liver will make a nice mayonaise."
"Choose your last words carefully, iron gullet!"
"John Rhys-Davies has been in every worthwhile film ever made!"
* Waiting can sometimes take a long time. If you have an important meeting and the bus is late, bite the bullet and call a cab.
** Leeches are no longer considered of medicinal value, thanks to millions spent by the pharmacuetical industry on lobbying.
*** Long hair is not attractive on men or women and is a sign of rebellion. Shun such people at all times.
**** It is politically incorrect to call someone a waiter or a waitress. Call them a server, even though that has much more demeaning connotations.
***** Ice cream requires refrigeration and should not at any time be place in the pocket of a coat, jacket or pair of dress slacks.
****** All scenes of violence have been removed from this story in order to protect small children whose parents allow them to freely browse the internet.