A Nightmare Vacation

July 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

A long overdue vacation is abruptly cut short when the captain of my cruise ship announces that we are sinking. He explains the situation is a result of navigational error and  his troubled youth. A brief counseling session is held to return the captain’s spirits, and he orders his crew to begin the evacuation process. Stampedes of poorly dressed mid-westernites flood the promenade deck in an effort to obtain prime window seating on the available life boats. Having stopped off at the on-board market for chocolate bars, I arrive far behind most of the crowds and am informed that no more emergency vessels are available. I’ve never had a particular apatite for chocolate, but I can recount a litany of fictional characters who, in survival situations,  always seemed to have chocolate on hand. Naturally, I assume it is a staple in such matters.

I am instructed to file into one of a dozen lines scattered throughout the ship, where I will be issued a flotation device with light, beacon, and whistle. I question the practicality of such an approach but my opinions are only met with aggravated stares and exasperated sighs. After some time in queue, I finally reach the end where the Physical Activities Director is providing passengers with an assortment of life saving apparati to choose from. The options come in a variety of shapes and sizes; Vests and belts and cushions and donuts and sticks and bags and tubes and boards and boxes and rings and jackets and other formations to complex to describe. I scratch my chin while surveying the available pieces. I don’t want something too bulky, but obviously not too small either. I know I definitely need something with storage for my chocolate bars, and I’d certainly prefer a single occupancy device.

The array of gear and instruments becomes dizzying and I grip the side rail for assistance. I can feel  dozens of eyes burning a hole in my back as I debate the options in front of me and the stress only further induces me to nausea. The Physical Activities Director  begins to tap her foot anxiously and I can tell her patience is running thin. I pick up a brightly colored orange vest, only to realize it is sized for a child. I place it back on the floor as an uproar of frustrated cries and berating words flood from the crowd. A majority of the boat is submerged by this point, and the slightest bit of water begins to lap across my feet, pushing and tugging on the lighter flotation aids.

I can feel the chocolate bars melting in my pocket under the hot summer sun, and I find myself wondering how many lives I’ve taken thus far with my incessant indecision.

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