Friday, January 20, 2012

968 Cruisin'

S968  Cruisin’

First off, those cruise ships are not ships, they’re gaudy floating amusement parks with motors.  Second, why would anyone get on one when you can join 4,000 of your closest friends anywhere on dry land at a huge saving?

You can overeat at Burger King for three percent of the price of the cruise and no one’s ever gotten e-coli there.  Plus no worries about dirty silverware or leering waiters or chintzy lounge acts that can’t make it in Vegas or Atlantic City.

You can inhale industrial waste in Detroit and not have to worry about Legionnaire's disease.  Better yet, you can smoke and chances are your health insurance will cover most of the cost of treatment and you won’t risk drowning.

Can you imagine the captain of the Titanic or the Lusitania or the General Slocum or the Edmund Fitzgerald saying “I tripped and fell 17 stories right into a lifeboat and am directing the evacuation of the Costa Concordia from there”? Half the lifeboats didn’t deploy, but the captain and his lifeboat did.

Can you imagine the Coast Guard having to shout down the Captain of the Andrea Doria or the Dona Paz having to be told not to leave his ship until everyone else was off?

At this writing, we don’t yet know how many people died because a waiter asked the captain to turn off the autopilot and cruise closer to his on-shore home.  And we don’t know what passes for “Captain” on some of these amusement floats.

The worst recorded shipwreck was the Dona Paz (the “n” in Dona should have a “tilde” over it, making it pronounced “DON-ya.”) Four thousand people died.  The Titanic: 1517 lives.  The Slocum: 1021.  The Andrea Doria: 43 right away, a few more soon after and 14 trying to salvage the wreck.  The Edmund Fitzgerald:  29.

Perspective:  Even if the death toll reaches 50, this is far from the worst in history, unless, of course, it’s your loved ones who died.  But it could be one of the stupidest.

Shrapnel:

--Betty White was really pretty as a young woman.  And now, at 90, she’s still pretty.  And talented.

--Newt Gingrich came out of the closet in South Carolina.  If ever you doubted he was a racist, you now have your proof.  The other guys are better at keeping secrets like that.

--If Romney wins in SC and in FL, the rest of the dwarfs should give up, because they don’t have a chance.  And Mitt will likely win the election.  A good thing, since America has had such good luck with businessman presidents -- like G.W. Bush and H. Hoover.

Have You Noticed?  The world didn’t collapse when Wikipedia blacked itself out for a day in protest against proposed legislation to put much of the internet in private corporate hands, but a second day of that might have done the trick.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

No comments: