It’s a tough break. There you are on the Queen Mary 2 drinking your second Margarita of the morning, barely got a glow on as you leave Fort Lauderdale behind. Your breakfast of dead lobster garnished with fried turtle eggs, caviar and some mutilated endangered species arrives and suddenly you hear that the boat is not going to be able to do all the ports on the itinerary because it damaged its propeller leaving dock. What a to do. Throws you right off your stride. How careless you think. You’re stranded on board, doomed to pace the miles of decking in the tropical sun, the endless shows, films to watch, parties to attend but, no land. You wonder what to do as you stand there listening to the live strains of Carly Simon or some other slightly worn performer, wafting through the doors of your stateroom. It’s a disaster. Together with the other desperate passengers you decide to stage a sit-in or at least pay someone to sit-in for you when you arrive at port. “We’re not having this.” You bark as your butler stamps his foot on your behalf, for which you tip him fifty bucks.

“Just think,” intones your well stuffed buxom wife who not two hours ago you were shafting up against the railings of your private stateroom balcony – from behind – as you watched the dawn rise, “…the hardship. We must clobber the company for all we can get.” she says and you nod in sombre agreement.

Later when it is all sorted out and you get all your money back, plus the free cruising and boozing and feeding and you dock in Rio De Janeiro, you disembark feeling ruffled but satisfied with the outcome. A scruffy ragamuffin homeless, glue sniffing 10 year old street urchin dressed in rags runs up to you, hand outstretched for a couple of dollars. You say nothing, you don’t even see him, you walk on and your wife mutters, “Disgusting.” under her breath. When you are a decent distance away and heading for your cab you say quietly to your wife, “If he only knew what we’ve been through baby.” “I know honey,” she says , “I know.”

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