A Simple Proposition

I have a simple proposition. A way to make everyone happy. I am suggesting that we do away with life as we know it on land (I don’t mean life, literally, but rather our way of life). All that’s needed are the oceans, and cruise ships—lots and lots of cruise ships.

If you have not traveled on a cruise ship, and have made up your mind that they are impossibly fun or relaxing, may I please ask you to set aside your inhibitions and try one out. If you can’t manage the time to sneak away, then at least take it upon yourself to visit any of the ports and witness the sorrowful sight of the pitiful mass exodus of depressed souls who are disembarking their ship. Watch them shuffle along, dragging their baggage like mourning pallbearers laboriously handling the weight of their long lost companion. A companion whose life ended all too abruptly, and was never allowed enough time to be given a deserving farewell.

People do not want to leave cruise ships. They DO NOT want to leave them.

Three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. Think of the pros: no roadway infrastructure, no stop lights, no waiting on trains, no delayed air flights, no weed eaters, no flat tires, and no mad dashes to Home Depot for flash lights, AA batteries, and a gas powered, 150-pound generator because an impending ice storm is blowing into town.

Cruise ships can accommodate our terrestrial way of life. Think professional sports will be no more? No problem! As big as the ships are these days, all you’ll have to do is weld four or five of them together, throw in some turf and voila!—Soldier Stadium. Schools and Universities? That’ll be eight ships and couple hundred welders please.

The cons can be easily negated. Hurricanes? Ships go around them. Motion sickness? Stick a Transderm Scop Patch behind your ear and you’ll be jumping rope on the ship’s bow in no time! Ship full of folks you don’t care for? Corrupt politicians, greedy lawyers, or obnoxious in-laws can all be thrown overboard. “You grab the hands, I’ll grab the feet!…One, two, three!!…”

I’m getting way ahead of myself. Let’s back up to simpler things like food (specifically cheesecake) that dictate why life should evolve on cruise ships.

People travel on the ships to eat. To eat whatever they want, whenever they want. Whether it’s ice cream at 6:12am, 10:39am, 4:42pm, or 11:59pm, it is readily available. Fresh seafood, roasted garlic potatoes, twenty different salads, and cheesecake are all waiting for you. Strawberry cheesecake, raspberry cheesecake, quadruple chocolate chunk cheesecake, and on-and-on cheesecake. When you eat it, your eyes close softly, and your head sways back and forth playfully as if weighing merely an ounce, like the pure enjoyment of a child floating back and forth on a tree swing caught in a lazy warm autumn breeze. Every molecule of flavor is savored as that first bite rests in your mouth. The bites that follow get progressively tastier as it becomes crystal clear that you are not only far from your troubles on land, but you are floating on one hundred and ten thousand tons of pampering iron steel. So oddly lovable and soothing is the massive sea hulk, that every waking moment is one in which you nearly have to pinch yourself to make sure this isn’t a fairy tale. And if you should fall asleep while eating cheesecake on a cozy ocean-view lounge chair, there’s a good chance it will slide off your lap. But you are not to worry. Within minutes, one of the crew members will clean the spill, upright you, then set on your lap a fresh, new slice. You will wake up not having skipped a beat.

The cheesecake argument makes for only part of an irrefutable case for moving life onto cruise ships. Here are some other issues taken care of:

Understand that dealing with the undesirables (thieves, crooks, and people who sit behind you with air horns at sporting events) is an easy fix as they will remain on land, right smack dab in the middle of Kansas. (I realize all Kansas residents won’t take this idea very lightly, but once they’ve boarded the ship and have their toes dangling in a top deck swimming pool while watching the Minions on the outdoor jumbo screen, the ship, not Kansas, will be no place like home.)

Your jobs will also be taken care of. If you’re a doctor, there’s plenty of sprained ankles coming your way from the sport courts, as well as shuffle board tendinitis. If you work in retail, you will be sitting pretty as cruise passengers normally buy a souvenir once every nine minutes. You say you’re worried because you were a machinist. Relax. Do you realize how much work it takes to maintain a ship’s propeller? Job security is merely a creative light bulb away.

But truly the ultimate reason why we should live on cruise ships: everyone is happy. There are playful activities that bond all walks of life. When was the last time you saw a group of business men (from CEO’s to supervisors) in their swim trunks, huddled together to come up with a synchronized swimming routine—competing for a first place, golden plastic ship trophy? The same guys were also in the free-throw shooting competition up on deck ten. The day before, they were jiggling their bellies at poolside to the hip-hop tunes of M.C.Hammer during the Hairy Chest Competition. Of course, there were those men who weren’t interested in competing. They were either cheering on the competitors or were at the other end of the ship, sprawled out on a chase lounge, deep into a good book or a good sleep. Whatever inhibitions you had on land are gone. Your career or your job title means little on a ship. The person you are is all that matters. Do you hold grudges against other races? Other stereotypes? Other age groups? All that will vanish out at sea, as the immediate sense of community will go into effect once the ship pulls away from the dock. It sounds too good to be true, but it is true, and that’s so good!

The tentacles of goodwill towards your fellow man will also extend out into foreign territories.

There are too many foreign crew members to count, who, by the end of the cruise, will be high-fiving you as if you had known them since Pre-K. You will be so international that the idea of warring countries will be very difficult to comprehend.   Country presidents and international leaders will no longer be necessary, as boundaries and land rights will cease to exist. Your territory vs. my territory will be an impossibility, as everyone will move freely about the ship, coexisting together in cheesecake heaven. Seriously, what are you going to do—hold a group of Italians hostage in one of the restaurants? Hold them with what—a butter knife? A tray? All because you never liked Italians? Oh, what an argument! Look, one hour ago, Mr. Italian guy just passed you the volleyball in the pool so that you could spike the winning shot. Then, to make things better— while having forgotten that your inhibitions were left back at Miami—you hugged the guy. He barely had an accent, which left you clueless about who he was. And now, you want to hold some Italians hostage? Get a grip, or go overboard.

It really all comes down to two options: stay on land and deal with road rage, errands, and an endless list of home improvement chores, or sail away into a hypnotic burnt-orange sunset, and worry about only one thing:

 At what time shall I eat my cheesecake?

Copyright Ros Hill 2016


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