Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Babymoon Part 2

One of the perks of taking a cruise ship is the extravagant dinners. EntrĂ©es featuring steak, lobster, duck, and lamb are included in the price of the trip allowing middle class Americans to eat like a Roman emperor without concerning themselves with the check. The one miscalculation I made was assuming that my wife’s pregnancy cravings would momentarily subside while we were in international waters.

So one evening while the rest of the boat gorged themselves on gorgonzola and fillet mignon, my wife experienced an insatiable urge to consume a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Being the dutiful husband, I called room service and requested a bowl of her desired cereal. I did not foresee this being an issue since that particular item had been freely available on the breakfast bar every morning of our journey.

However, when I requested Frosted Flakes there was a long pause before the gentleman informed me that they could only provide Raisin Bran or Corn Flakes. After being reassured by my wife that no substitute would be accepted, I again pleaded that they simple grab a couple of boxes destined for the next morning’s buffet. Again, I was met with strong opposition and they told me that they “did not have access to those boxes at this time.” Given the staff’s propensity for going above and beyond, I was somewhat taken aback by the refusal to comply and even more concerned about the apparent security precautions concerning a children’s breakfast cereal. 

Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I went to the deck with the breakfast bar thinking if the door was unlocked I could swipe a couple of boxes and no one would be the wiser. Finding the outer door ajar, I walked in but was immediately confronted by a nearby employee who kindly informed me that I was not allowed in that area and suggested I take advantage of a different culinary offering.

Undeterred, I went to the upstairs balcony which featured a pizzeria and overlooked the dining room I had just been kicked out of. I then approached a young gentleman who was cleaning a table and I explained my situation. He digested my request for a moment, replied he would see what he could do and then instructed me to “go stand over there and not follow him or make eye contact.”

I obediently sat at a table and pretended to read e-mails on my phone for the next few minutes. When he finally emerged from the back he was empty-handed and I assumed that he had been unable to obtain “the goods,” but as he approached me he cut his eyes toward a nearby corner. Once we were only a few feet apart he reached into his pockets and produced two small pouches of Frosted Flakes that he had apparently de-boxed in an effort to avoid detection.

As we completed the transfer he reminded me that I “hadn’t gotten these from him, and didn’t know where they came from.” I assured him that I would never divulge my source and he quickly slinked away. The gravity of the situation was so overwhelming that I half expected our stateroom to be tossed for breakfast paraphernalia.

In my haste, I had also forgotten to acquire a bowl, spoon, and milk so once I was back in the room I called room service again. Undoubtedly thrilled to see my room number on their caller ID, they asked if I had finally decided on a cereal. I responded that I wished to simply have a bowl, spoon, and milk delivered to my room since I wasn’t willing to admit I had acquired my desired cereal by nefarious means.

Concerned that I was now ordering cereal accessories out of spite, they reminded me that if I wanted milk they could provide a glass instead of me drinking it out of the bowl. I replied that I preferred my milk in this manner. They again clarified that I wished to have all of the necessary components of cereal consumption without any actual cereal. I again confirmed. There was then a short pause and I began to wish I had simply ordered Raisin Bran to assuage their suspicions. Finally they agreed to make the drop.

Once I ended the call, I took some cash and went back upstairs to slip my source some money for his trouble. I walked around the area with my hand in pocket long enough to make several people uncomfortable, but was still unable to locate my co-conspirator so I decided to try and locate him the next day.

Despite several attempts to compensate the young man, I never saw him again. Perhaps we simply kept missing one another but I couldn’t help but wonder if, given the draconian nature of Frosted Flakes dispensation regulations onboard the vessel, the captain hadn’t had him executed. I can just imagine the poor guy being water-boarded while the cruise director paces back and forth saying, “Don’t be a hero Ralph, our breakfast canine alerted on your work chinos I won’t allow a repeat of the Carnival Cruise Corn Pops scandal of ’99 on my watch.”

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