Monday, June 27, 2011

Born To Be Wild

Old people are frightening.

Not recent retirees or the spring chickens in their 60's. It must be some sort of combination of being let out of the 'Lifestyle Villages', being tube-fed martinis and knowing that every day may be their last. I've never seen so many over 80's getting jiggy with it.

Seriously. Cruise ships on longish voyages outside of school holiday season ARE generally known to attract of white middle class elderly chooks spending their late husbands' (plural) superannuation. They remind me of packs of teenage school leavers, travelling together and enjoying absolutely everything that comes their way.

Including Brad the Tradie.

Yep, he's a superstar on this cruise ship. Tall, 'strapping', doesnt mind helping people up from the table or into a wheelchair and he's good at trivia. He's a keeper. As twice-widowed Rae from our dinner table said to me, "If you're finished with him love, I'll have a go!"

The activities on board are pretty wild too. Each night we get a Princess Patter, a little newsletter with the following day's activities listed. For the old chooks this document is their lifeblood. You see them pacing around with highlighters, meeting in packs for a lar-tay to decide what the pack schedule for the day entails. Tai Chi at seven. Breakfast (stewed prunes...gotta keep reg-oo-lah!) Photography talk. Choir practice. Morning tea. Trivia. Bag making ( "ooo look Beryl! we're putting an origami fish on the bag today!") Lunch. port lecture. Movie. Afternoon tea. trivia. Craft of the day ("Is it advanced quilling do you think June? I wouldn't want to waste my time going to a beginniners class...") wine tasting, blackjack, pilates, Snowball Jackpot Bingo, Line dancing.... It goes on and on.

Brad the Tradie is an old-person's holiday fantasy. He nails away his trivia team on the first day at sea. Always. He practically interviews candidates in order to get a winning composition of people who know useless stuff. He plays to win too. Lanyards, playing cards, hats. Trivia is a competitive sport on cruise ships. Which mountain range divides Tunisia and Morocco? How many hurdles are there in the 400m event? Who was the 1938 Time magazine man of the year? when I go along occasionally, I take my vodka. Our team contains a married couple in their late sixties who are Buddhist Vegans who make money renovating pubs. Yes, really. And they know stuff. Weird stuff.

And then there's the night time.

Comedians telling viagra and prostate jokes. Formal nights with as many nanna sequins as Lincraft could muster. Juiced up iverive-shot cocktails by nine, they are all up doing Karaoke. I've never quite seen Kentucky Rose done the way Joyce did it the other night. All she needed was a pole and her bar tab could've been taken care of by the smattering of old codger dudes. We, of course, do NOT karaoke and poor BtT looks a little pained whenever we pass through. These people stay up until all hours swaying and singing along to Barbra Streisand tunes.

But moi?

I'm a little tame for this wild crowd. I'm happily alternating between reading in the sun and swimming in the sun and making sure I don't miss the free champagne at the Art show at 2:30 each day. I need to pace myself. Unlike the octogenarian pack, I've got too much to live for.

Like making sure the Wild Things don't capture my husband and cover him in honey for endless evenings of Guess That Tune. Unless he's managed to get written into the will of course. Then all bets are off!

Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf, 1968.


  1. Perhaps if you would have highlighted the Patter and kept busy doing the tings your suppose to do on board, you wouldn't be nursing a sore toe right now. Karaoke can be a great pain reliever, and if you can, get hypnatized!


  2. Aww Bradles, doing Aussie men proud. What a good sport. I'd keep an eye on those octogenarian widows, they're a wiley bunch.