(In which our hero returns from the Caribbean...)

Posted by Job O Brother, February 23, 2009 03:45pm | Post a Comment

I should've been so lucky...

I’ve just returned from a two week cruise in the Caribbean islands.

Stop right there! Undoubtedly your reaction is one of jealousy, but it’s unfounded – or would be, if the cruise you went on was the same as mine. Not so much a “luxury cruise” as it was… well… a floating Budget Inn. I was confounded gastronomically, degraded socially, and had an overall poopy time. You should be no more jealous of me than you would of some forgettable uncle who attended a dental convention one week in Sacramento. Olé.

One of the many, many awful attributes this cruise had was the piping of pop music in the halls; a convoluted mix that sounded as though it had been compiled by a twelve-year-old schoolgirl using her tape recorder and whatever radio station came in best. Now, even this is an improvement over, say, smooth jazz or Top 40 contemporary country, but they not only re-looped the same music (imagine hearing this every seventh hour!) but kept it playing all through the night! Had the cabins been sound-proof, this would’ve been fine, but they weren’t. So every night, I could hear the muffled beat of Kylie Minogue from the door, the thirty-something, sex-crazed, Italian couple making babies on the forward side, and what sounded like a TB ward on the aft. Olé.

My iPod became an important part of my survival kit, and I found myself gravitating towards easy-listening music; something to soothe the myriad ways in which my humanity was compromised. (Ever been molested by a shower curtain? It happened to me, daily. Ever eat a lasagna that tasted of peppermint candy and WD40? I have, now.)

There's no amount of parmesan cheese that can help this.

I couldn’t get enough of Anita Kerr. For those of you unfamiliar with her, she’s a singer / composer / producer of large success but smaller fame, these days. Her hey-day was the 1960’s, where her talents were lent to many projects beside her own. Anyone who listens to country music from that period has almost certainly enjoyed her handiwork, whether you knew it or not.

More recently, one of her compositions was sampled for the Madonna song "Drowned World/Substitute for Love."

Another life saver was the group The Sandpipers. They, too, enjoyed their greatest success in the 60’s, where they covered songs with their trademark mellow harmonizing. Not only is their music sumptuous and relaxing, I’ve learned it aids in the digestion of cruise-line room service brownies, which are apparently made of powered fructose and dried bone marrow. Olé.

Anyway, I’m glad to be back here with you, dear reader. You never try to coax me into a conga line with tipsy, sunburned senior citizens from France, nor have you ever brought me two bowls of soup and a bucket of ice after I phoned and asked you for some hair conditioner. We’ve got a pretty sweet thing going on here, you and I, and if I don’t say it enough, I’m saying it now. I totally like you.

Like, more than friends.

Relevant Tags

1960's (84), Easy Listening (6), Ipod (21), Kylie Minogue (10), Air Supply (2), Anita Kerr (1), The Sandpipers (2), Madonna (47)