Rushville Republican


April 19, 2013

Stuart: Cursing, make that cruising toward a cruise

RUSHVILLE — We took a cruise for our spring break vacation this year. It worked out just as I hoped it would; a ship far out in the ocean was the only place I could run and hide from my co-workers’ mockery of my NCAA basketball tournament bracket.

In other ways, the cruise didn’t work out just as I hoped it would. For example, even though we chose a Carnival boat, there were no mishaps with engines that led to drifting at sea for days without working toilets. Darn it. Just think of the hilarious columns I could’ve written from an experience like THAT.

Actually, the main reason we chose to cruise was that this is the last year we felt we could ever hope to persuade No. 3 son, age 17, to go on spring break with his family. And cruising was the carrot that made that happen. Thus our goal was achieved of vacationing as a family. Although in No. 3’s case, this only meant that, each evening, he’d join us in the dining room for a meal, where we got a precious 33 minutes (maximum) of “quality time” with him. This consisted mainly of trying to get more than one-word answers from him about how he spent his day, and repeatedly saying “No” when he asked if he could leave before dessert.

You’ll not that I didn’t refer to the meal we gathered for each evening as “supper.” On a cruise, it’s kind of hard to know when you’re eating the last meal of any particular day, because you might, maybe, perhaps find yourself a mite peckish a bit after that repast and find yourself gorging on some of the other foodstuffs positioned a strategic six steps apart from bow to stern.

At least, that’s how the edibles were stationed on the “Lido” Deck. Every deck on our ship, the Carnival Liberty, has a poetic name like that: “The Promenade Deck”; “The Riviera Deck”; “The Empress Deck”; “The Verandah Deck.” And so on. Except for Deck 6, the deck our rooms were on. It has a most prosaic, mundane name, “The Upper Deck.” This left me feeling flat on a couple of levels. First of all, with seven more decks above it, how can it be the “Upper” deck? Also, The kids felt like I had gone all skinflint on them, buying just the cheapest accommodations available, which it what always happens when I take them to sporting events and buy seats in the furthest reaches from the action (as in, the upper deck).

We started the vacation off with that most delightful of rituals, the treasured 12-hour, white-knuckle drive on the U.S. Interstate Highway System. Yes, yes, kids, you’re right. . .I went all skinflint on ya, and didn’t fly us down to Miami. But wasn’t it worth it to hear some of my colorful language when encountering drivers going 187 miles an hour while simultaneously talking on cellular devices, tailgating me, changing lanes as often as they blinked, and making obscene gestures at me for “slowing them down?”

The only thing better was the 70 minutes it took us to travel a five mile stretch of interstate 95. We were stuck in a monster backup on Good Friday which we ultimately discovered was caused by a multi-car crack-up; probably, I’m not saying I know for sure, but prahhhh-bably caused by every one of the drivers of the multi-cars involved driving in the manner described above.

My knuckles got so white that we eventually had to stop for the night a couple hours short of Miami. I chose a hotel as close as I could find to Stuart, Fla., which I thought would really tickle my kids’ fancy. They gave me that perfunctory and obviously phony “Cool” response that teenagers give when they’re completely unimpressed by something. Their meals at the Chili’s restaurant next to the hotel generated 144 times more excitement from them.

No. 5 son got to enjoy his birthday waking up in that “Stuart” hotel, which meant he got a bunch of cool presents just before embarking on the final two hour drive to Miami. His favorite gift , by far, was the new word he learned, a name I called this one guy who was driving in the manner described three paragraphs above.



Text Only
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.