Friday, December 18, 2015

Caught In the Hall In my Boxers

This is pretty long, but I was telling the story to a friend the other day and he said, "You have GOT to post this!"

So, here we go......

I was bent over, placing a tray of half-empty coffee cups, half-eaten muffins and bagels, dirty utensils and empty milk cartons on the hall floor outside our cruise-ship cabin when I heard the door click shut behind me.

To be honest, the door, or lock, I should say, wasn't behind me, it was about 10 inches from my head, or really, my ear. So, when the metal of the lock met the metal of the door facing I heard two clicks. It was almost as if they spoke, "Hi there." Click, click. "You're back." Click, click. Or, "Stu-pid."

I don't speak fluent door lock, but I'm pretty sure it was, "Stu-pid."

If you've ever had a situation like this happen to you, you know there are, basically, a couple of ways it can go: 

1) You can be wearing your cargo shorts and a Key West Green Parrot Bar t-shirt, the one that says, "EXCESS in Monderation," and your hair's a little messy and you feel pretty sheepish. You knock on the door and your cabin companion comes to the other side of the door, but doesn't open it. They do the whole, "Who issss iiiit?" and you say something reasonably cute such as, "It's Saaaanntttaaa! I couldn't find the chimneeee!" And they open the door and you both laugh and they say, "You are such a dope!" and you both do another little laugh and you walk in the cabin.

Or, there's the way it happened to me.

2) The only thing you have on is Minion boxer shorts. This look works if you're 8 years-old and helping mom by taking the tray outside after breakfast. It works less well if you're a 63-year old, short, thick, gray-haired man who simply thinks the Minions are hysterical and doesn't expect a lot of folks to see him in his prized Minion boxers. Next, the chance of knocking and having your travel companion come to the door is pretty much impossible since she's stting on the balcony with the outside door--think of a bank vault door--closed.

All I was going to do was put the trash outside, do a good deed, clean up a little. I mean, what's wrong with that? What's the line, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished?

So, whataya do in a situation like this? You do the only thing you can; you man-up, act like nothing's wrong, like you walk around in nothing but Minion,  and go looking for someone who can let you back in your cabin.

My first thought is that I could knock on the doors of one of our neighbors and ask them to lean around one of the partitions that divide our balcony from those on the left and right and ask my friend to come open the door. Unfortunately, the door on the right has a doorhanger reading, "Cruisin'," which means they are out; and the door on the left has, "Snoozin'," which means they don't want to be disturbed.

We are mid-ship, so when I look left and right, up and down the hallway, it looks like a mirrored view of miles of carpet and hundreds of doors. The only anomaly, the only blip on the screen, is Ferry, the Phillipino maid, and her cart. Ferry, who is loading towels on her arm to carry into a room, seems about as far away from me as Charlotte is from Raleigh, except there is no curve in the hallway like there is in I-85 at Greensboro. She is, in fact, so far away that I can't just call, "Hey Ferry! Could you help me please?!" My only choice is to do a Bataan Death March to where she is, risking folks coming out of the hundred or so rooms between me and her.

We've enjoyed meeting Ferry. She's wonderfully professional and cordial and makes little animals out of towels and leaves them in the room at night for us to find when we return from dinner. I'm sure we're the only ones she's doing it for.

As I start walking in Ferry's direction the hall telescopes like the scene in The Shining. I'm walking so long I think, "Maybe I should have brought the rest of that bagel and what was left of the butter and jelly as provisions." But, I don't have any pockets in my Minion boxers. I mean, if I'd've had pockets I'd've brought a key, right? It feels like I've been walking for a day or two. It's hard to tell on a cruise ship because, like Vegas casinos and Subways, there aren't any clocks so it's hard to have a good sense of time.

As I drag up to Ferry's cart I notice a half-finished bottle of water, THANK GOD!! AN OASIS! But, just as I reach for the water, Ferry walks out of a room with an armload of dirty towels. She stops and stares at me  with an, "I didn't know they made Minion boxers in that big a size," kind of look.

"Yes?," she asks.

I offer, "Uh, hi Ferry. I'm sure you have this happen all the time. I've locked myself out of my cabin. Can you help me?"

Big smile.

She offers, "I never have this happen!"

"Really?" I ask, "How long have you worked for the cruise line?"

"Sixteen year."


"Could you help me get back in my cabin. I've locked myself out."

She's still looking at the Minions.



"No. Only cabin steward, Wayan, can unlock door. You call room on phone."

"Mmm...that won't work. My friend is on the balcony reading and has the door closed."

Ferry says, "No problem!"

For whom?

And she adds, "I call Wayan," and walks through a door with a Crew Only sign. 

At this point a door behind me opens and I hear a little girl yell, "Look daddy! That man has Minions!"

As I turn I see a young family pile out into the hall with their pool gear. The little girl, about 10, is wearing a Minions bathing suit. I'm trying to get small enough to hide behind the laundry cart and she's pointing back and forth at her suit and then my boxers; suit-boxers, suit-boxers, suit boxers. Dad's big, about 6'4" or 5," around 280, and looks like he's had a beverage or 9 at various times. Mom is about half dad's height, weighs about 70 pounds and is dragging a snivelling little boy who looks about 5 who's whining, "I DON'T WANT TO GO SWIMMING!" 

I do the little alligator arm wave and mumble, "Locked out."

As they turn up the hall dad gives me the, "Better you than me," look. When they make the turn to the lobby mom looks up at Shamu and asks, "You remembered our key, right?"

About 5 minutes later, Wayan shows up, all smiles, and trudges with me back to our cabin. As he unlocks the door he says, "No problem, Mr. Mike. I do all the time." A gentleman.

When I open the vault door and step out onto the balcony my companion asks, "What took you so long? You planning on wearing those Minions all day?"

You know, it feels like it.

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