I love vacations, I love drinking, I love meeting hot women, and I love pirates. Thusly, I figured, mixing all those things together into one full week of cruising around the Caribbean Sea on a ship whose sole purpose was to entertain and feed me would be the most perfect of the perfect things that could ever happen to me in my short, disgusting life. In theory, this assumption is flawless; in reality there was just one major complication with this philosophy: Evil incarnate.
Back in March, it was actually the Wolfman's idea to go on a cruise; though the Wolfman's original plans were for him to go alone, and sneak aboard enough explosives to bring the entire vessel down to Davy Jones' locker in some strange, violent, and altogether just a little fucked up love letter to Satan. I talked him into letting me come along, and then I "accidentally" detonated all his C4 in his apartment shortly before the trip. The blast took out a couple of neighboring complexes (some packed with illegal aliens), some stray dogs and about 1,000 bottles of leftover Billy Beer that the Wolfman had been storing for when the South "rose up again" (I told you he was evil; Billy Beer is the drink of the damned), and although I mourned the illegals, that was not the time to wallow in self pity for having to mow my own lawn until I found a replacement for Raul Hernandez Johnson.... That was the time to start buying sun tan lotion, to begin practicing me pirate talk, and to think of ingenious ways to smuggle alcohol onto our cruise ship. I didn't think much of deciding to still travel with a pissed off Wolfman at that point, but I should have. See, the Wolfman doesn't believe that vengeance is a dish best served cold; he believes that it's a dish best served with warm dog droppings and a soccer cleat up one's ass—possibly with a pair of pliers at one's ballsack.
YO HO, ALTOGETHER! RAISE THE COLORS HIGH!
So the reservations were made, the tickets bought, and shore excursions lined up. Then traveling day began. It was a Sunday. I picked up the Wolfman at Kuni's place (which the hairy one took over after I Nagasaki'd his own home) at 9AM (precisely as I planned), and we immediately began playing little Jimmy Norton's autobiography audio book, Happy Endings, because Jimmy is a comedy god.
The trip was pretty much uneventful, except for the strange biblical floods we'd encountered as soon as we left drought-stricken Georgia and cruised into water-hazard Florida, and for my hearty attempts to perfect my pirate talk before we made it to Tampa, where our cruise was heading out from.
HEAVE HO, THIEVES AND BEGGARS...
We got to Tampa in the late evening and checked into our hotel (a fucking Hilton—the Wolfman had previously promised me that it was the cheapest hotel in town.... at $95 a night.... we had passed about 50 Days Inns and Red Roof Inns within ten miles of Tampa with billboards advertising $30 - $50 a night. At least we had twin queen beds [this bit of extraneous info added once my editor asked me if we cuddled that night]). I was tired after driving the whole way, so after a crappy steak dinner at some local shit hole I decided to crash. The Wolfman stayed up a little bit longer watching some History Channel documentary on the Battle of Thermopylae and the 300 Spartans (wherein I could hear him cheering for the Persians), and then he turned out the lights. 10 minutes later he turned on the CHAINSAW—full blast.
Apparently the Wolfman has a snoring problem. No, wait, that's putting it way too fucking mildly. The Wolfman has a little troll in his throat that sounds like a grizzly bear who just got his foot stuck in a bear trap while operating a power saw on a redwood. Honestly, you're going to think that I'm making up just how loud he is, but not even the earplugs that I brought to help me sleep on the ship (thinking our cheap-ass tickets had us next to the boilers) did anything to tone down the scream-snoring that he was producing. The earplugs blocked out the jet-engine air conditioning unit, but barely took the Wolfman's nocturnal bellows down a few decibels. I've imitated the volume and ferocity of the Wolfman's scream-snores to friends since then, and it hurts my throat after just two refrains. I honestly have no idea how he can snore like that all night long and not wake himself or even feel it the next day.
After trying to sleep through it for an hour, and then after spending another couple of hours sitting up in my bed yelling out "WOLFMAN!...... WOLFMAN!...." every few seconds in time with his night-shreiks, I gave up, put on my shoes, and went down to the 24 hour hotel gym. Then I ran on the treadmill for an hour and a half, and about 7 or 8 miles. I figured that that was fucking BOUND to make me so exhausted that nothing would be able to keep me awake once I hit my pillow. Unfortunately, during that time I was gone the Wolfman apparently found his snoring groove, and he was at a fever pitch when I stumbled back into the room at around 3:30AM. I think I threw a pillow at him, which caused him to stop for about 5 seconds, but then continue vocally cutting down timber with his mighty roar.
I spent the next few hours silently cursing him with my bloodshot eyes wide open.
NEVER SHALL WE DIE
I don't know how the hell it happened, but eventually time passed and the alarm went off at 8:00AM. The Wolfman got up, stretched, and fully rested said, "Get the fuck up, man. We gots to move."
I explained my situation to the Wolfman thusly: "I... I didn't get any sleep last night. Zero. None. Nada. Nyet. Not even for a single minute... I need at least 2 hours to function. You NEED to give me two hours to function... Tell you what, to keep you busy how about you go to that Wal-Mart that we passed last night? It's only a mile away... Go there and buy me some Breathe-Right strips... I'll pay you back. Please, GOD, just gimme two hours..."
He left, and I was out like a goombah who got his head smashed in by a baseball bat swung by a disappointed "family" member. The alarm went off at 10, and although I could have gone for another 5-12 hours easy, I figured I ought to get up and get moving just in case the Wolfman got back from his shopping (and decided to do something to my sleeping corpse). A quick shave and shower later and I was relatively good to go. It was around 10:30 by then, and I was beginning to wonder where the Wolfman was. I recalled two hours earlier that I didn't give him my car keys and thought he probably just walked there and back (like I said, it was only a mile away). Just as I picked up my cell phone and turned it on to call him, the hairy one kicked in the door to the room. He was pissed. Actually, he was PISSED.
The Port Authority personnel started unloading my car without even asking (crushing my suitcases under the Wolfman's dog-hair covered one.... My GOD, I can fucking bitch about anything, can't I!). The main luggage rat then turned to me and said, "If you leave your car keys with me I can give them to the valet and he will only charge you $85 to take care of your car for you." The Wolfman yanked my keys from my hand and started handing them to the tool when I grabbed his wrist and then pointed across the street to a 6-level parking garage.
"What's that?" I asked. "Is that where I was told by the travel agent I could park for $60 for the whole cruise, instead of $85, plus tip, for a stranger to drive my car away like those two ass-clowns in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?"
"Oh...... Um, that... Yeah, that's only like sixty bucks... But, ummmmmmmmmmmm..... But the valet will have your car ready for you the minute you get off the boat if you use him!"
"..................That parking garage is right across the fucking street. It's, honestly, only like fifty yards away. How is that much of a walk worth $30 more?...... Oh, hey, that's where the valet would park it too, isn't it?!"
But the luggage rat was already working on the next suckers behind me and didn't bother to answer. Fuck you, luggage rat!
I'M THE KING OF THE WOR--.... SORRY.
We made it. The Wolfman and I had finally made it—Tampa, the Inspiration, and a week of freedom. The boarding process was simple enough (mostly blue-hairs who didn't even bother checking the 2 dozen Listerine liter bottles I had on me to see if the contents were indeed Rum and colored Vodka.... Half were, half were really different flavors of Listerine in case they did check. This led to some fairly disgusting taste tests later on that evening to be sure), and within minutes we were on the floating palace! Within hours we would be in international waters and the ship-wide orgy would begin!... At least that's what the MegaPlayboy had told me. I should have known better than to trust the word of a used-panty vendor when it comes to real or imagined sexual exploits and the laws of maritime and human nature and physics.