The Old Switcheroo

Thursday December 30th, 2010 – Belize City, Belize

The old switcheroo. Today I signed off one ship and got right back on another, and it’s all starting to blend together and look the same. I don’t know what day it is, what port it is or what ship I’m on – and I don’t even drink. Keeping track of everything is impossible.

Belize is different from other places like Grand Cayman or Cozumel in that ships can’t pull right up to a dock. The water is very shallow so they have to drop anchor out a ways and we take tender boats back and forth. It’s about a fifteen minute ride depending on the person operating the tender boat, and they come in various sizes and can ride quite rough.

Today the guy had ants in his pants and had his boat on full blast the whole way over to Belize and I thought we were going to flip the damn thing over. It wasn’t a big boat at all, and the way he had it cranked up I thought for sure we were all going to perish violently.

Getting back and forth to work shouldn’t involve fear and the administering of last rites. We must have made it in what seemed like world record time, and I was glad to have the chance to be able to walk away in one piece. The ‘captain’ had a couple of gold teeth and some long dreadlocks, and nobody ever asked to see his license or operating credentials.

I got off that tender boat and had to go to the customs office and drop off my paperwork and then get right back on another one to get to my new ship which was anchored not that far from the one I got off. There were also other cruise ships from other lines there, and it looked like a used ship lot. I arrived on my new ship, signed in and headed for my cabin.

As soon as I opened the door I knew I had just been here a couple of weeks ago. There’s a desk with an office chair that’s as uncomfortable as I’ve ever sat in. Also, there are a set of bunk beds and I can’t sit up in the bottom without smashing my coconut hard on top.

Also, the cable TV setup is slightly different on this ship. Here I happen to get the CNN Headline News Channel and TCM and it makes a huge difference. Sometimes it feels like I lose track with home, and having CNN keeps me informed. Plus, they have one hot babe after another from Robin Meade to Susan Hendricks to Virginia Cha to make it palatable.

If I’m going to have to hear about death and destruction, I’d rather hear it from a red hot mama than some Wolf Blitzer wannabe in a cheap suit. Those women are spectacular and I wonder where they find them all? There have to be SOME ugly ones in anchor school.

We didn’t have any shows tonight, and I was kind of surprised. Tomorrow will be a big night for New Year’s Eve, and then we work the following night also. I’m working with a guy named Hal ‘Chickie’ Spear I met years ago in L.A. at the Gene Perret Round Table.

Hal is a long time veteran and has written on staff for Arsenio Hall, Howie Mandel and a whole lot more. He’s a comedy lifer, and we hit it off great. I’ll learn from him and it’s good to reconnect. He’s been on the ships for a few years now. This will be a good week.

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