Saturday, June 11, 2011

Entry 83 6.5.11

Entry 83, June 5th, 2011, 11:20pm (ship time GMT +2)

Our bass player was discharged and sent home today for medical reasons . . . he never did really get it back together after his attack last week and so now he is gone for good. Hopefully back home he has a chance to rest and figure out what went wrong.

This leaves us in a bit of a spot, though. None of the other bands on the ship have a bassist at the moment, and so we're fresh out of bass players. For tonight's show, the musical director (who plays trombone) played the bass part on a keyboard while I covered the trombone parts on trumpet. This may work to cover the week's headliners (most of them don't write for two trumpets anyway), and we can probably cover Gary's parts in the shows with the backing track, but big band and jazz sets are totally out of the question and the other bands are picking up the slack. If anybody shows up needing two trumpets and trombone for their stage show we might be in trouble. Hopefully we'll be able to limp along until Miami sends us a new bass player (heh, I wonder if they'll call Lincoln to end his vacation early. He'd been on the ship ten months straight, but he's had three weeks of vacation, right?).

Also, our pianist just found out that his dad has cancer. If he leaves on compassion leave the rhythm section is going to start looking pretty thin . . .

After only two weeks on the davit team, my boat drill assignment has been changed yet again. Now I am working at a passenger muster station. Boat drills are pretty easy (at least compared to working the life raft station) but now I have to do passenger drill (PAX drill) as well. Passenger drill happens at the beginning of every cruise on turnaround day after all the guests are aboard but before we leave the harbor. International law requires us to hold this drill so that all the passengers know where their lifeboats are before we set sail. Working a muster station means that I have to check off the guests on the master list so that we know they've attended and then arrange them in orderly fashion along the deck. It also means that I get to indulge my inner flight attendant (now there's a phrase I never thought I would use) and mime the proper use of a life jacket as the captain explains their use over the ship's PA system. “Please remember that smoking is not allowed in the cabin or lavatories at any time. Tampering with a lavatory smoke detector is a federal offense. There are two exits at each end of the cabin, but please keep in mind that the closest exit may be behind or above you . . . as the fragile aluminum fuselage has been shredded by slamming into the ground at five hundred miles an hour.”

My favorite guests are the ones who are already drunk and begin miming things back at me as I put the life jacket on. Classy, guys, classy . . .

Speaking of drinking, I learned an extremely dangerous drinking game on the back deck last night. I don't know if it has a name, but the one rule is that if someone strikes the beverage you are drinking with a bottlecap while you are drinking it, you immediately have to chug whatever you are drinking. Dangerous enough when played with beer, yes, but my poor roommate had just gotten a rum and coke with four shots of Captain Morgan in it when someone hit his glass with a bottlecap. Like I said, dangerous.


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