Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gigi Takes a Cruise, part two

Scroll down for part one of the story.

The next morning Gigi awoke early. Her poodle, Yves, jumped on the bed from his pink velvet cushion, and Gigi contentedly kissed him on the top of the head. Then she groaned as she remembered the night before. "Yves, you'll never believe it, but I promised the Captain that I'd fill in for the cruise director while she's quarantined!"

Gigi called for an extra large pot of coffee for herself and a dog bone for Yves then put on a red cotton sundress with sailboats on it and a 1970s sailboat pendant. Next she dialed the cruise director's room.

"Hello?" a tired voice answered. "Hello," Gigi said. "My name is Gigi, and I've volunteered to fill in for you the best that I can. How are you feeling, by the way?"

"Itchy," the cruise director said. "They didn't pack near enough calamine lotion on this boat. You'd think I would have been safe from chicken pox, what with so many senior citizens on board. But one of them had to bring her grandson. Anyway, enough complaining. How can I help you?"

"Well, do you have any activities planned for the trip? Maybe some advice?"

"Advice?" the cruise director started to laugh, then the laugh took a bitter edge. "See the ship's doctor for a prescription for Valium. I'll have the pursur drop off the rules for shuffleboard. Good luck!" She hung up abruptly.

Gigi spent the day wandering through the ship trying to mollify passengers. "Would you care for some reading?" she asked a group of elderly ladies. She had a stack of Vogue Italia and Paris Elle magazines in her arm. "What's that?" one of the ladies replied in disgust. "Don't you have any Modern Maturity? How about a knitting magazine or the fanzine for Murder She Wrote?"

Gigi saw a group of passengers clogging a large block of sun chairs by the pool. Some of them were rubbing their bellies and one or two swigged from glasses of Alka Seltzer. "Hello! Is everyone having a good time?" Gigi said.

"I'm so bored, all I do is visit the buffet. If I see one more deep-fried shrimp I'll hurl," a paunchy, balding gentleman said.

Gigi was discouraged. It seemed like no matter what she did she couldn't keep the passengers busy and happy. Just as she was getting ready to barricade herself in her room with a stack of old movies starring Edith Head-adorned women, she saw Maryann, the Texan woman from dinner the night before.

"How are you doing, darlin'? How's it going as the substitute cruise director" Maryann asked. "Not great," Gigi said. "I don't know what to do. I'm afraid they'll mutiny if I don't think of something to entertain them."

Maryann sighed, then said, "Wait a minute! I think I know just the ticket! Could we use the ship-to-shore phone?" Gigi and Maryann hurried to the bridge.

Later that evening, just as passengers were finishing dinner, the whirring clack-clack-clack of a helicopter descended over the ship. Within a few minutes, Glen Campbell strode into the dining room. Maryann rose to meet him and he hugged her. "Maryann," he said, "I was so happy to get your call. You know I'll do anything I can to help out. You must be Gigi," he said as he appreciatively eyed Gigi's full length red 1970s dress with its smart gold belt.

Across the dining room, passengers were dropping their forks and their jaws as they saw Glen Campbell, wearing a white, fringed cowboy vest and ostrich boots, take the stage. "Hello everyone! Is everyone having a good time?" he said as the passengers applauded wildly. He launched into Rhinestone Cowboy.

Gigi smiled at Maryann and the Captain. "Crisis averted," she said. "Maybe I'll be able to get a little vacation after all."

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