Archive for February, 2010

I love me a good buffet…

February 23, 2010



Cruise continued-


Cruises are all about gluttony, and nothing says gluttony like a continuously replenished buffet line the length of a football field.  But be warned, cruise ship buffet lines are not without hazards.  For those of you who have never been on cruise let me provide some words of wisdom and a few bits of advice


1.  On a cruise you can visit the buffet line as many times as you please- there is no such thing as a one plate limit.


I know this seems intuitive, but I witnessed several passengers who must have missed the memo.  For instance, I observed one passenger roughly the size of a small disenfranchised nation wobbling away from the buffet line balancing (2) hot dogs, (2) double cheeseburgers, (3) pieces of pizza, a massive pile of french fries and a piece of key lime pie.  Always mindful of his cardio vascular health he covered the entire mess with approximately 16oz of chili.   It’s common knowledge that I’m a sarcastic wiseass who has a tendency to take some creative liberties with my writing- but this is a “no-shit” accurate inventory of the items on this guy’s plate- absolutely zero embellishment.  Good God, the guy was one “Tic-Tac” away from exploding before my very eyes.


2.  Don’t allow young children to stagnate near the buffet line- there is a high probability that they’ll be mistaken for a consumable item and engulfed in the mêlée.


3.  Never attempt to get between a senior citizen and the last remaining chicken wing.  They may appear frail but when faced with the possibility that the buffet line may run out of a particular food item they become extremely aggressive.


4.  The only physical exercise many passengers will have to participate in is the 10 meter walk to the desert table.  Luckily veteran cruise goers come equipped with motorized scooters to avoid this nasty calorie burning endeavor. 


5.  They don’t serve alcohol on the buffet line; but they do have a bartender and a barrel full of booze off to the side- even at breakfast.


6.  Old people that slather their bodies in Coppertone and bask in the sun for 12-hours a day end up resembling baked potatoes- but, regardless of how much sour cream and chives you put on them they won’t taste like one.


7. The farther you get away from the buffet line the skinnier the people become.  I personally believe this is because the serious eaters want to remain close to the “Mother Ship”.


8.  Even though it’s a buffet line it is still inappropriate to pocket all of the salt, pepper and sugar packets before you push away from the table.  I only say this because my cruise was densely populated with senior citizens who couldn’t curb their kleptomaniac tendencies.  


9.  I overheard several passengers complaining that the breakfast buffet served the same items every morning.  I’ve got news for you.  The reason they serve the same thing every morning is because they are serving you every breakfast dish known to man.  There is no way to vary the menu when the menu has everything on it.


10.  The word “gluttony” was created by our forefathers to describe the way the pilgrims reacted to the “Mayflowers” first buffet line.  Cruise ships have been carrying on the tradition ever sense.


11.  People eat like they do on cruise ships because for the six weeks leading up to the cruise they starved themselves in order to look good in a two-piece.   Makes no sense to me- but then again I’m strictly a one-piece kind of guy.


Day 5 of the great blizzard of 2010.  My thoughts have become even more random than normal.  I haven’t showered in two days out of fear of freezing to death in our own home.  Connie thinks this is ridiculous because our thermostat says 70 degrees- but I argue that taking a shower during a blizzard is just plain stupid regardless of whether you’re inside or not.

I saw a guy riding a dog sled down our street the other night while I was shoveling our driveway or maybe I was drinking beer while holding a snow shovel- I can’t remember it all blurs together.  Regardless, the dude had a “no-shit” dog sled and a team of huskies to pull it.  Who does that?  How long did he have to wait for that investment to pay off?  I bet as soon as the snow hit he shackled all four dogs to the sled and visited every neighbor who ever snickered behind his back for making such an illogical purchase.  I also bet he encouraged all four dogs to shit on their lawns while he sang the NA, NA, NA, Boo, Boo song with both of his social fingers defiantly pointed in the direction of his judgmental neighbors.

The blizzard may have sucked- but for one lone dude with a $3,000.00 dog sled it was a validation of his superior foresight.  Good for you “Mr. Nanook of the Chesapeake Bay area”.  Tomorrow may bring sunshine and thawing temperatures completely zeroing out all of your “cool points” but today, my eccentric friend, you are a hero.

Told you my thoughts were becoming increasingly random.  I’ve resorted to filming our fight for survival so that when our bodies are recovered in the spring the authorities will know that the “Groahs” did not go down without a fight.  I figure these films along with the crayon cave drawings that I’m encouraging our kids to draw on the interior walls of our home will tell our story.  A brave and inspiring story of one family’s unwillingness to submit to the angry tantrums of that merciless Hag- Mother Nature.

And yes I called you a Hag- what cha gonna do about it?  Give us your best shot- we still have two six packs of ale and a full jug of Carlo in reserve.

and part II

Blizzard protocol…

February 7, 2010

Okay, for the most part being stuck in the middle of a potentially life threatening blizzard sucks.  I got that- you lose power, your core temperature drops to like 20 degrees, you turn a sickly shade of blue and then you expire with a stupid surprised look on your face.  That part truly does blow.

But if you’re a glass half full guy, like yours truly, you can always find a bright spot or two- for instance:

Being stuck in a blizzard is like boating i.e. it’s never to early to start drinking. 

For those of you new to “Blizzarding” (sort of like partying but only colder and deadlier) here are a couple of rules you should be aware of:

1.  You shouldn’t pass judgement on your neighbors if they’re beer bonging PBR’s while shoveling their driveway at 9am.  Instead you should join them.

2.  Jello shooters freeze quickly in blizzard conditions.  If serving to fellow shovelers keep them in your arm pit or skivvy drawers until ready to consume.  The warmth will keep them soft, pliable and delicious.

3.  Body shots work best when served off exposed skin- trouble is no one will want to expose any skin when it’s below 20 degrees and snowing- except maybe that creepy neighbor three doors down who wears “Daisy Dukes” year round and dresses up his cat like an Ann Getty photo subject.

4.  Police officers will ticket you for driving an automobile during a blizzard- unless you’re going to the liquor store for more booze.  Keep an empty tequila  bottle in the passenger seat to prove to them that “Yes, I was unprepared and need to replenish my dooms-day supplies”.  They’re very understanding.

5.  Along with all the booze consumption you can also eat whatever you want during a blizzard.  The logic being that if you don’t have ample stores of fat you’re likely to freeze at a quicker rate.  If you don’t believe me simply turn on the Animal channel and watch how seals, sea-lions and walruses survive sub-arctic temperatures.

I’ve got to go defrost my children for the ninth time this morning.

More to follow

My kids have zero common sense.  They didn’t wake up with the same sense of dread that I did this morning. 

They didn’t look out the window at the rapidly accumulating snow and want to throw up. 

They aren’t concerned that I will likely shovel myself into a massive cardiac arrest, fall to my knees and freeze to death 20 feet from my home.

Nope- none of that.  First words out of their mouths- “Dad, when can we go outside?”

Yep,  that’s my boys- all courage and testicular bravado- no common sense.

They are stoked- the only thing that could possibly improve their day would be if we no shit fell into a second ice age- something that I believe is possible and will most likely be reported on Fox News within the hour.

Well I’m going to go hug my generator and whisper sweet nothings to it in the hopes that it will spring to life when we inevitably lose power.

I also plan on trying out which facial expression to put on my face when I freeze to death.  I don’t want my body recovered this spring with a stupid look on my face- that would be humiliating.

Warrior of the high seas…

February 1, 2010



I’ve neglected my blogging duties lately due to a much needed family vacation.  We took a ten day cruise through the Islands to escape the Maryland winter weather.  Over the course of our travels I uncovered a wealth of topics to cover in the pages of my blog.  In fact, the cruise proved to be such a target rich environment that I’ll have to cover the trip in installments over an extended period of time.  Here’s my first installment- I call it the warrior.


One of the most colorful passengers on our cruise was a gentleman who referred to himself as the “Warrior”.  I know this because that’s how he asked to be announced prior to the ship’s “Belly Flop” contest.  All of the other contestants had names like Paul, Harry and Josh.  But not this guy, he had an ultra-cool tough guy moniker that he likely gave himself after a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons. 


Good thinking.  You never know when a nickname like that will come in handy- possibly during a poolside belly flop contest attended by a rowdy crowd of intoxicated senior citizens.  I’m sure that given their advanced age they found comfort in knowing all that separated them from a 300 pound disgruntled “Belly Flop” competitor named the “Warrior” were four flimsy stateroom walls.  Sleep tight folks.


And he was angry.  Prior to “Flopping” he beat his heaving man-bosom and roared to the heavens for “Oden” to grant him the strength to crush all who would oppose him (I kind of made that part up, but he did fondle his man-boobs and stare at a passing jet liner with a menacing look on his face).  His bizarre display of aggressive behavior immediately silenced the crowd sending them into a moment of quiet reflection.  My guess is they were reflecting on the safest place to run if “old-boy” decided to “cook off”.  He jumped in. 


When he emerged from the pool the crowd parted, rather quickly I might add, and the “Warrior” exited the area without further incident.  You could actually hear the collective sigh of relief as the spectators relaxed.  Of note, several of the older passengers (of which there were many) turned up their oxygen regulator valves so they too could sigh in unison with the rest of the crowd. Nothing builds cohesion like bearing witness to a half naked lunatic on the brink of blowing a gasket.


That was my first glimpse of the “Warrior” but fortunately it wasn’t the last.  I got to see him several times a day over the course of our time at sea.  Come to find out the “Warrior” was a few sandwiches short of a picnic- no shit right?  Okay, I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but in my defense he seemed pretty high functioning when he wasn’t wearing his “ax murderer” face or licking the salt water off shiny inanimate objects. 


Watching him “Hustle” during a group line dancing lesson confirmed my suspicions that the “Warrior” was operating with some damaged grey matter.  I’ve never seen a person attempt the “Hustle” with such violent intensity.  Apparently however, his desire to disco was slightly greater than his desire to intimidate all the other passengers so he gave it a shot.  Friggin scary.


I’ve downloaded some “Warrior” footage from our cruise.  See if you can pick him out of the crowd.


Hint- he’s not wearing a polka dot bikini that gives the illusion of two exposed giant nipples.  Nor is he the little boy dancing around like a crack addicted organ grinder’s monkey- that would be my youngest son.