Crossing the line
“Just do it!”
“Kiss the fish.”
“Lean forward, and kiss the fish.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“No, no, you don’t want to get cold feet when we’re at sea do you?”
Angeline leaned forward, and approached her mouth to that of the giant plastic fish.
I whipped out my phone and snapped a hurried photo.
“Don’t you dare show that to anyone, or I’ll strangle you!”
The next day we finished packing the last of our four suitcases and set off for Southampton.
We waited in line to board the ship, boarded shortly after and made our way to our cabin.
We unpacked, headed to the buffet, and eased into life on board, totally forgetting the fish.
Dinners followed breakfasts, and preceded the evening meal, black ties, evening suits and ball gowns.
A tour on the dance floor, a few cocktails and we ready to retire for the night.
Port followed port from Ponta Delgado to the Bahamas, through the Panama Canal and up to San Francisco.
Then down the Pacific and onto Hawaii, Hula Dancing with leis tickling our necks in the sunset, glass in hand.
Then we hit the Equator and it was the day of the Crossing the Line Ceremony.
At breakfast I leaned over the table towards Angeline “It’s kissing the fish day!”
“What do you mean?”
“You didn’t really think I’d do it did you!” She chuckled.
“Well I’m not backing down!”
I was determined to go through with it.
“I’ll come and watch”, she laughed.
So I changed into my swimming trunks and went with Neptune’s other willing subjects onto to the top deck.
It was a spectacle to behold with a very dramatic King Neptune presiding.
There was the announced “Kissing the Fish”.
We were marched one by one in frony of the Giant Fish which was, for reasons of hygiene, made realistically of multicoloured plastic. From a distance it really looked like an authentic fish.
Then a marching band led us the edge of the pool for an unannounced surprise.
After a short speech passengers members of the crew came forward with containers of “Nasty Bilge Water”, which was actually a mixture of spaghetti and brightly coloured sauces and proceeded to projected the mixture onto us, rubbing it all over us.
We’d been copiously gunged!
Then we were lead and gently pushed into the pool which gradually filled with multi-coloured streams and strands of mucky pasta.
The crowd went wild and I just caught site of Angeline who was visibly amused.
Mermaids and Ship-Hands dragged us out of the pool and then we were free to return to our cabins.
I stank of pasta for days afterwards.
An unforgettable experience. (442 Words)
As you’ve probably guessed this is, for a change, an enhanced true story. My wife’s name is not Angeline of course but it really isn’t her kind of thing.