My family is unusual. While others were learning math, I was alfresco, climbing ropes, polishing things and physically active. When my father asked me where I wanted to go on vacation, I pulled out a photo I had carefully folded and tore out of a magazine. It was a cruise. He said to me, excellent choice. So we began planning getting everything together and once we were ready, our crew of 30 boarded our pirate ship and headed towards the Caribbeans. That’s right, we’re a pirate family. It was a long trek and we had to carefully plan out our route as we wanted to catch them on international waters where they were sitting ducks and not at the ports where they could beckon for help.
The impromptu trip was not going as planned, we were under prepared and many men got jaundice. It should just be another day, our planner said as he ran the numbers and routes on his TI-86 calculator. Time was of the essence, there was no room for error. A day passed and morale was low, why did we agree to this vacation, every one thought, but nobody expressed. My father was very positive and believed we would reach our eventual goal. We had gone too far into the ocean now to turn back. Returning was no longer an option. Failure was no longer an option. We must succeed. Two hours later, in the distance, I see it. “A VESSEL, A VESSEL!” I exclaim. 6 men come rushing to the front of the ship with their binoculars and verify that this was indeed, the Carnival Magic which we are after. “FULL STEAM AHEAD,” my father yelled. We were hauling through the water as if we were going for the Olympic gold in rowing. When we got close enough we attached an anchor to a part of the hull and let the cruise ship drag us in it’s wake.
The sick men had to be hauled by the healthy and we knew there would be a smorgasbord of citrus upstairs to bring them to back to baseline. “Like we planned!” My father proclaims. We all climb up, a quarter of us carrying the sick on their back and still climbing smoothly up the ropes. When we arrive on deck, people proclaim “Oh look! ENTERTAINMENT!” The situation was taken advantage of as our crew rounded everyone into one area, kept them hostage, and forced them to hand over their valuables. The passengers suddenly realized this was no joke and quickly emptied their belongings into our bags. These were real guns and swords we had. Nobody had weapons on board thanks to security and medal detector requirements. As I had mentioned, my upbringing was unorthodox. Time spent in the classroom was left to learning plundering 101, plundering 102, no classes on pillaging though, cause, this is the 21st century… we’re not savages.
One of our members comes back and unloads a bag of oranges onto the deck and the sick men grab at it like it’s a black Friday sale. Eating the meat and the rinds with little regard. We had only bothered to take over the top deck of the ship but this was occupied by 1,000 people so it was no easy feat. My father turns to me and says, “would you like to ride the slide?” I nodded voraciously. There was no line for anything, everyone was gathered into one corner by our crew as i slid up and down multiple slides to my heart’s content. Now this is what I call a vacation. Everything was finally loaded onto our ships and we bid everyone farewell and went on our way. “Good choice of vacation son” my father said proudly. I was content. And that was the story of how I spent my 8th birthday.
I was sent this photo of a cruise ship and asked to give an unplanned speech about an imaginary vacation I took, this is what ensued.