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One of the most clever songwriters and quick-witted live comedians in the business... with his high speed, low-drag act that constantly changes and evolves, Pat has such strong material and improv skills, no two shows are ever the same... not even close.
seen and heard on last comic standing the howard stern show the bob and tom show schedule get tickets

Game Of Tables

IMG_0268The Breezeblower, onboard the Un-Named Cruise Line’s Something of the Seas, is a deliciously popular dining area, where polite manners go to die and boorish behavior thrives. It’s the low-key, casual buffet-style place to eat on the ship and at rush hour, it’s packed. There’s so much waiting in line, pushing and jockeying for food that when you finally have a full breakfast plate—it’s time for lunch. I could eat in the crew mess, but I’m not a fan of fish head soup, huge clumps of white rice, or the way one slurps the soup and shoves the rice.

Finding a place to sit at 9 a.m., in the Breezeblower, is like an episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones, with lookouts, squatters, and butter-knife stabbings used by families regularly to secure an open table. The problem is, the cruise line often closes the Starboard side, leaving everyone to fight it out over at the catsup-stained “Battle of the Port Side”. At dinner-time, it’s quite an International melee, as the loud French and Spanish accents get even more cacophonous whenever the Germans invade the dessert stand before eating their main course. I think of myself as Switzerland. I’m a comedian working on the ship; I don’t want any trouble, so normally I try to avoid this unruliness.

This morning, though, ravenous, I tried to fight the masses and grab a quick plate of scrambled eggs and low and behold, I spotted an oasis out on the horizon—an empty two-top. The only caveat to my discovery was a half a glass of orange juice, all alone, smack dab in the middle of the table. Yes, I should have known that the juice belonged to somebody, and, of course, it was too good to be true, but hunger clouded my judgement. Citizens of Windjammer, I implore you, If you’re going to mark your territory, please leave a working plate, napkin-wrapped silverware, or a flag with your Family Crest on it to insure your place of respite doesn’t get nabbed by angry, hungry peasants. Do NOT think that leaving just a half glass of lukewarm, orange concentrate, whilst you wander off looking for croissants, will suffice.

I questioned the folks sitting by the vacant table if the owner of the O.J. was coming back and they said, “No, it’s all yours.” “Hallelujah, praise the King”, I yelled out loud. I can sit in peace, read a little, and grab some nourishment before my next port adventure. I hadn’t yet eaten two forkfuls of eggs before a LARGE, mean old woman with a walker screamed, “YOU STOLE MY TABLE!”, to which I replied, “I’m sorry, they said it was empty. Here, I’m getting up. Please sit.” Her curved Osteopathic back was to me the whole time as she snatched her glass, harrumphed, and stormed off as best she could; mumbling and grumbling under her breath. What I should have done was nothing and walked away, but of course—I made it worse.

I come from a long line of proud people and from King Harold Godwin of England, Mary Shelly Godwin (author of Frankenstein) on down to little ole me; we do not take rudeness well. We have, what you call, a bit of a temper. So temper in check, I said, in a normal tone, but with a dollop of hot sauce on it, “You didn’t have to be so snotty, lady.” That’s all I said. No cursing. No histrionics. No dirty look. You would’ve thought I shot her in the back with a crossbow by her reaction. She slammed the walker down, turned to face me and hissed, “What did you say?” It was at this point I thought, “sh*t, I’m employed here and I was just on stage last night; she’s going to recognize me and cause trouble.”

In the land of the Blind-to-Bad Behavior Cruise Industry, the One-Eyed Guest is King and this witch has the most dangerous weapon in her arsenal—the complaint. She could ruin me by filling out a comment card, guest survey, OR marching down to the Guest Services desk to rat on me. Complaining is a game of chance to many cruise goers. You’ll see it on the activities list—”Day One, 2:45 p.m on the 5th floor, whine about your room and ‘maybe’ you’ll get an upgrade.” Some folks will say anything to get free Internet, points on their frequent cruiser card or the ever-elusive, complimentary beverage. In other words, I’d better start back-tracking, use my wits and schmooze this b*tch before she blows.

Abaris, the Hyperborean, Queen of the Buffet, armed with nothing but a mighty pen, turns around dramatically, eyes me up and down and says, “You look familiar. Do you work for Un-Named Cruise Line?” I stood frozen, dead on my horse, thinking faster than I do on stage and replied, “Yes, I do. You probably saw me at the Welcome Aboard show, last night, I’m Marc Roberts, the Cruise Director. Marc is spelled with a C.” Her nostrils flared and her eyes narrowed like a flaming Medieval Dragon when she hissed, “Well, Mr. Smarty-Pants Cruise Director, Marc Roberts, Marc spelled with a C; I’ll have your head on a stick by the end of this trip.” I told her, “Yes, you could do that, BUT (and that’s a big butt), you won’t get the complimentary beverage coupon I was going to award you.” That was all she had to hear. You could almost see all of her 97 years melt away to that of a 90 year old. Her face softened, her back straightened, her sag perked, and she said, “Free drink? Hmm. Why, thank you, young man. I’ll drop all this nonsense and take you up on the offer.” I smiled smugly and thought, “My work is done here. The war is over. I’m coming home.”

After much hugging and hand shaking, the enemy and I hashed out the details of our truce. She was to go to Guest Services to collect her prize and since that was four floors down and she had mobility issues; I had an hour or so to cover my sorry ass. I quickly called the Cruise Director and told him what happened, he laughed, said he had my back, and made sure his staff had a complimentary beverage coupon waiting for someone who fit the description, “LARGE, Mean Old Woman with a walker demanding a free drink coupon that the Cruise Director, Marc Roberts, Marc spelled with a C, promised her”.

The End?

Editor’s note: As best as Mr. Godwin can recall, this never actually happened. Pat wrote a fictional, humorous essay based on hearsay and anecdotal evidence. He’s a comedian, that’s what they do—make stuff up.

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