An Ugly Idol

June 5, 2008 -

John Heald

As I head at Ferrari-like speed toward old age, there are many things which scare me. All the hair on my head will start to grow out of my nose and my ears. My bladder will cease to function. I will become even more baffled by new technology and therefore not be able to operate a TV or a toilet.

But the greatest fear I face is not that I might lose my sense of sight, touch or smell. No, it’s that some people, once they reach the age of 50, seem to lose their sense of humour.

John Cleese is a funny today as when he was strutting through a hotel in Torquay, shouting at Manuel and not mentioning the war. He is as Python today as he was 35 years ago. Then you’ve got his old colleagues. Michael Palin is charming and warm, but as he trundles through India on yet another PBS series, does he make you laugh? Eric Idle is responsible for Spamalot and that’s about as funny as a bout of whopping cough. Terry Jones is wrapped up in 14 layers of Shakespeare and we haven’t heard a squeak from Graham Chapman for years. Though this might have something to do with the fact that he’s dead.

Woody Allen is another example of being 50 and boring. In Sleeper and Play it Again, Sam, I honestly thought that I might need the services of an engineer to weld up my split sides. But in his more recent films I’ve wanted to weld up his mouth….the miserable sod.

So, is the law that when you reach middle age your sense of humour disappears?  ……….. I hope not otherwise I am serious trouble?

You see, I have always been ugly…….OK……maybe not ugly but I certainly am no Ryan Seacrest. Therefore, I have always had to rely on my sense of humour to see me through life.

However, anyone will tell you that us ugly people are funny because making a girl giggle is our only chance of getting some rumpy pumpy………… will have to Google those words I think…………..go ahead………..I will wait for you here.

OK, now you know what rumpy pumpy means let’s continue.

I remember vividly, back when I was at school, competing with a school chum to chat up a girl. He was captain of the football (soccer) team and was therefore equipped with a wedge like torso, firm thighs and shoulders broad enough to land a 747 on.

Me? Well, back then I was supermodel skinny with a face dotted with pus-filled zits and a hairstyle designed by mum putting a cap on my head and cutting around the edges.

It was a total mismatch. It was Ryan Seacrest vs. Pee Wee Heald.

The only way round this was to try and make the girl laugh…….so I told my best jokes and did my Impression of the thin one from Laurel and Hardy (how times of changed) and the result was that 30 minutes later the girl was behind the bike sheds playing tonsil hockey…………with the captain of the Soccer team……………bugger.

This was proof that whoever said that “women don’t care about looks and prefer a man with a sense of humour” was obviously talking bollocks. Fill a room with gorgeous looking women and have me and Ryan Seacrap walk in and I guarantee that even though Ryan is as funny as one hour lecture on applied mathematics it will Mr.Seacrap who gets the girls.

Ladies, do you look at Jay Leno and think “Phwoar”?  Is David Letterman a sex object, was John Candy Johnny Depp in a fat suit…………nope……………they are the funniest of people but like me they have all lost women to people like Ryan Seaweed. They’ve all stood in front of a mirror, thinking “Well, there’s nothing for it. I shall have to be a homosexual.”

Or was that just me? I think, and I hope I don’t get in trouble for this, that the evidence is even more acute for women. Rosanne Barr and Phyllis Diller. Notice anything they have in common? Yes, you’re right! They’re all much funnier than Jessica Simpson, Keira Knightley and Uma Thurman.

Let’s come back to this subject a little later.

First though here is the news.

Let’s start with a photo as requested by Ron P the Carnival Splendors fantastic piano bar entertainer of the Grand Piano Bar. Now, this room is still to be finished and I had to sneak a quick photo. The room was not very well lit but here it is and I will take more soon.

It now gives me great joy to share with you the following.


Carnival’s “On Deck for the Cure” program – a breast cancer fundraising initiative aboard the “Fun Ships” – recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, with 50,000 walkers raising nearly $400,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure since being launched last May.

Currently in place on 14 Carnival ships, “On Deck for the Cure” is modeled after a similar initiative by Holland America Line and encourages guests to make a minimum $10 donation and participate in a one-mile walk around the ships’ jogging tracks while wearing their custom-designed T-shirts and wristbands included with each donation. Additionally, pink lemonade – signifying the color associated with breast cancer awareness – is served after the walk to all participants. 

Carnival’s “On Deck for the Cure” initiative began as a pilot program on two ships in May 2007 and was expanded to all vessels operating voyages of seven days or longer, as well as four- and five-day cruises aboard the Carnival Elation from San Diego.  The program will be also featured aboard the new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor when it arrives in the U.S. in November following its inaugural European season this summer.


That is just amazing and that is why Carnival Cruise Lines guests are the best …………because you care. Thank you to everyone who took the time to donate their vacation time and money to this great cause and long may it continue.

I want to thank all of you for your great show of appreciation for the incomparable work of Mr Joe Farcus and I see you all enjoyed his interview. Joe read each and every comment posted so much so that he has written this reply to you all.

John, thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to reach out directly to our guests on your blog.  Congratulations as well for its enormous success. 

I can certainly see why.  When I wrote my piece and answered your questions I did not even think so much about the feedback comments.  I have been really humbled by them. 

Of course it’s very nice to hear from guests who have enjoyed the ships and my design work.  However so many of your readers have really seen or felt exactly what I am trying to do and have expressed it eloquently and spot on to my thinking. 

It has been most gratifying for me.  I have always said to the media, that Carnival pays my bills and directs the services they want, but her guests are really my clients. 

To serve them well is to serve Carnival well I feel.  So it is really a new experience for me to have this kind of direct, intelligent, and insightful feedback from the real guests. 

So thanks again for this opportunity to speak to my clients.

Thanks Joe.

The diet is going well and yesterday as I sat in a place called The American Bar watching those around me dine on pasta and chunks of fresh bread, I enjoyed a meal of chicken breast covered in mushrooms and with a strange looking green thing called Aubrogine ………. it looked awful……………….twice !!!!!!!

I hope your diets are going well. It seems dozens of you are joining me on this difficult journey…………where though is Big Ed……………I want him to be Medium Ed.

Remember also that if there is anything I can do for you please drop me a line prefaced with “Stephanie, pass to John for urgent reply “.

I went to the shipyard today and as the rain fell out of the sky work carried on to get her ready for the crew to board on the 14th. I saw the huge warehouse today and we have lots of containers needing to be craned onto the ship but this is taking longer than usual. Italian politics does not begin and end in Rome but is alive and well in the shipyards but hopefully things will get back on track very soon. However, the ship looks fantastic and I wish I was onboard writing this rather than sitting in the lobby of the hotel.

So, if it’s true that good-looking people aren’t funny and that ugly people are, then it stands to reason that humour is essentially used as a tool for getting women to want you. And that brings me neatly to the problems when we reach 60.

No one, not even Sean Connery or Joan Collins, can stand in front of a mirror, naked, when they’re starting to sag and think “mmmm, yeah………….I’m hot.”

I stand in front of the mirror now and think “Bloody hell I’m either pregnant or one of those creatures from the movie Alien is about to burst out doing its Judge Judy impression?”

Putting this into context then as I get older I should compensate for my withered looks and wobbly skin by being funny. But what’s the point? I am married; and anyway these days there are many, many things I would rather do at night than have rumpy pumpy every Thursday or whenever the happy stick tells me to……… sleeping, reading, blogging, learning, Klingon …………anything.

So, being funny is ok but if you asked Ryan Seasquid if he had a choice of looking like me and having and having my sense of humour or putting a finger in a ham slicer………the host of American Idol would be Ryan “Four Fingers” Seacrest.


Your friends

John, Heidi and Ryan


Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.