Stockings and Wives

October 30, 2008 -

John Heald

Good Morning Everyone.

Well, here I am at Miami airport sitting in the “Business Class” Lounge (hoorah) typing away on my raspberry before heading to Philly. However, as I do so there is distraction from the plasma screen which is playing a channel called CNBC………….and the news is just horrible.

It appears that today’s young ladies have replaced their appealing thongs with pants the size of spinnakers, and now comes news that the sales of stockings are in free fall. Down from $10m sales in 2007 to $5m in 2008. ……….not even Victoria’s Secret has escaped the crunch of the credit thingy.

According to the lady who is the head of the G-string division – who’s a woman – this is because girls have better things to do these days than don their most delicate undergarments every time they go to Wal-Mart.

I absolutely understand that. Getting dressed in the morning is something that should never take more than 20 seconds and putting on a pair of stockings and suspenders can take anything up to three days. …………………….or so my mate Alan tells me.

Actually this is only a guess, based on how long it took me to undo a suspender belt … which only once………back in 1994 when I was armed with a head torch and a pair of bolt cutters.

Anyway, I fully appreciate that in a post-Mrs. Robinson world, where women work and raise children, stockings are to fashion what the pen is to online banking.

But here’s the thing, girls. Tell us that you won’t wear stockings because they are impractical and you may well find that we’ll give up, as well.

At the moment we tend not to pick our noses when in your company because we will get a bollocking………and besides I am sure it will not be long before it will be illegal to do so while driving. But if you’re going to slob around in your duvet-sized underwear, then you won’t mind if we bury an index finger in each of our nostrils and dig away.

Here I am at the airport this morning surrounded by a group of middle-aged chaps who, I presume are all off to save the world with their lap top dancers.

At home, each of these men would, I’m sure, eat all their yogurt and pretend to be interested in their wife’s opinion on flower arrangements and interior design.

But at the airport, with no wives and girlfriends to keep them in check, they have quickly reverted to type. One is eating a huge burger and a group of seven guys — who obviously all work for the same company — are all taking advantage of the complimentary cocktails and are getting slowly drunk.
This is what I do though when I am on vacation and get to have breakfast with Danny or Alan.

Every morning would begin with a conversation about who’d been for their number twos, what the number twos had looked like, what they’d smelled like, how much more there was to come, and whether any records for sheer tonnage had been set.

You might argue that your husband is not like this, but I assure you that beneath the veneer you see at home, he is. He may do the washing up and take the children to the park, but when you’re not around, he’s like the light in a fridge. He’s a completely different animal, obsessed with bottoms, poo and belching.

So, girls, do you want that sort of thing at home? Really? No? Well get down to Victoria’s Secret then and buy some bloody stockings.

Good Morning. I am off to Philly ready to help Carnival break another world record. Tomorrow (Friday) Stephanie will be posting where we all meet. It’s going to be an amazing event and I see many of you are going to try and attend.

I will write more about this later.

First…………………let’s check in with Jaime.

October 29, 2008

Dear John,

Here is my Roman adventure, part two:

Today was the day I was dreading. Even more than just abandoning the work that I could have done now I had no dry clothes, no make up, deodorant, or hair stuff to take care of the massive frizzy mess that my hair becomes with no gel…Thank goodness for some vanilla scented lotion I purchased, because it helped me fit right in because with the locals who typically take showers in cologne!

I must admit, the sky was actually blue when we walked out the door in the morning! Any sentiment I had about missing the rain was immediately crushed because my wet pants and soaking shoes were an excellent reminder of the previous day’s shenanigans.

Lawrence and I got an early start to head to the Vatican and in the spirit of Rome being as difficult as possible, apparently on Wednesday’s no one can go inside because the Pope speaks at Noon, so that plan was foiled. I had my few minutes of being bummed out and then I realized that Lawrence had already come and seen everything last year when we sailed on the Freedom, and the one thing he wanted to see what the catacombs, so I told him we should just do that and we went on our way.

We got there and waited for the English speaking tour, even though going on the Italian one may have been just as fun. I really enjoyed the tour; unfortunately we could not take pictures in order to preserve the sacredness of the location. I learned that St. Paul and St. Peter had both been buried there at one time, my birthday (June 29th) is known as the “Day of the Apostles”, and there are 60 cemeteries containing over 100,000 graves close to this area. Before heading back in the open top bus we got our 9 Euro coke and M&M’s, I think they were actually gold plated and that is why it was so expensive (I can’t wait to go back to the States!) We boarded the Archeo-bus and now I finally realize why a dog enjoys putting his head out the window – the fresh air is nice, AND you don’t have to smell the BO of the person sitting beside you (just kidding Lawrence).

When we finally returned I was very happy to be back on the ship so I could work again! While going back to the ship I noticed that were in port with The Grand Celebration, which is Carnival’s former Celebration. This is especially uncanny because she was docked with the Splendor in Genoa when we first flew into Italy, and now she will be by our side once again as we depart our last time from an Italian port. This will be my longest cruise and my first trans-atlantic crossing. I look forward to keeping you updated during all of our days at sea! Goose did his first travel talk today and I am genuinely looking forward to working with him as cruise director. Of course no one can replace John, but I do like his style – he seems very lovable. I am sure if you will be sailing with us you will like him as well… even if you don’t, he is much easier on the eyes than John =).

Walking around on the first night of the crossing, it is good to see the ship alive! People are enjoying the amazing live music and atmosphere all around the ship. Can’t wait to see what Goose and the crossing have in store!

There are many bloggers sailing which is wonderful as well when they come say hello!

Sea day 1 out of 10 tomorrow!
See you in America =)

Live Music on the Carnival Splendor!

The Entrance to the Catacombs


OK, I only have a few minutes before boarding and I MUST tell you what happened last night.

There’s a very thin line between “loving wife” and “overly protective.” I rolled into the Intercontinental Hotel here in Miami last night and called Heidi ready to tell her about my day, but she was watching Boston Legal said she’d call me right back.

The next thing I remember, it was this morning. I rang Heidi, who sounded a bit weird. She asked me if I was aware of what had happened the night before. She’d rung my raspberry – no reply. She’d then got the hotel to ring my room – no reply. She’d then called the concierge whom due to the multiple times we have stayed here she new very well because he has the word “Van” in his surname which means, like Heidi, is from the land of clogs and windmills.

Anyway, Heidi persuaded him to check the room as she was convinced I was choking on my own vomit. Thank God I’d put away my crack pipe and ushered the Latvian hookers out of my room. Imagine the phone call…

“Hello, Mrs. Heald. I’m ringing from the Intercontinental Hotel where your husband currently pays $7.50 should he fancy a small bottle of Diet Coke.”

Heidi: “Is he dead?”

Concierge Van Something: “Far from it. Actually, he’s very much awake. In fact, he’s actually got some… friends in the room with him.”

Heidi: “Women? Are there women in the room?”

Chisel-jawed receptionist: “Well… only 7…………….. and they appear to be teaching him Russian………………..naked.”

The grim reality, however, was far worse because Mr Van the concierge had sent someone to my room to see if I was OK.

The thought of a security guard entering to find me sprawled out on my bed wearing only my underpants and making noises from both ends has left me feeling shameful and beyond embarrassed.
However that’s nothing compared to the fortune the poor hotel security guard will now have to spend on therapy after seeing me virtually naked.

You see, the last few nights I have not been sleeping well. I have no idea why. I am tired. Apart from three days off, I have been flat out since March. I guess yesterday’s live blog and the fact that there was bugger all on TV (I was really upset I couldn’t watch the Miami Heat’s first game) sent me into a deep sleep……………..and oh yes…………I took a Tylenol PM as well and I never heard the phone ring or anyone knocking on the door.

I am also secretly quite chuffed as to how much concern Heidi shows for my welfare. Especially considering the huge life insurance policy that she’s insisted on me taking out recently. I was a little upset at such a random request but then a couple of weird accidents happened to me and I realized she was probably right. I was coming down the stairs one morning from my cabin to the show lounge and I slipped on a wet patch of Chi Tea with no caffeine (Heidi’s favorite drink) and just managed not to break my neck. Then, while I was driving to the airport to come to Miami, I realized that my brakes weren’t working. I managed to stop by ramming my car into a tree. When I spoke to the garage they said that the wires had been cut… ………………..oh, Heidi!

I recounted all this to Heidi and she laughed and laughed. To make up for it she has booked me a surprise vacation: she’s put my name down for an extreme skydiving course in Kenya. Apparently, the instructors are not as experienced as in other places, but that’s why she got it so cheap. That’s what I love about her: she’s always thinking about saving money.

Anyway, time to go. I have a flight to Philadelphia today and I need to call a cab to get me to the airport. I tried to call the front desk to order one but there was no answer. So, I went to reception and found the entire hotel staff gathered round a computer. They were all laughing …………all except one young receptionist who was vomiting into a flower pot……………what had reduced the entire hotel staff to cancel all guest service and what had reduced the young receptionist to feed the flowers with chunks of diced carrot?

I asked what was happening…………………..” Oh,” said the hotel manager, “You have to see this…………….it’s some video footage from a camera phone of some fat guy in just his underpants. He has a remote control in one hand and a raspberry in the other ……………… his mouth is wide open…………he is snoring mad if you wait a few moments he farts so loudly you can see the curtains move.”

Time to board.

See You in Philadelphia, Home of the World Champion Philadelphia Cheesesteaks who beat a far off country called Tampa at the annual spitting as many different things out your mouth contest while hitting a ball with a stick.

Your friend

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.