I hate jet lag

November 19, 2008 -

John Heald

It has you doing the strangest things at 4 am. I won’t go into detail, but in the wee small hours of this morning, me and the toilet were joined at the bottom. After making my deposit and knowing that sleep would avoid me, I ventured downstairs and turned on the TV. In the US there seems to be a huge variety of programs available at 4 am while here in the UK your choices are very limited. However, there was one savior among the cookery programs and Chuck Norris who, at the age of 89, was trying to sell me a fitness machine………………and that savior was the movie Top Gun.

No man dislikes this film. If they say they do I suggest you look down his pants to see if he has a thingy as Top Gun is a male institution. It has great action and the greatest love story in the history of movies.

Now, I know what you are thinking…………….is the relationship between Mr. Cruise and the actress whose name I cant remember or be bothered to go Googling for really that great of a love story…………….well…………….no……………….the love story I am talking about is the one between Maverick and Goose. I defy anyone with an Adams apple not to cry like a baby when Maverick is cradling Goose’s head as they bob about in the sea. It’s a movie that says if men want to hang around in locker rooms wearing just a hand towel then that’s OK. If they want to fly fast planes all day and then oil each other up before playing a game of beach volley ball…………that’s OK, as well………..I think. This movie oozes masculinity in ways a movie had not done so before.

Now, I admit that I am not a big fan of the poisoned dwarf that is Mr. Cruise but here as “Maverick” he excels. I love all the nick names …….. Maverick ………. Goose ………. Iceman……………I wonder what mine would have been……………….

“Fat Bastard” ……..you have Migs on your tail”………….or

“Calling Sperm of the Devil…………..you have French boogies at 6 o’clock”…………..

“Fighter command this is Sperm of the Devil …..How do you know they are French fighters?”……………

“Sperm of the Devil……….this is fighter command…………the planes are flying backwards.”

I digress. So, I watched this movie last night and I learned a lot. First of all, it is more important for a man to win the support of his peers……….not his bosses. Remember the moment Maverick is given a bollocking for performing a brilliant but dangerous maneuver during training. Well………..although he got a massive telling off Maverick didn’t care…………he was the coolest man in the room.

Most importantly, Top Gun is useful tool to show how men make friends. If you meet a man and you hate him instantly in the way that Maverick hated Iceman at the start of the film it is probably because you are jealous of him. However, men are strange creatures and, by the end of the movie, Iceman utters that immortal line, “You can be my wing man” and they end up best mates, retire, go to work for Southwest Airlines and have rumpy pumpy with lots of flight attendants.

After the movie, I managed to go back to sleep and awoke — I am ashamed to say — at 11 am. I have not done this since I was 19 years old and that was only because I had drunk lashings of Mad Dog 20 20 the night before.

As I sit here and write I have CNBC on and they are interviewing someone who apparently is going to change Scotland from a country full of haggis and men in skirts and into an enormous golf course.

There is a strange looking American man whose hair is on back to front saying he is going to build what sounds like the single most humongous development on some of the world’s most beautiful countryside.

Oh, I just realized who the weird looking chap is………….it’s Donald Trump, owner of the Miss World pageant and believed – by me – to be the world’s largest consumer of Just For Men. He is saying it will be the greatest golf course in the world. Can you even begin to imagine the depths to which he will sink in pursuit of this billion-dollar goal? How many marble pillars will there be? How many statues of giant winged lions will guard the entrance?………Is there enough onyx in the world?

Scotland has loads of golf courses already, have a look at it on Google Earth Thingy. When Trump has finished it’ll look even more ridiculous than his hair.

So, guess we had better talk about the Bloggers Cruise as I seem to have upset the apple cart and gotten some bloggers as angry as someone who has just discovered they have to pay for a steak in the dining room knowing their is no charge for it on a Carnival ship.

The first I heard was when I was contacted by Big Ed via Stephanie and then others followed……………….thanks, Ed, for letting me know. Then however, there were many from the New York area such as Chef Kevin who were as happy as someone who ordered a steak knowing that their friends were having to pay for it on the “Extra Charge of the Seas.”

Seriously…………….it’s my fault. I am sure that during discussions and blogs and bringing out new ships and “insert excuse here” I messed up. I think I said that it would be on the Carnival Dream out of New York…………….and then later said the December 9-day cruise on board the Carnival Dream out of Port Canaveral. Anyway, regardless of what happened I need to fix this. So, as there is mixed emotion at play here I have decided that the Bloggers Cruise will be held on-board the Carnival Dream sailing out of ………………… New York………………….oh………………..and on-board the Carnival Dream sailing out of Port Canaveral in early December………………………………yep……………………………….

We are going to try and hold two Bloggers Cruises on our Leviathan vessel. I am sorry for the confusion but rather than disappoint anyone we will organize two special ………….make that two very special cruises on-board our new flagship.

Now, I realize that some will prefer the Florida cruise rather than New York cruise and I certainly know that some of you may be torn between the two. However, I hope that this gives you all a chance to choose which one is best for you. They will both feature lots of great gifts, chosen entertainment and of course as I won’t be the CD, specific and private bloggers events. Stephanie will need about 48 hours to post the fare codes, etc. and I truly hope that you will forgive me for the mass confusion I have caused.

I see I have lots of outstanding questions to answer and I will get to these tomorrow I promise so again, if you have a question or need my help, please mark your comments “John , please reply.”

Now, before the two Carnival Dream cruises we have, of course, the one that is just around the corner……………February 7, aboard the Carnival Fantasy. And so I thought it would be great to get a taste of what it’s like on-board and what we can expect by asking the erstwhile cruise director of the Carnival Fantasy, Big Tex, to write seven guest blogs. I didn’t give him any parameters only telling him to write what he wanted. So, ladies and gents………..please say hello to cruise director extraordinaire…………..Big Tex.

I’m still not sure how I ended up writing a guest blog for a week. John asked for a volunteer, and being a team player, I offered my services. I was quite certain that there would surely be someone more interesting, creative, or talented than me who would volunteer. Alas, I was wrong. So here I am, aboard the beautiful (and newly re-modeled) Carnival Fantasy as she sails towards New Orleans, trying to think of something, funny, clever, or remotely interesting to write.

Let’s start with a Happy Birthday Wish…for me. That’s right, today I turned 31. I suppose as far as birthdays go, 31 isn’t really a big deal. There are certain birthdays in a man’s (or woman’s) life that are real landmark events.

30 was a landmark birthday. My wife, Kimberley, who is also the Dance Captain onboard, threw me a huge surprise party. The only problem was figuring out how to get me there. Since I was promoted to Cruise Director in 2005, I don’t spend much time hanging out with friends, or anyone for that matter. Most of my time onboard the ship is spent with long hours in front of the computer, hosting shows and events, spending time with our guests, going to meetings, and well…you get the picture. Most nights, when the work is done, I’m too tired to do anything but sleep (much to the chagrin of my athletic and flexible wife). The party was held in one of the guest lounges here onboard the ship, the food was there, the drinks were there, the band was there and so were about 100 guests. Kimmy asked if I wanted to come out with her for a drink to celebrate my birthday, I said no. I could tell this didn’t sit well with her, but decided I would rather have an argument than go out. Then, in a stroke of brilliance, she had one of my staff call and tell me that a pipe had burst and all our equipment was getting wet. I stormed up to the lounge, ready to survey the damage and was shocked by the greeting I received from the partygoers. It was a great night and a lot of fun. A strange thing happened once the party was over. I got weird, really weird. I kept surveying my life and what I’d accomplished and feeling like it wasn’t enough for 30 years of work. I even started thinking of past birthdays and how they rated compared to that one. Here are three I could remember:

21 was a landmark birthday. I was able to buy beer. As most 21-year-olds do, I decided to buy my beer at midnight on my birthday. The guy behind the counter didn’t even ask to see my ID. I was crushed. But how the times have changed. I went to a football game two months ago and was seriously considering punching the guy behind the counter who asked for my ID – EVERY SINGLE TIME – I went for a beer. He asked for my ID 18 separate times that night. It was a good game, at least the parts that I remember. And speaking of 18…

18 was a landmark birthday. I was able to buy cigarettes and lottery tickets. So I bought 20 of each. Didn’t win a dime on the lottery tickets, but at least they were fun to scratch. The cigarettes were a different story, I didn’t even smoke. I threw them away once I got out the store. But I learned a valuable lesson that night, as a man, you are required to spend stupid amounts of money on things that you will never use or need. Do you realize that I own 15 cell phones? This is a problem because I only use one. I’ll be buying number 16 soon, because the one I bought six months ago doesn’t have the latest features. Speaking of 16…

16 was a landmark birthday. I had a driver’s license, a Mustang, lots of friends and the world by the walnuts. I decided to take my 3 best friends out that night for a joyride. I remember it all like it happened yesterday, even when I got pulled over doing 48 in a 35. Here’s me, my three buddies and a cop named Don Glass, pulled over on the side of the road. As Sergeant Glass approaches the car, all I can think is that my Mom is going to kill me, take away my license, take away my car and kill me again. I’m sweating, I’m nervous and I’m thinking of ways to get out of the ticket. When I couldn’t think of anything, I began to cry. And not just a few tears, actually sobbing, snot running from the nose, unable to catch my breath sobbing. Sergeant Glass didn’t give me the ticket and took pity on me. My “friends” however, did not. In fact, they told that story to everyone in the sophomore class and by the end of the day, the entire school knew. You haven’t been humiliated until some freshman in the Glee Club calls you “crybaby”…in front of your girlfriend…and you both agree.
So this year, I decided on a quiet night at home with my wife. Here are some shots of me opening my gifts!

The most important book you’ll ever own: The Bathroom Reader. Full of minutia to keep you focused when things aren’t moving as smoothly as they should.


It gets cold in New Orleans and this stylish sweater should keep me warm.


Until tomorrow,


Please join me in thanking him and wishing the big guy a very happy birthday ……………..31 years old……………….lucky bugger. There will be more of Tex tomorrow.

So, let’s talk about me. What am I doing next year? Well, I thought I would tell you now as many of you have been asking. I will be assisting the company in my new role as BA…………..which to anyone just joining the blog thingy for the first time does not mean Bugger All but Brand Ambassador.

Ruben Rodriguez, our EVP, which to anyone joining the blog thingy for the first time, means Executive Vice President, has some brilliant new concepts that I am going to be part of…………..but when not doing that then rather than sit in my cubicle and flick boogers at the back of PA 007’s head……………….I thought I may try something called Cruise Directing.

Here is my tentative schedule which should be confirmed in the next day or so.




APRIL 12 – FLY HOME TO HAVE A THINGY………..well, Heidi will have the Thingy, I will be on the floor with a large bosomed nurse standing over me slapping my face trying to make me recover from my fainting session. So, let me know what you think.

Obviously, I will be without Heidi and I am not going to get into how I feel about that ………………there will be time for tears later.

My day was spent getting used to being at home. This meant going to the supermarket. Now normally this meant I would mince up and down the aisles looking fondly at my old friends Mr. Chocolate Pudding and Mrs. Fruit Bun while Heidi charged around pushing her shopping cart. However, as she is with Thingy it was a little different today. I pushed the cart and if anything was above head height I had to reach up and grab it. Then while Heidi went to the toilet…………….she pees more than a horse these days……………I stood in line taking everything out of the shopping trolley realizing that the only treat in there was my hemorrhoid cream.

Once the 12-year-old Polish girl had finished calculating what I owed I pushed the cart to the car and loaded in all the bags. This was repeated once I returned home where as Heidi watered the porcelain yet again I was to be found fetching and carrying the groceries. It’s hard work this pregnancy thing. The afternoon has been spent on the phone to the office, e-mailing and working all of the above out.

I am looking at the table upon which I blog and there are two cell phones, two raspberrys and an Eye Pod…………….good grief. Heidi has an Eye Phone, an Eye Pod and an Apple Latop Thingy…………..it seems Apple has taken over the world. In essence, here on my table I have a Filofax, a television, a cinema, a portal to the Internet, a computer, a video camera, three telephones and a photograph album. Great, but is it necessary…….and what’s next?

It got me thinking, if women had their way they would team up with Apple and create……………….the iMan.

iMan’s biggest flaw it seems is his ………….. ummmm ……… thingy ………….. his ………… ummm ………..penis…………….it leads men astray and if women had their way I am sure they would get with the women executives at Apple and invent ………….the detachable thingy. Men would have to hand it to their wives before going out with their mates. She would keep it under the sink and men would have to pass through thingy detectors before entering bars, nightclubs or going to work. This may lead to men trying to sneak their thingies out of the house.

“Where are you going with that?”

“This?………ummmm…………just going out with my mates.”

“Well, you won’t be needing that then………….give it here and I will put it under the sink next to the bleach…………it will be there when you get home.”

The remodeled I Man would also have download capabilities. This would mean women would never have to ask men what they are thinking about as they would be able to discover the truth after the download is complete. Then, when they discover that the answer to the “What are you thinking about question?” is always the same …………… bottoms, bosoms, rumpy pumpy and Aston Martins……….they wouldn’t waste their time and ours by asking it every bloody day.

In years to come the iMan will walk among us. We must fight back and to make sure that you can recognize who is a real man and not the iMan you must carry am ID card. To get this Platinum Man Express Card you must be able to acknowledge the following.


The iMan is coming. In fact, they could be walking among us as we speak. Please be on the lookout for them and report any unusual findings. If you see a man going to watch a chick flick movie at the cinema…………..shoot him in the head……………he is an iMan.

I would write more but Heidi needs me to help her in the kitchen………………is it time to go back to work yet?

Your friends
John, Heidi and the Thingy

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.