Endangered Species

December 5, 2008 -

John Heald

Sex and the City……….It’s the ultimate divide between men and women. They ….. women ……want to spend time with Carrie and her self-obsessed slappers (look that very British word up on www.urbandictionary.com). I mean, do women really behave like this?

How could any sane man like a TV show with character in it called Mr Big? It makes out that all women are obsessed with shoes and swapping intimate details about men and our failings over breakfast. This show appeals I think to a very unique gene found only in women and anyone with testicles who says they like it probably spends Thursday nights wearing high heels and a bra and Saturday’s pressing wild flowers.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that while on-board the Carnival Splendor, I was forced to endure watching the SITC movie and I can still taste the bile that formed in the pit of my stomach as I watched three scarily skinny women and one plump one all have rumpy pumpy with their bras on while covered in sushi.

Well, last night Heidi said that she wanted to watch it again because the last time we did on the ship, the phones were ringing and she couldn’t concentrate. I told Heidi that I would rather wear Judge Judy’s underwear as a hat then sit through that crap again ……. she responded by saying that if I didn’t watch it with her there would be no sex in my city ever again…….bugger.

As I sat and watched this sex fest sponsored by Prada, Dolce and Grabanna and Jimmy Poo shoes I started to think what I would have done as a producer and director of this movie to insure that there will never ever be a Sex In the City 2.

Here they are.

1. The three ladies all look into Sarah Jessica Parker’s eyes………….and turn to stone
2. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Kerri, Kerry or whatever, breaks her ankles wearing those shoes with the huge heals and has to be put down …………..by a vet.
3. Crossing the road in a busy New York street, all the girls get the heels of their Jimmy Poo shoes stuck in a drain gate and are mowed down by a bus.
4. All the girls get married………..and the sex automatically stops…………….forever.

I also started to think this movie proves why all the top sports coaches and managers are men. Can you imagine a lady coach at half time giving a team talk to the Miami Heat who are three points behind the LA Lakers during the playoff thingy? There would be no inspirational fire lit under the arse of Dwyane Wade to go out there and prove that he is twice the player Kobe Bryant is. ………”G on Dwayne, get out there and dunk over his head, show him you are de man, kick him in the bollocks and tell him his shoes look like something from Sex and the City.”

Nope……..a woman coach would give the team a calm chat, making sure all the players felt appreciated………including the opposition. She would encourage the team to talk about their feelings and finishing with “Don’t worry, it’s just a game……and if you lose maybe you can be on the next series of Dancing with the Stars………….Dwyane, make sure you ask Kobe if he is OK and ask after his family would you.”

As much as I don’t understand programs like Sex and the City my wife, like many women, see no problem in starting up a conversation during the start of a soccer or basketball game. The other day I had settled down to watch a big soccer match. It was Chelsea vs. Manchester United which is like watching The New York Yankees vs. the Philadelphia 49ers….it was a huge match and I had been excited about watching it all day.

Then…….just 30 seconds before kick off…..Heidi decides she wants me to get the Christmas decorations out of the attic. My answer was, of course, “In a minute,” which is a gene every man possesses. Of course, a minute and many more went buy as I completely forgot about her request although she reminded me a few times during the first half. Then of course, I was treated to lots of banging and deep sighing as ……..to prove a point…….she got the stuff out of the attic herself……..and I have been in the doghouse ever since.

When I was young I always dreamed of being a super hero. I wanted to be the invisible man so I could save the world and, of course, sneak onto the set of the Brady Bunch and see Marsha Brady in her knickers. I also dreamed of doing something heroic. I was going to join the army, be a police officer but…………I was too much of a coward and so I went to work for an insurance broker’s in London instead.

Many of today’s younger people don’t want to be a hero and that surely is the fault of TV. Most……not all……idea of doing something heroic is to get on American Idol or America’s Next Top Model, etc. When I look back at my teenage years, the TV programs I watched all had a charitable nature to them. Take the A Team who armed only with weapons made from sacks of corn and an old tractor helped farmers who had been exploited by the mafia get their land back.

Heroes these days seem to have to be cynical, moody and sneering. And so, over the next few days I am going to give you a list of my starting five heroes…… yep …….stand by for the ultimate basketball team……….they will be called “Heald’s Heroes.” The players will be listed in tomorrow’s blog……..but first………we need a coach……..someone who will inspire and challenge ………and as pat Riley has retired from coaching there is only one person I can turn to ………..Winston Churchill.

Who better to lead the team than the tactical genius who masterminded the classic victory over the Germans? My team needs a coach not afraid to forge ahead when everyone else tells him that he is talking bollocks. A coach who can inspire the team when all seems lost and doing so while drunk. Defeating the world’s most evil empire was hard enough ……but doing while completely wasted…….well, that’s just brilliant.

Imagine his halftime talk……………..a glass of brandy in one hand a big old Cuban cigar in the over. “We shall fight them in the D, we shall fight them using the pick and roll and we shall fight them from the three point line……we shall never surrender……..unless they are more than 10 points up with just two minutes to play………..then we are buggered.”

My team needs somebody who is not afraid to give a tongue lashing once in a while and Winston was the greatest exponent of that. My favorite out of many was when he was approached by a radical feminist called Nancy Astor. She told him…..” if you were my husband I would put arsenic (poison) in your tea.”

Winston replied, “And if you were my wife………….I would drink it.”

A man with these leadership and vocal skills would make the perfect coach and ……….he would allow cigar smoking during the game………..and on these merits……..the coach of the Heald’s Heroes………..is Winston Churchill.

Stop by tomorrow for the starting five team of heroes.

Good evening everyone. So far this week 35,000 of you have read the blog thingy and I am so grateful to you all for taking the time to do so. Obviously, once I am back on-board the real texture of the blog thingy will return featuring the on-board stories and events.

There are lots of new and exciting events coming your way in 2009 and none more so than our three bloggers cruises. Yesterday, I had a long conversation with Ruben Rodriguez, our executive vice president of marketing and guest experience. He committed to the continued support of the blog thingy and the bloggers cruises themselves and that was exciting to hear. Al Ernst will be joining us on the Carnival Fantasy in February 2009 as I hope will my mate Alan. Here are just some of the events that have all ready been arranged for this great cruise.





















Now, as far as the New Orleans charity event is concerned they will only allow 100 of us to assist. Therefore, we need to have the names of those who would like to volunteer.  A link to a form will go up tomorrow Saturday (December 6, 2008) at 12:00 pm eastern standard time on my blog.

Anyways, there are still a few places left for February and I see already that many of you are already booking for the Carnival Dream bloggers cruises as well………come and join us……these are going to be just brilliant voyages.

I have also received comments from many of you who are sailing with me on the Carnival Valor during the spring ………….I can’t wait.

Now, I need your help. Carnival’s award-winning children’s programs — Camp Carnival, Circle C and Club O2 — continue to grow from strength to strength and I know many of you who travel on our ships are huge fans of these. Even guests who cruise with no children comment how these programs insure that the kids are kept busy and having fun rather than running up and down the corridors knocking on cabin doors and running off……like I used to do when I was very young.

Anyway, Roger Blum and his staff have run these programs with massive success and now we want your advice. You see, there is a group that as yet, we do not specifically cater for……and they are the 18-20 year olds. We have always thought of them as adults and included them in all the adult-based activities and events.

However, I have seen one or two comments where guests feel we can do more. So right now our cruise directors are brainstorming with their staff on what we can do and will report back to Roger with their ideas. And so I thought it might be good if there were any parents who read this blog who have family members aged 18-20 for their help. If you do, can you ask them what they would like…..do they have any suggestions …… anything they want to do that would make their cruise even more enjoyable. Let me know …..and I will share their ideas with everyone.

Also, as we go into the New Year……..are their any activities and events you would like to see our entertainment staff host. Again…..let me know and we will do our best to feature your ideas. Thanks to all in advance.

I had nice chat with my sister Suedrip yesterday. She was speaking from her desk in her glass tower in Hong Kong. It’s been a tough few months for her and others of her species……..I am very proud of her and can’t wait to see her and the family at Christmas.

I thought I would share her fun out look on life with you…..here she is. Like the Ohlone tiger beetle, the banker is now on the endangered species list and it won’t be long before David Attenborough, he of the whispering voice heard on Blue Planet and Life on Earth …is making a program about us.
“I’m out here, just as dusk is falling, with my microphone and with naturalist David Attenborough, who is an expert on this shy and timid creature. So, David, what are the chances of catching a glimpse of a banker this evening?”

“Well, John, as you know, they are very timid and shy and inclined to panic at the least sight or sound. That is why we are both speaking in this special naturalist’s whisper and wearing shorts two sizes too small for us… This is certainly a good desolate area to look for them. They usually build their nests in tall glass structures, using large, shiny desks for protection. They feed on caviar, mostly, and a kind of regurgitated coffee-like liquid.”

“Why are they threatened with extinction?”

“Basically, it’s a loss of habitat and a loss of confidence. A sudden drop in habitat prices caused an epidemic among them, known as portfolio declines, or to give it a scientific term….. the shits. We don’t yet know if this disease can be passed on from bankers to humans.”
“Bankers are gorgeous little creatures but they faint at the slightest thing. I don’t know if we’ll spot any this evening. Just keep a sharp eye out for their droppings.”

“Shhh, David. What’s that over there? There’s something moving in the shadow, just outside the Starbucks. Do you see? Now it’s scurrying along the street toward the traffic lights, dodging past the parking meter. Here, take a look through my binoculars.”

“Yes, I see it now. No, that’s not a banker……that’s a lawyer. There are thousands of them around here. There’s no danger of them dying out; in fact, they thrive in these conditions and they also breed like accountants. ……let’s just stand very still in this doorway for a few moments and we might hear the characteristic cry of a banker – it’s the sort of sound you would make if I shoved a cattle prod up your bottom.”

“Wait a minute, I think I heard one whimpering just then. Maybe if I rustle this $100 bill it might just lure the little chap out into the open.”

“To hear one is great, but to see it would be a real bonus.”

“Don’t say the word ‘bonus.’ It upsets them and some have been known to develop dementia and the fling themselves out of tall structures”

“Now it has probably gone back into its hole.”

“Well, it has been an absolutely fascinating evening, David, and even though we didn’t see a banker, I feel I’ve learned a great deal more about its plight as an endangered species. Brrrr, I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to feel chilly in this economic climate and I think we ought to make tracks back to the studio for a nice mug of tea.”

“Great idea, John.”

“Oops, I just trod on something squelchy in the darkness.”

“Nothing to worry about, John. It was just the world’s last surviving Ohlone tiger beetle.
Your friends
John, Heidi, Suedrip 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.