Just before I start today’s blog I want to mention the comment I posted yesterday from a chap called Kevin who said that Carnival Corporation ships were all the same. Well, I guess a friend of Kevin’s ………a lady with the screen name “Denvercruiser25” wrote to me agreeing with what he had said. I won’t bother actually showing you what she wrote as it’s obviously been written by someone who is very angry at me and the world and who says “RCI does everything better” I have a feeling that she may be one of those Royal Champion folks – who knows? – and having made fun of them as I have done previously I am not surprised that some don’t like me very much……..and I am sorry for that.


What I didn’t understand is, just like Kevin this lady states “all Carnival Corporation vessels are exactly the same just with different names on the side.” I thought long and hard about this and have written a deleted many different responses some lengthy and detailed and some that really were very defensive which I don’t think I need to be  …………..finally, I decided to just say this:

Carnival Corporation is: Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Cunard, The Yachts of Seabourn, Princess Cruise Lines and P & O………..Imagine a superb and comprising of Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Rick Wakeman, Freddie Mercury, Phil Collins and Jimi Hendrix. ……….that’s Carnival Corp. ……….. and dare I say RCI and Celebrity is ummmm………..Milli Vanilli.


Today’s blog is going to be a bit different. It’s Saturday and I know many of you won’t actually read this to Monday when you are at work. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk to you about my Friday. I will tell you now……..there will be bugger all talk about the cruise industry, dinning options or the Royal Champions………..nope, this is a cruise free blog and its all going to be about the joys and horrors of having a Thingy.


This afternoon I went with Heidi to her Ante Natal class where supposedly a pretty nurse talks to you about what you can expect to happen before, during and after the Thingy enters this wonderful world. I was already expecting a difficult day and had been warned under pain of a massive kick in the bollocks by Heidi….if I did anything to embarrass her.


It wasn’t an easy start though as the pretty nurse I had been expecting was called Dave. I am sure he is a brilliant baby nurse but why couldn’t I have a Swedish nymphomaniac called Helga. And then there were the other couples who were attending the class. Heidi knew them all because this was her fifth class and that made me “the stranger” and I am sure many of them looked at me as though I was a completely selfish bastard for not coming to the previous classes.


And how pregnant women carry on as if nobody had ever had a baby before in the entire history of the world? Two of them spent the entire five hours showing off the whole time; sticking out their big bellies to display their total lack of stretch marks; going about in ultra tight clothes just to prove what great bums they’ve got. Why? I mean, it doesn’t exactly take talent to get pregnant, does it? Rabbits do it all the time – and back in the day women used to have the kid and go right back to the fields – for heaven’s sake.

One of the girls in the class was so young and I looked at the benign resignation etched on her face ……the same face that still lights up at Scooby-Doo cartoons.


Now, I should explain that the classes she has been attending are private ones you have to pay for and not the fee ones that are provided by the UK’s National Health system. …………….. £200 ($310) no less………….and it was a horror show.


We talked about crapping and crying and helped our wives (or “partners” as Dave politically correctly kept saying) to lie across large rubber balls and while they hummed we had to massage their backs in preparation for the big day. Here are some of the information Dave gave us……………with my feelings added next to them.



Choose it on the basis of how clean the toilets are. ………………..well, they won’t be very clean after I crap myself while watching the Thingy being pulled out with a turkey baster.


If you push like they do on the telly, you get told off. …………….then why do they show it on ER then? I always had a suspicion that George Clooney and Kevin McKidd weren’t real doctors.


Some midwives follow birth plans, some don’t even bother to read them. ………..that’s not surprising considering that most midwives here in the UK are from Poland and can’t read English.



I can bear an incredible amount of pain and still live………….Well Dave, if you don’t get Heidi the machine that goes ping and give me 23 epidoodles you will feel a lot of pain when I strangle you with your stethoscope.



He should cut the cord, it’s a true sign of love………….true love my arse. It’s a true sign of a man who has a Hannibal Lecter fetish. The only thing I will be cutting is the cheese because I have a feeling my arse will be playing merry hell with me through the whole event


Your partner should video the birth……………..


This is not a spectator sport and even if I did film it who the hell am I going to show it to? Do you think that when he or she is 12 years old I am going to grab some popcorn, gather the family together and show the Thingy his Mum’s lady garden? My back will be turned ………….I don’t want to see anything that’s going on down …………..there so Dave ………… you can bugger off…………………The words dignity and labor have no connection.


If you get up before the epidural has worn off, you end up flat on your face. …………… Don’t worry Dave……..I will be careful…..thanks for the tip.

Goodness me…………there was so much to take in…………take bottoms for example. Apparently I am going to be finding myself responsible for more poo than the keeper of an elephant enclosure at a zoo. Dave told us not to worry though saying things that would once have made you gag are now mild inconveniences. According to Dave at 3 am, when your youngest, all snugly next to you, covers your side of the bed in a wet, warm pool of piss, you don’t leap out and strip the sheets.


Oh no — you stagger to the bathroom, grab a few towels, cover the wet patch and go back to sleep. You get to the stage when having “a little bit of piss on your pants is normal.”  And then I started to think about all the times in the future that I will get used to sharing a toilet cubicle with at least one other person, If the Thingy is a boy, at some time, I have to hold his thingy when he goes to the toilet and I haven’t done that since 1985 when my friend Alan was so drunk I had to help him…………………..twice.

It’s now finally sunk in. Up until today its all been a bit of a dream………a bit unreal ….. but now the stark truth has really hit home…………..I am going to be a Daddy. I am going to be like those other people I see who don’t appear to have washed or ironed their clothes? They call each other “Mummy” and “Daddy,” even though they once had names of their own. Their vocabulary now consists of a series of stock phrases: “You can’t have another Star Wars Robot Death Star Space Ship” or “You can have an ice cream, but only if you eat your broccoli.” I used to just smile when I saw them but now……….I think of them differently. They’ve been up since 6 am and they probably haven’t had rumpy pumpy for, ooh, about two years……………………bloody hell!


I am used to making a fool of myself on stage but now I have to do it and not get paid for it. Once the Thingy is born I will have to talk in that stupid Michael Jackson-type voice uttering words like “who’s apwetty baby wen” and “baby done a caca nasty foo foo.” when it craps itself. And soon I will have to snort like a piggy-wig, neigh like a horse, run through the park shouting “Here comes the blubber-monster.” Sounds like a Dantesque vision of Hell…………….especially the running bit.


Heidi has also warned me that despite what the manuals tell you, pregnancy is not a round trip return journey. Her back may go; she may get brown spots on her skin. There may be whole areas of her body that I may no longer recognize: So then according to my wife unless you work at it like Madonna, she will never be box-fresh again ………… how does old Madge do it I asked………….”Simple,” said Heidi………”24-hour child care.”


Then there is the word “sleep.” Unless you happen to be Delta Force trained, there is apparently nothing that can prepare you for the effects of the prolonged sleep deprivation that comes with having children. They will wake you once, twice, three times in the night so as to inflict maximum damage. Should you attempt any sort of rumpy pumpy, you can guarantee that the Thingy will wake up just as you are about to start.


I have been blogging in jest of course but the one serious part of Dave’s class today was dealing with fear. The most agonizing aspect of parenthood is the terrible fear that you may lose your child. There is little I can do about this, except push it to the back of my mind, avoid listening to certain news reports ……….and pray that it never happens to me.


So we have our birthing plan written out and went through all the things we will need to take to the hospital. Then Heidi and I discussed the role I would play during the first few weeks the Thingy is at home with us. Some I can handle but the one that sent honest to goodness waves of horror through me was that apparently Heidi will be too tired to do the grocery shopping………….so I will have to do it. And as a test……..she sent me to the supermarket today to see if I came back with everything she had written on her list.


Now, regular readers of the blog thingy will now that I hate any kind of shopping but especially I hate grocery shopping…………I would rather sleep in a 100-square-foot cabin that is perched on top of a climbing wall then go shopping in a supermarket.


Off I went doing what I was told to do and not quite understanding why Heidi said that she wouldn’t be able to go shopping the day after the Thingy is born. Surprisingly though all was going well and apart from my inability to know where to find the “nipple pads” which as I thought were not in fact next to the milk all was going well until I reached the check out………..because apparently…………while I was away our double chinned Prime Minister had banned supermarkets from providing plastic carrier bags…………..


Apparently you now have to bring your own………….thus protecting the environment and saving Peter the Polar Bear from having to live in a refrigerator………………….but nobody had told me and it was only after loading the conveyor belt up with dozens of items that the 15-year-old Polish check out girl told me that I either had to go over to the other side of the “supermarketski” or purchase bio degradable “bags for life” that cost $1.75 each. I would have gone for the cardboard box but I doubt that would have pleased the three people standing in line behind me……..so I became a friend of the earth…………thanks for not telling me Heidi.


The trouble is that while I support any move to rid the world of carrier bags – and shopping in general for that matter – I cannot think of an alternative. If you have been to the supermarket for your weekly groceries, how else are you supposed to carry them home? Especially if you are older or have to walk or use public transport.

Brown paper is one suggestion but it really works only in places such as Arizona. Here, where there is rain, it quickly becomes soggy – and then it has the strength of an asthmatic ant.


And on the journey home I thought about all the packaging.  A cauliflower, for instance, does not need its own Michael Jackson-style oxygen tent. It will not run off if placed on a shelf naked. Nor will it be embarrassed.


However, I returned home with everything on the list including the nipple pads which as the Polish 15 year old placed under her scanner I grabbed my left tit and said…………”it’s leaking.”………..she was not amusedski.


And so it’s been a long and quite exhausting day and my mind is awash with emotion. I promised Heidi and myself that before I go to sleep every night I will read some articles in my “Dad” magazine but after last night I just can’t.  Before I tell you why I want to say thanks to Jodi Cleghorn who posted a wonderful comment on the blog. She is co author of a book and I wanted to thank her for taking the time to supply me with some frank insights on what to expect. I should listen to her and throw away Dad magazine


That’s because according to feature writer Brenda Melling quite a lot of women don’t really feel like having rampant rumpy pumpy after giving birth. Or even non-rampant rumpy pumpy. Or even, you know, groping. Apparently their minds will be on sanitary pads, sore nipples, baby poo and sleep deprivation. That’s not the worst bit though. The magazine went into clear and graphic detail that for the first few months after giving birth that rumpy pumpy were it to actually happen may be like throwing a banana down the Grand Canyon.


Have a brilliant weekend and normal blogging service will return on Monday.



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.