Not a Moment Too Soon

June 10, 2011 -

John Heald

There are some people in this world that truly make me laugh. John Cleese, my mate Alan, Ricky Gervais and of course my beloved daughter Kye……………………oh and this chap here…………Entertainment Staff member Calvyn Martens.

Here is a guest blog written in his own “happy” style.

A great cruise director once told me that it was important to marinate in the moment in which I am living.  Now I must be honest and say he didn’t use the word “marinate,” it would be to ….…”artistic” for his liking and considering that he’s constantly wearing three day old underwear, he won’t be making bids at Christie’s art house any time soon.

He is right, however, at times I don’t live in the moment. I remember when I used to live in the moment. I remember being in the moment every second of my figure skating practice or my interpretive dance lessons in which my dad made me practice in the garage with the car running.

I remember when I used to live inside every moment when I was working at KFC. It was a job I remember fondly as it was KFC that instilled a great work ethic in me. I had just been fired from the local Dairy Queen which was ironic as I thought Dairy Queen was the mother ship calling me home and so going for an interview with KFC I was a bit gun-shy.  I really wanted KFC to like me enough to hire me so I thought what better way to secure my triumph then to bring up the word “chicken” as often as possible throughout the interview. It went something like this:

Tracy Vokins (Manager): How are you today, Calvyn?

Me: Just Clucky. (What does that even mean?)

TV: What is your best asset?

Me: My need for chicken. (This showed her I wasn’t a vegan)

TV: What is your weakness?

Me: Fried chicken basked in 12 ingredients. (This showed her my love of the KFC product)

TV: What do you do for fun?

Me: Chicken Catch. (LIE, but it showed her I was serious about my love of chicken)

TV: are you available weekends?

Me: Do chickens fly? (Trying to show her I was fluent in the behavioural habits of chickens)

TV: I… don’t really know.

Me: I’m available weekends. (Realizing I have absolutely no idea if they fly or not)

This launched my many years making above minimum wage,  as well working with all seniors when I was a junior was fantastic because I had no friends in high school (my mother once told me Rosemary had a better baby) and now I was having the cool seniors saying “hi” to me in the school hallways.  Because there was no need for me to advance or be promoted, it was easy to live in the moment. I can still remember my first car. I was suited up in my maroon (maroon is a deep red/purple for those of you who are not familiar with the color wheel) low thread count shirt and polyester pants dividing the two was my battery pack belt and I pressed the call button:

Me: Hello welcome to KFC my name is Calvyn with a Y how can I help you?

Car: Hey how many pieces come in a 10-piece meal?

Me: I think it’s nine, but let me go check. (I was already saving the company money)

Car: ‘k I’ll take that.

Me: Would you like any hot gravy for your fresh fries (I was not required to put in descriptive words, it was my version of the mint on the pillow).

Over the years I got very comfortable with my job. Sometimes I would tell customers that we were out of French fries, but we have German Fries standing at attention.  Other times I would convince the cars that we ran out of chicken, but we managed to get our hands on pigeon.  I always got in trouble for the pigeon prank, but it was so worth it because in the moment it was hilarious and who would really believe such RIDICULOUSNESS and complain about me? The one Latvian family that lived in my town, that’s who!

At present, I am still living by Tracy Vokins’ words “treat everybody how you want your mother to be treated” and I do… most of the time.  Take having a guest throwing their Sail & Sign card at me and telling me to go ______ myself. Well first of all, my mother would NEVER say such a thing, so in such a case I let my wit take over and simply state “That’s why I’m learning yoga.”

But at the end of every day on the ship, I dream of being something greater within the helm of Carnival Cruise Lines. I dream of taking the CD chair and leaving my mark on a ship. Dreaming is good, but it takes you out of the moment.  Sometimes I get so focused on advancing I become very intense, I forget to share a laugh with my team, or dance my interpretive dance – ‘The Lifecycle of a Leaf’ as if no one is watching.

So maybe what I will begin doing is do something every day that is just so ridiculous, I have no choice, but to be in the moment. Maybe tomorrow I will sneak into John Heald’s cabin and hide under his bed until he is sound asleep and then pull myself out with my arms and say repeatedly in a shaky Katherine Hepburn-esque voice “My legs! My legs! Give me back my legs!”

Have a “ridiculous” day.

Calvyn “Champagne” Martens

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34 Responses to Not a Moment Too Soon

  1. KathyG says:

    Calvyn is very funny. I hope he’s on board the Carnival Magic in February.


  2. Cheryl Killian says:

    I love the yoga statement Calvyn with a Y!

  3. Helene Barnes says:

    Very Funny! I can see why you say he makes you laugh – if he pulls the stunt just yawn and go back to sleep!

  4. Dana T says:

    I’m telling ya, he just cracks me up…I will also now remember from here on out that it is Calvyn, not Calvin, darnit!!!

  5. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Hey there Calvyn!!!

    YOU ROCK!!!

    You MUST be on the Magic Nov 14th…that is a REQUIREMENT!!! I need a rematch of Rock, Paper, Scissors!! (since I think you cheated last time by using your mind reading abilities)

    We also know you are very stealth…..

    Linda (Mom of DJ)

  6. Calvyn has great humour……spelt this way for John…….. That’s why Calvyn is number one in my book. I always remind him that, right Calvyn with a Y? :-)))
    Love ya
    Carolyn and Don<<<<<<< hoping Calvyn will be on the Carnival Magic out of Galveston…

  7. Linda Leach says:

    Calvyn, we were on the Freedom with you February 6 of this year. I laughed more that week than on any of the other 14 Carnival cruises I’d been on! I was so happy to have met you and Dan and Ryan the Third on embarkation day. Thank you for a great week! I love your humor, you especially made the Liar’s Club hysterical!

    • Margo says:

      Linda, I so agree! We were on the January 14th Freedom cruise with all those guys and it was the most fun I can ever remember having! and Calvyn, Rock on “Barbie Girl”

  8. Suzy says:

    Had the opportunity to sail with CalvYn this past October. He is one who created HILAROUS memories for us. We met him by chance at the fun hub. We cracked a joke, all in good fun, at our Mother (72 years old) and he gave her a trophy and a card about with his picture/bio. We just disembarked the Dream last week and was so sad that the rest of the family didn’t get to meet Calvyn.

    So, how can we track Calvyn (like tracking CDs)

  9. Paul Salata says:

    I look forward to the day when Calvyn is a Cruise Director. Perhaps it could be a new Ship called the Carnival Laughter.

  10. Jennifer (the twin) Pazmino says:

    Thanks for letting my other favorite Carnival employee guest blog for you…LOVE YOU CALVYN.

  11. Tom says:

    I don’t get this blog at all. sorry

  12. Riley says:

    That was hilarious!! I want to have him as a CD.

  13. michelle mann says:

    Fantastic Calvyn
    bloody brill..what a laugh
    cant wait to catch up with yu in aug. was telling my mother all about you today and how funny u were.. look forward to seeing again and we can live the moment 2gether!
    ps my son has a weekend job at MacD’s so love your KFc’s stories!

  14. Lis 'Crazy4Koko' Buja says:

    John, I think Calvyn with a Y has been taking lessons…you best watch yourself!!!

    Calvyn, I suggest you talk with Ketut about ALL the dangers of hiding under Johns arse…

  15. Jacquie A says:

    Oh Calvyn,

    I hope you’re still ACD on the Magic when I’m there.

    That is all

    *Jacquie A

  16. Sharon says:

    Love your humor. Keep up the good work!

  17. Susan says:

    Oh that would be so funny if you did hide under the bed and come out after he is asleep. I can say for fact he would be needing a clean fresh pair of underwear!! I cant wait to see if you do that!

  18. boaterette says:

    That was funny. What a hoot. Or bawk depending on your like of birds.

  19. Bonida Kimbrough says:

    You are right, he is hilarious. Thanks for the laughs! Get off the ship John, please…..

  20. Lynda Ulrich says:

    Hi Calvyn,Bob and Lynda here. We cruised with you on the Carnival Freedom in early March, when Dan was CD. You gave me a small Canadian flag pin which I put on my jacket at the Farewell Party. The pin has gone on a few more cruises since then. It will be on a few more until we see you in Oct. on the Carnival Magic in the Med.

    Your blog is so funny, just like you. Can’t wait to see you again.

    Lynda and Bob

  21. Tony says:

    I have seen Calvyn now on two seperate cruises – and each time he has made myself and my wife laugh so so so much. He is by far the funniest entertainment staff member we have ever met. His dry, self-depreciating wit is pure genius.
    Without wanting to sound rude – most of the entertainment staff on Carnival are nice enough – but very forgettable. They all blend into one another. They do their job – they smile – they say what they have to say – they make the odd ‘stock’ joke – but they never make you laugh so much that you have tears streaming down your cheeks.
    I think hes likeable because he never seems to put an ‘act’ on like most the staff do. They seem ‘fake’ on stage – like they are not really being themselves. Calvyn on the other hand just comes across as being a regular guy who is just naturally funny.
    I see him becoming an assistant CD and then a CD very quickly.
    Oh and have him do more guest blogs – this was totally hilarious.
    Also have him always with John doing the morning show. The two of them (John and Calvyn) on the Magic morning show were hilarious. I totally choked on my cornflakes when Calvyn pulled out his glitter bag full of glitter!
    Oh and Calvyn during the ‘liars game’ competition on the magic, when he kept on telling his stories…..I have never laughed so hard in my life!!!
    This guy is HILARIOUS!!!!!

  22. A Bruinsma says:

    Fabulous, You just made a long sea day funny here on the Conquest

  23. WannaBeABeard says:

    John, you and Calvyn were pure “magic” on the May 10 sailing…the chemistry between the two of you on the Morning Show was readily apparent, and hilarious. Best morning combination since Kathie Lee and Hoda, or eggs and tabasco, or orange juice and champagne, or bacon and pretty much anything. And you read my letter! 🙂 Still waiting to hear that joke about Christian and the antelope, or whatever it was…

  24. Lana Albright says:

    Hi John, My name is Lana Albright, I’m sailing on the Carnival Spirit 6/21/11 to Alaska. Susie Van Diver contacted you a few weeks ago on my behalf and you suggested I contact you about a week prior to my cruise. I’m looking for a place on board for my daughter to practice pitching, hoping we can use the basketball court in the mornings before it opens for general use. We’ll be using a soft, foam ball that doesn’t make any noise or cause any damage, would pitch for 30-40 minutes then be off the court. Are you able to arrange permission for us to do that? Any help is greatly appreciated.

  25. Marilyn says:

    I’m so glad to learn more about Calvyn. I sailed on the Magic’s inaugural cruise and was blessed to be seated at the best table for dinner (with the Magic’s Godmother.) the only thing that could have made it more perfect was if Calvyn could have joined us. He was always charming, witty, upbeat, and gracious….a delight to be around. I know that John, Calvyn, and the rest of the team work very hard and they add an extra touch of joy to each cruise.

  26. good one calvyn with a y!

    smiles, bee

  27. Eileene says:

    When I read in John’s blog your response to the woman who cussed at you, Calvyn-with-a-y, that you had to have a great sense of humor. Hope I get to meet you on a future cruise!

  28. Sari B. says:

    I hope I get to sail with you on one of my cruises Calvyn with a “Y”. You put a little giggle into my afternoon. Cheers!

  29. ICMG Splendor says:

    Very Very Funny!

  30. Laura K says:

    Calvyn!! I’m so excited that you are on the Carnival Magic right now with John. I remember you from my cruise in March on the carnival freedom. You were absolutely hilarious…my friends and I still quote you every week. It’s great to still be able to read things that you say; always gives me a good laugh. Hopefully you’ll be on the ship still during the BC5!

  31. Ruth says:

    Calvyn each time I need a laugh I think of you and your Dr. Seus socks! Your are fantastic and I do hope to cruise with you again!


  32. cclmary says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Please send your request for the Chefs table to ASK JOHNS page.

    Thank you,

  33. Mary Mason says:

    Calvyn, you could not have said it better! Keeping you eye on the dream is important as it is “living in the moment”. As one who has pleanty of experience doing customer service in the sky’s and land based, I can truly appreciate the quiet times in my galley taking my quick break, curtain pulled shut while I loft off to dreaming bigger. Mine was to evetually sit in the seat behind the locked cock pit door! Every job, no matter the field, has it’s moment’s. Here’s an example: A gentleman I served on a short flight from ABC to DEF one day and in a very imporant(himself) tone explained to me (the hired help) in detail how to make a virgin cranberry fizz! All the while biting the inside of my cheek until it bled and responded back with “It’s been a pleasre serving you!” Whether working on a cruise or being an air hostess there’s always something in your blood that helps you overcome those silly moments! To be able to take those experiences, relish them and think bigger! You never know, one day I hope to have YOU as a CD on Carnival! 😉 Thanks John for sharing and all the best to you Calvyn! Keep us in the know!

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