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Fools rush in … especially when they miss the bus

Last week Ginny and I were on a cruise to Grand Turk and Bimini. 

I could have written a column bragging about sunning myself on a pristine beach while my readers were shivering in the cold. But no, I would never stoop to that.

Instead, in my absence, last week I reran a column from May 2013, just before we took our first ocean cruise to the Bahamas. This week I’m reposting the column I wrote after we got back from that experience.


What kind of foo-el do you think I am?

When the captain mentioned the fool, I immediately slumped down at the dining room table.

I knew Capt. Roberto Costi must have been talking about me when he came on the PA system. Ginny and I were eating supper in one of the large dining halls on the Carnival Fantasy during our cruise to the Bahamas.

We'd been at Freeport all day and expected to shove off that evening. Then the captain gave us his report.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be slightly delayed leaving Freeport because the foo-el was late arriving."

Ah, the foo-el. Excuse me, Capt. Costi, but I wasn't really that late getting back to the ship. Freeport is on Grand Bahama, after all, one of the largest of the chain.

And the main part of town is quite a walk from the harbor, especially when you miss the excursion bus on the way back. Who knew I'd become distracted by the large melons at the straw market?

Late? You call it late just because I had to beat on the gangway hatch to get somebody to open up and let me back on board? Just because your precious engines were revving up, causing swells in the harbor?

You wanna know what late is? I'll tell you about late.

Late is when you enroll in college and 36 years later you get your degree. Oh wait, that's me being a fool.

Um, uh, late means never having to say you're sorry? Better late than never?

Late bloomer? Late night? Late great? Late arrival?

Er, missed the boat?

But I didn't miss the boat, Captain. Therefore, technically, I wasn't late.

I was safely ensconced in my stateroom as the Fantasy pushed off from the pier. Yes, I was in bed with the blanket pulled over my head, in a solid state of embarrassment. But I was on the ship.

Nobody had to slam on brakes because some fool came running down the pier crazily waving his arms for the big boat to stop. No flashing lights, no screaming sirens, no out-of-control heartbeats.

Just a light tap on the gangway door and a calm, cool "LET ME IN!"

And a red-faced security officer jerking the door open, demanding my ID card and slamming the hatch closed.

And the amused stares of fellow passengers, the smiles of the crew and the captain's words ...

Wait, what? 

The captain meant what?

Ohh, it was his Italian accent that threw me?

He really was saying that the FOO-EL truck was late arriving at the ship to reload the FOO-EL tanks?

So Capt. Costi wasn’t talking about me at all?

Does that mean I'm not a foo-el after all?

Don't answer that.

By the way, I didn't really almost miss the ship, but Capt. Costi really did say foo-el. 


Larry Penkava, writes for Randolph Hub, Contact: 336-302-2189, larrypenkava@gmail.com.