Published: September 25th 2017

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Breakfast was up in the Lido, and today being Saturday, Sharon would be attending the Vigil Mass later in the day. It’s never fun waking up to the realization that the time to pack is neigh and what once seemed a never-ending vacation is almost at its end.

With the refunds to my account from several tours that I’d canceled I had a negative balance on my cruise account, so I bought the bingo cards today. Today’s crowd was the biggest yet, and even Lin and her husband showed up, as good Catholics do. But may system of waiting until card sales are nearly through didn’t work today, as it did at our last bingo when Sharon won. We both got to briefly stand; but, the bingo gods weren’t smiling on us today.

It was only fitting that I have one last pizza at the NY Pizza and Sharon got a burger at the Dive In. Today is a sailing day when we maneuver around the Danish peninsula and arrive in the early morning tomorrow in Amsterdam.

Christina wanted to know high a soccer goal is, and we all correctly came to the conclusion that it must be 8 feet. We faltered on “What natural resource is obtained by fracking?” Jackie wrote down oil; but, it is natural gas. And then came “Which actor is not Canadian: Michael J. Fox, Gene Wilder, Leslie Nielson, or William Shatner. We concluded Gene Wilder and got the point. But we got stumped with, “Experts recommend that this type of bath be no deeper than two and one-half inches.” Steve immediately suggested “sitz bath”, but Joan was considering “baby bath”. Joan was the scribe, and she went with her songs suggestion. We never saw “Bird bath” coming. The bonus was worth one-half point for each of five answers. “In the list of the 8 most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust, number 6 is sodium, number 7 is magnesium and number 8 is potassium. What are the first 5 (order not important)?” Steve started to write down “hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen.” I had written down “silicon and oxygen” and Steve agreed with those. I then wrote down “aluminum” and Steve thought about it for a second and then said “nah.” Well, if he didn’t like the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, I doubt that he’d like the most abundant metal in the Earth’s core (iron). We got 1 point on the bonus, the fifth element being calcium, which should have been deductible from the question. We missed first place by one half point.

Sharon went off to her Saturday Afternoon 4:30PM Vigil Mass and asked me to meet her at 5PM for an appetizer and wine pairing in the Queen’s Lounge. This wasn’t really her idea; rather, the couple from mass that we’re having dinner with again tonight wanted to do this before dinner. Well, I showed up at 5PM and found seats for the four of us near two of our “Trivia Rooting Section”. I wasn’t planning on trying the wine; but, I did sample the pork belly appetizer. Sharon and company finally did show up at 5:20PM, and by then they’d taken away the appetizers set out for the other two (I ate Sharon’s before the steward could whisk hers away). The event was basically over when they did come, and it was amazing I had hung around (I just didn’t know where to go). The other couple did manage to get a glass of wine, and they also wrangled a couple of now cold appetizers. Afterwards, we went off to dinner together.

I was having difficulty deciding on the appetizer for dinner; but, settled on the duck confit which I enjoyed. I also thought that the shrimp potato soup was tasty, if not an odd combination. And I went with one of my vegetarian favorites the veggie curry with forbidden rice. A tempting alternative was the chateau Briand that Sharon got, and I can assure you that her meat was very good because she couldn’t eat all of her meal. I had the Devil’s Food chocolate cake while Sharon enjoyed her Baked Alaska which somehow was made with chocolate ice cream. She normally winds up with strawberry (I think that they use Neapolitan) so she was thrilled.

One final chance for redemption at this evening’s Team Trivia. We were at full strength with Joan, Jackie our scribe, and her son Steve. Sharon and I were there, and an Aussie and sometimes teammate rounded out the team. Becka had a special answer sheet for tonight’s trivia, numbered 1 to 20 with no bonus questions. “All of the questions are YOUR questions,” she admonished us. “What was Elton John’s real name?” Now a word about my spreadsheet. The answer to this question is in there, somewhere, sort of that is. That question reads, “Upty Fratz is the real name of what famous performer?” Upty Fratz of course not in my spreadsheet; but, Elton’s somewhat unusual real name is. Our Aussie teammate suggested the first name was “Reginald” so we wrote that down. Reginald what? We went with “John”; but, I didn’t have much hope that that was right. Reginald Dwight was in my spreadsheet, and now, both questions will be in there too! “What was the name of the skipper on ‘Gilligan’s Island’?” I instantly jotted down “Jonas” but then drew a blank. Steve provided “Grumbly” and that sounded right. It should. This question is also in my spreadsheet. Becka then asked, “What does ‘FDD’ stand for in techno-speak?” Steve instantly asserted “Fixed Disk Drive”. Anybody who grew up through the computer revolution may have heard this usage, and it’s also not uncommon on warships and aircraft, and Steve is a pilot. But then a better answer occurred to me, “Floppy Disk Drive”. Steve’s mom went with Steve’s answer, and of course, Becka was looking for “Floppy”. We thought that we were stumped with “What is called the Chinese Gooseberry?” We had many answers written down and crossed out, but our final answer was “Kiwi Fruit” and that was right! They then asked the obligatory “Catholic Question”. “What does the word ‘Bible’ mean?” Sharon looked embarrassed. Jackie had written down “Books”, and considering that the Old and New Testament are made up of a number of Books, that didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Becka was looking for “Little Books”; but, she gave us full credit for just “Books”. Becka wanted to know who was the only one of Henvy VIII’s wives to outlive him. We crossed Anne Boleyn off the list right away, along with Catherine of Aragon. Jackie was suggesting Jane Seymour, but I said that she was the one who died shortly after giving birth. Joan then said, “Well, then it must be Catherine Parr.” And she was right. I had suggested that the headquarters of Red Bull was in Thailand, from a previous trivia question that wanted to know what country did Red Bull come from. Today’s Red Bull was derived from a drink in Thailand, whose name roughly translates as Red Bovine, and its taste was modified some to be more suited to the Western palette by a company headquartered in Austria. I had no recollection of what country’s flag has an AK-47 on the flag, even after studying them on our cross-Atlantic cruise a couple years back. You would think you wouldn’t forget something like that. In retrospect, it appears in a small part of the flag in a symbol where it is crossed with a hoe and overlaying a book, symbolizing the country’s struggle for independence. And that country is Mozambique. We were nearing the end, and Becka asked, “What does ‘holm’ mean in Swedish (as in Stockholm)?” I was stumped. Sharon was stumped and she went on the tour in Stockholm (though all she saw was the palace). Then Joan sheepishly admitted that that was her question. It stands for “island”. I then said, “Well, if that was your question, then ‘Horses’ will probably be the answer to the next question.” And Becka obligingly asked “What are you afraid of if you suffer from hippophobia?” I smiled, and then they realized that this was my question. Technically, I guess you might argue that our team had a bit of an advantage with this Trivia Challenge, since we’d actually submitted two questions. This was not a high scoring game; but, we did win with 13 points. The nearest team had gotten 10 out of 20 possible points.

We went down to the show; but, all we caught were the last two tunes played by the guy on the clarinet. He was in top form again. We went back to the cabin and readied our luggage for getting off of the ship in the morning.


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