April 30, 2005
Garrison Keillor: The Newport News Naval Shipyard is the largest shipyard in the United States. Why? Because they're a shipyard that isn't tied to old ways of doing things. Innovation is their specialty. And that's how they came to refit this aircraft carrier the Chester Nimitz as a cruise ship. (BOAT HORN) Arrival at the Chester Nimitz is exciting for all of our guests no more need to fly to Fort Lauderdale, your 757 (JET) simply lands on the flight deck, so brace yourself (JET ROAR, SCREECH OF TIRES, CATCH LINE, SPRONGG, SCREECH TO HALT) everybody okay? (GROAN, GEEZER GRUMBLING) don't worry about that we'll clean it up welcome to the Chester Nimitz the hangar bay below decks has been converted to an indoor golf range (SWING, FLIGHT OF BALL) and batting cages (PITCHING MACHINE THROWS, SWING, CRACK OF BAT) and the bomb bays to raquetball courts (SQUEAK OF SHOES, BALL BOUNCES). There's a casino of course (SLOT MACHINES) and swimming pool (DIVING BOARD, SPLASH). And a giant shopping arcade. An aircraft carrier has so much more room, that on the Nimitz you can shop for furniture. Or a car. (REV IT UP) Take it for a test drive topside.
With a top speed of 30 knots, you can waterski behind the Nimitz (WHEEE, SKIING) while people on the bow of the ship can hunt game fish (CROSSBOW, IMPACT. "Got him." ). The torpedo tubes have been adapted to fire human beings (BANG, WHOOSH THROUGH WATER) , it's like bungee jumping but underwater. But your big thrill is still ahead that's takeoff. (GEEZER MURMURS) As you board the 757 you can see the catapult being attached (RATCHETING, MECHANICAL) and the booster rocket (HUM OF ELECT. ENGINE MOVING IT INTO PLACE) (FN GEEZER: Why that booster rocket is almost as big as our plane!!!) That's right, old timer. You just take your seats and make sure the seat backs are in the upright position and remove your false teeth, and eyeglasses, and your shoes. And now reach all the way forward and grasp your ankles. (CELLPHONE) Whoops. Forgot to turn off the cellphone. (ENGINE REVVING) Never mind. Here you go. (BIG ROAR AND WHANGGG OF CATAPULT AND ROCKET WHOOSH) And thank you for crusing with us aboard the USS Nimitz.