March 20, 2010

Western Caribbean Cruise Compilation

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Men at Sea

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TR: MEN — AT — SEA (FN REVERB).

GK: Other people knew them as teachers, doctors, administrators, men in offices, but in fact they were members of a lonely secret fraternity.

TR: MEN— AT—SEA (FN REVERB). 

GK: They didn’t look like seafaring men. They were pale, some of them overweight, some older, but that was all part of the deal. You looked at them and you’d never guess they were.

TR: MEN—-AT—-SEA (FN REVERB).

GK: It always happened in the spring. Their wives said something to them.

SS: I noticed there’s a cruise in March.

FN: Oh?

SS:  I thought maybe we could go.

FN: Oh?

SS: It’s to the Caribbean. Would you like to go?

FN: It’s up to you.

SS: It’d be a chance to relax.

FN: Uh huh.

GK: But there’s never relaxation for —

TR: MEN— AT—SEA (FN REVERB). 

GK: So their wives arranged it, bought the tickets, packed the bags, got someone to take care of the dog (BARKS) Sent the cats off to the cat hotel. (CATS) Arranged for paper delivery to stop. Arranged for a house sitter. (TR TEEN: Yeah. Cool. Where’s the beer?) And they had no idea that their husband was in radio contact with other —

TR: MEN— AT—SEA (FN REVERB). 

(MORSE CODE, STATIC)

FN: Big Boy, this is Red Rover. I read you. Reporting in for sea duty. Caribbean, sailing Tampa, Key West, Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya. Over, Big Boy. (STATIC)

(SHIP HORN) (GULLS)

GK: The great cruise ship pulls out of Tampa and the champagne is opened (SFX) and the party begins (GLAD VOICES, SAXOPHONE, LATIN) and a spirit of merriment prevails— in the hot tub (SFX) and around the ping pong table (SFX) and in the swimming pool (DIVING BOARD, SPLASH) — the food line is open and people go through and take big helpings of the potato salad (SPLAT) and the cole slaw (SQUORT) and hotdogs with mustart (SQUORTS) and the bread pudding (SFX) a la mode (SQUORT), but up on deck — or topside, as we say, solitary figures stand along the rail looking out to sea. They are men. Men at sea. And they have a job  to do that few others aboard the ship will ever understand. Their job to watch the sea for signs of unusual activity. Birds flying unusual patterns. (SFX) The sight of objects in the water that could be periscopes. (FN: Two o’clock off the starboard bow, fifty yards out. Possible object in water. Over.) Strange cloud formations that could be unidentified flying objects. (SFX) They stand lonely watch at the rail as others amuse themselves at the slot machines (SFX) and the roulette wheel (SFX) and playing basketball (SFX) and the golf tee in the stern (SFX) and trap-shooting (SFX) and the karaoke bar (FN: I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way") and meanwhile men stand at the rail looking out at the sea as men have always done....
GK: ...That night he sleeps and has a dream in which the ship is under attack by demented dolphins who are playing "Blue Dolphin Street" on conch shells and they are led by an evil pirate (TR PIRATE TALK) in a black beaded dress (TR SINGS: I feel pretty, O so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright, and I pity anyone who isn’t me tonight. LATIN STEP) and they’re on a submarine (KLAXON) that fires baguettes from the forward tubes that are loaded with transfats and bottles of hand purifier laden with deadly viruses and at the rail men defend the ship with depth charges they carry in their backpacks (SFX) — he awakens from the dream and his wife is still asleep (SS SNORING) and he turns on CNN (TV AUDIO) and there is the news churning again, a world of danger and intrigue, in which so many people do not wish us well, but who are they and why and where, we do not know. Unable to sleep, he puts on his khakis and a shirt and goes out on deck. (WIND, GULLS, SHIP HORN) Along the rails stand men he does not know, looking out to sea as men have so often looked, men who share his mission — the thankless job of watchfulness when you’re not sure what it is you’re watching for and neither does anyone else—

FN: Hey.

TR: Hey.

FN: How’s it going?

TR: Not bad.
FN: Everything okay?

TR: So far.

FN: See anything suspicious?

TR: Not yet.

GK: Day and night, even on a cruise ship, they stand guard, and you sleep better at night knowing they are there. Up there. On the deck. Fore and Aft. Watching.

TR: MEN......AT......SEA. (FN reverb)

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