Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cruise Library -- Observations

I didn’t go to the Library on Deck 10 aft to read. I usually do appliqué where the light is better on Deck 10 forward. Today, I wanted a change of scenery. The seas were quite rough, so there were ample seats. At first it was rather quiet. A few people were reading, one person was sketching, and my needle was rather quiet as I sat stitching.

A husband/wife team brought their books in to read. Still quiet. As I glanced up at them across the room, I noticed a firm glare towards the chair where I sat. Could it be that I was sitting in their favorite chair? After awhile, they sat across from me, alternating their reading and glaring. When I get started stitching, I stay put until something really important disturbs my work (lunch). The couple got up a few times, then returned to see if I were still there. There must be something magical about that chair. It was identical to the ones where they sat, only facing west.

The silence was interrupted by four elderly card players. Realizing it was a Library, they spoke only in hefty Southern accented stage whispers, so that everyone in the Library could hear the latest dinner table gossip. I had never realized this before, but when playing cards it is necessary to shuffle the cards no less than 27 times, tapping the cards on the table top 3 times between each shuffle. (Things you normally never think about.)

One octogenarian found his favorite titles and gave us all a lesson on perusing books. First, you shove the first book into the back of the bookshelf, so that it makes a loud clacking noise, then you pull it back towards you and out from the shelf to examine the first page. Once you have determined the contents on page one, you place this first book back on the shelf, being careful to repeat the ramming of the book against the back of the bookshelf one more time before pulling it back to it’s proper place. (I suppose this keeps the pages properly aligned.) You continue to do this with each subsequent book until you have examined at least 20 books. It may very well be that you do not find a good book in this lot and will have to go repeat the process in another section of the Library.

Should I do something to protect the expensive china greyhounds gracing the fireplace mantle? They are starting to wobble with the high seas. (I left them alone, and they held their ground.)

Why are people so sloppy today? They are leaving white paper bags on the Library tables, in the hallways next to the trash cans, on the counters in the restrooms. Everywhere you look, paper bags. I was about to gather them all up and (helping out the cruise staff) place them in proper trash receptacles. Then it dawned on me that these bags bore a striking resemblance to the little “barf” bags one sees on airplanes. Could it be that some people were actually getting ill?

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