(Inge Wannell - January 2006)

Some people can't/won't learn. The nightmare of trip No.1 to Ramstein courtesy of USAF military plane has slipped down the memory hole. Trip No. 2 is scheduled by sea to Germany. Q: So what can possibly go wrong? A: Stupid question.

It was cloudy, a blustery breeze was pulling at our clothes, but our ship of fortune looked a sturdy and safe haven. Anyway rumour had it that our benefactors had laid on a splendid cold buffet in a private room. Nina Dellamura and I cheered up at that point, as both of us were permanently hungry and ate everything that wasn't securely nailed down

So, the ship set sail (I made that bit up because it sounds so romantic, the ship only had smelly diesel engines). Then little by little the heaving and rolling started. To cut a long story short, the waters got so rough and the weather so bad, that the captain announced he was going to detour and "hug the Norwegian coast" which would take a lot longer but was much safer. But Norway obviously rejected his advances - maybe he wasn't cute enough - and the sickening rock & roll got worse with every passing minute. Staggering around, without holding on to something became impossible.

Consequently the buffet (which Nina and I had already investigated with great approval) was left virgo intacta by all the Benson clan. The green-faced girls were throwing up in the toilets and just about everywhere else. The more fastidious ones heaved up over the ship's railings at great risk to their well-being.

Execution of a technicolour yodel over the ship's rail requires preparation. Also knowledge of wind speed and wind direction. The former is useful, the latter is crucial. The ladies who ignored this principle became victims of the law of unintended consequences. You work out what happened!

Meanwhile: We two legged it down to the buffet room. Nina's customary pre-food "Ritual" came first. She does that girlie thing with her eyes and says: "I have to watch my figure". I can't imagine why, there's plenty of guys who do that all the time.

Here in the complete privacy of the deserted buffet room, Nina and I devoured the goodies totally undisturbed. Not a soul there to notice that all the prawns, smoked salmon, lobster, slices of beef, turkey, chicken etc. were being guzzled down at the speed of light. Not even any pretence of a bit of bread or lettuce which etiquette demands you should at least put on your plate, unless you want to be called a glutton.


All those chicken legs wrapped in serviettes must have somehow fallen into my handbag accidentally.

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