Ferry Cross the Mercy

February 27, 2008


Welcome to the state ferry system. As the regular riders know, we start each trip with a little recorded announcement of information we hope you find useful, and if you don’t, what is the matter with you, anyway?

Most of these messages are recorded by various media figures such as news broadcasters, sports announcers, and the like. Today we are trying something a little different. Today’s broadcast is live and presented by a passenger picked at random. In fact, my name is Random Name and I am sitting in one of the seats in the passenger section, talking on a wireless mike at this very moment. If you are trying to identify or locate me I will give you a hint. I am the guy with the sullen, sulky look on his face; though, I may also be the guy who is obviously asleep.

My helpful message will be a little different. If nothing else, you will be glad the next time you hear one of the boring regular messages, believe me.

I’ll talk a little bit about the typical Emergency Procedures part of the message. What usually happens is that the announcer tells you what to do in case of a shipboard emergency and you usually pay no attention whatsoever. In the case of a real shipboard emergency, you would probably follow the procedure of, When in fear or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout. If you survive the disaster, you will sue the ferry system, claiming that no one told you what to do. If you don’t survive the disaster, your relatives will sue the ferry system, claiming that no one told you what to do. So I will tell you what to do in case a disaster such as a hurricane or tsunami strikes your ferry:

The emergency procedures discussion is followed by the security warning that usually runs something like this:

Please do not leave packages, backpacks and other personal items unattended.

I have improved this caution as follows:

If we find unattended items, we will toss them into the water. If you return in search of your unattended item, we will toss you into the water (where you can seek to retrieve them if you wish).

You may notice I have placed little tent cards on tables to divide the passenger deck into four sections. While each section is glassed in, each section has easy access to an open deck. This is handy for reasons I will explain shortly.

Section 1, the section where I am seated, is marked Sullen Silence. As it is 5:30 am on a cold, rainy morning I fail to understand why anyone would sit in any other section.

However, I have marked out three other sections. Section 2 is the Convivial Chat also marked as the Gag Me with a Spoon section where you sit and converse and gossip with fellow workers, friends, or spouses. Generally your conversation will center on fellow workers, friends, or spouses, whichever groups are not present in your discussion. Your discussion dwells on their faults, flaws, and amazingly irritating characteristics. Generally you prefer to sit next to me where I am sulking in morose silence and carry on this discussion in a loud voice. I have plenty of irritating fellow workers, friends, and spouses in my own life. It is difficult for me to express how much I do not want to hear a discussion about the ones in your lives and I have no idea why you think it is necessary for me to hear this discussion or broaden my acquaintance (if only virtually) to additional members of these species.

Section 3 is marked Sell Your Cell Phone. This is very similar to Section 2, except in this section passengers are talking loudly on their cell phones to fellow workers, friends, or spouses (as well as to people they are having affairs with or in the process of divorcing). In half the cases they are having fights; in the other half of the cases they are gossiping and complaining as in Section 2. In any case, words fail me in expressing how passionately I do not want to hear your conversation.

Section 4 is the Children’s Section. This is the section where your small children (who are up at 5:30 am and riding on a ferry for unknown reasons) can run, scream, whine, crawl on the floor, and engage in other wholesome and constructive childhood activities. However, if children wander into one of the other areas, we will toss the children into the sea. (We hope your children are up-to-date on their swimming lessons.) If you come in pursuit of your children, we will toss you into the water as well, so you can pursue your children in the water. For variety, you can assist passengers pursuing their tossed packages and bundles, and they can assist you in pursuing your children.

At the end of the trip, those remaining on board are required to disembark the vessel. We hope you have enjoyed your trip, or at least made my trip less obnoxious. We hope to see you again. Maybe.

6 Responses to “Ferry Cross the Mercy”

  1. Cameron Says:

    Loved it! One ticket for the Convival Chat section, please. 🙂

  2. janie Says:

    Great! 😆

    Put me as far as possible from the cell phones and the “gag me’s”. The kids I can handle. (I’d like to sit where it’s quiet enough for me to read, but no one is sullen.)

  3. vroni1208 Says:

    That was a fun ride! I think I’ll stay on and hear the announcement again. You will find me in the “Sullen Silence” section. I hope no one comes to sit next to me and starts “gagging on a spoon”. There’s, like, 20 other empty seats! Gosh! 🙂

  4. Is there a “How the Hell Could Anyone Get Seasick on a Ferry?” section?

  5. modestypress Says:

    1. My arrangement works on the seat yourself system.

    2. The kids are all yours, except for Random Granddaughter, who is cuter than all the other grandchildren. However, she gets to sit next to me in sulky silence, as she is quite good at that, except when she is screaming. However, she screams better than all the other screaming grandchildren.

    3. As the Random Passenger announcement is delivered live and spontaneously (while gagging on a spoon), I will ride the ferry all day and into the night delivering it. Each delivery will be slightly different.

    4. Another reason for the access to an open deck from each enclosed seating area is so you can lean over the rail.

    True bonus story. Many years ago, the Random Family went on a whale watching expedition. Before boarding the boat, with incredible intelligence and foresight, we ate lunch.

    When Greenpeace gets a moment from harassing the Japanese for their whaling activity, they will hunt down the Randoms for puking in the whale’s swimming/drinking/planktoning water.

  6. pandemonic Says:

    These are all quite good.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: