I work a lot. Six days a week at the day job and till midnight every night crafting the finest pop culture reports and penis jokes that the Houston Press will buy off of my guttersnipe form. It's a good life, trust me, because no one will ever look back over his existence from his deathbed and say, "Boy, I'm sure glad I spent all that time finding 100 gold skulltulas in Ocarina of Time." It's best to dig in and accomplish something with your time on Earth.
That being said, we all need a break or we just end up donning a costume and robbing a bank from our murder blimp... you know, as an example. Americans work a lot. According to a 2008 ranking by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, we're the ninth hardest working nation in the world with an average of 1,797 hours spent at paid employment a year (Korea ranked number 1 with 2,357 hours). If you want to maintain your sanity, you'd better take some time off. Well, why not a cruise?
I've been trying to find time and funds for years now to go on the annual Gothic Cruise. Several of my friends have gone, and all agree that it's a nonstop drunken blast featuring great music and everything your spooky little heart might desire. While you may think that a gothic cruise sounds bizarre, you have no idea what incredibly perplexing packages are sold to discerning consumers looking to get away.
The Saw Cruise: It was hard enough to find out that there was a Saw ride at Universal Studios, meaning people were watching the Saw movies and going, "Golly, I'd sure like to be much, much closer to that." Well, now fans can enjoy Saw on the Sea. All in all, it's a pretty tame looking experience, just a jaunt around Canada -- where most of the Saw movies were shot -- and a chance to rub elbows with Costas Mandylor.
Just for fun, try singing Mandylor's name over the Saw theme. Mandylor... Mandylor... Costas Mandylor... Mandylor! It's catchy as all get out. It's better than when a fellow writer got us humming John Mayer and belting out, "Hlavaty's a wonderland." I digress. In addition to Mandylor you can also talk with Ned Bellamy aka the guy in the drill chair trap you see for like a minute in the first film.
The Kate Gosselin Cruise: Suddenly being put in a rusty death trap sounds like the lesser of two evils, if not positively therapeutic. If you're a fan of Kate Plus 8... I'm sorry. I have absolutely no idea how to end that sentence without getting in trouble.
Sticking to the script, the Kate Gosselin's cruise involves meeting Kate Gosselin at a private welcome cocktail party, a commemorative personalized gift from Kate Gosselin, a personal photo with Kate Gosselin, family games with Kate Gosselin, a Q & A session with Kate Gosselin, morning runs with Kate Gosselin, a book signing with Kate Gosselin, a craft lesson with Kate Gosselin, and shore excursion with Kate Gosselin.
Wait, was that nine rituals with Kate Gosselin in a row? Oh crap, the portal is opening up! Back, eldritch horrors! The elder Gods are upon us. Gosselin Fhtagn!
The Titanic Memorial Cruise: Did anyone else know that irony was apparently no longer a thing? I certainly didn't, but apparently it's just freakin' gone, man. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the worst maritime disaster on record, and one that involved a luxury cruise ship at that, you can retrace the route took by the famous ship... though hopefully not, you know, the bit where you travel screaming to the bottom of the North Atlantic.
That's if you leave from Southhampton, by the way. You can also leave from New York where they'll take you out to see to an empty patch of water and say, "Yep, the Titanic's totally down there, dude." Before that you stop at Halifax in order to witness where all the survivors were taken, and where a lot of the bodies were buried. All this is accompanied by lectures on the history, which, OK, sounds cool, as well as a memorial service for the victims.
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Look, the goth here would like to say something I never thought I'd say. Namely, this whole thing is morbid, creepy, and laughs in the face of God.
The How to Avoid Going to Court and What to Do if You Can't Cruise: What? Huh? The fuck? Seriously, who in the hell is going on this cruise? The ad states "Learn how to stay out of Court -- unless you want to be there. This will assist even the novice in presenting a competent, professional persona when testifying in court -- either to defend yourself or as an expert witness." Is this a normal niche that needs filling, and is it something you would normally do while floating around Alaska?
From what I can tell the design of the cruise is for therapists and what are the best ways to avoid getting sued or screwing up when you do. I'm not a therapist, but don't they teach that in therapy school? The first part explores "the variety of ways therapists make unintentional errors in their well meaning efforts to help their clients that result in ethics violations," while the second bit involves mock trials that will expose all the "dirty tricks attorneys use in cross examination."
There literally isn't a single joke I can make at this point and not get sued, and since I can't afford the cruise I'm just going to let this sentence trail off...