Music filled the air in the dining room, which was filled with people who were elegantly dressed for the first dinner of the cruise. People were lost in conversation and the sound of clinking glasses was everywhere. I was confident that it would be a memorable evening, I was just not sure how memorable it would actually be. We enjoyed a fabulous meal. The captain was obviously proud of his people and rightly so.
We were at the point in the meal where we would be treated to a marvelous desert of strawberry short cake topped with a mountain of whipped cream. The table looked like some delicious work of art, rich with color and a most innovative presentation.
I moved to excuse myself for a moment and grabbed the table in an effort to support my weight while standing "Big Mistake." As I rose I heard the tell tale sound of what I knew from experience was a hint of a disaster about to happen. It was too late, the damage was already done. I knew there was nothing I could do to recover from the situation about to take place. What I had heard was a cracking sound as the bolts holding the table in place securely to the floor gave way.
The apprehensive looks on the faces of my table companions, including the captain was a clear indication that they too were fully aware of what was about to happen. With a final loud crack the table pulled free from the floor by the great pressure of my weight. One by one, everyone around the table went crashing to the floor with a variety of comments and screams that sounded like a comic play.
I wound up wearing several shortcakes on my head and face. The captain came to rest with a beautiful desert planted firmly on the top of his head. Once again, the name of Big Jim Bristow became the main topic of conversation all over the ship.
For some strange reason, I was not re-invited to dine with the captain and his officers for the remainder of the cruise. I thought he looked most impressive with a desert on his head but it was a Russian Ship. I guess I was lucky that I was not shot and thrown overboard that night. Every time I see strawberry shortcake I think of that captain and that memorable cruise.
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