The Numbers of 2K12

I am not a stat stalker…..although I was when I first started blogging, but WordPress keeps me up to date anyway. I received my annual report. It highlights the start of this blog until today, the last day of the year. I appreciate all who have stopped by and read what I have written. I also appreciate all who have written so that I may, in turn, read.

Blogging brings words to life. It allows readers into my head and me into theirs.

The courage to share stories, whether they be true or made up, opinion or fact, humorous or heart breaking, is not easy to come by.

As long as 1 reader, follower, liker, viewer, commentor or visitor finds a connection, then there is a pretty good chance the posts will continue……

And not just on my small space in the blogosphere but hopefully on yours as well.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


News Remedy

We are on the cusp of another holiday. The big one…..they have been selling new calendars in anticipation of this day for months now.


Of course, the eve of this holiday is much more anticipated that the actual day.

The anticipation of one more freaking show featuring Ryan Seacrest and his teeth almost makes me want to puke.

But this rant is not about the Colgate King or the ball dropping. It is leaning toward the pukey side of things.

Chances are, if you are going to throw up your evenings liquid intake from that evening, then you will be having a hangover on the actual holiday.

Instead of watching mindless bowl games and spending time with the friends and family that you thought had left after Christmas, you will be complaining about the headache, body aches, dry mouth and why your pants are on the sidewalk outside, and the girl from 2B that plays that awful Emo music is in your bed.

Ahhh….the holiday joy that the new year always brings!

Fear not my gracious followers and viewers. CBS Mobile News has the solution for you…..

In the article titled-

“How to avoid the New Years Day Hangover”

There suggestion, as suggested by members of the scientific community is as simple as this-

Cushing Neuroscience Institute in Great Neck, N.Y., said the single biggest thing partygoers can do this year to prevent a hangover is to drink plenty of water throughout the night. A good rule of thumb is to alternate each alcoholic drink with a nonalcoholic one.
Eating before a night out is also a good idea, he said.
This week, the Journal of Food Science reminded people of a 2009 study that suggested asparagus might prevent hangovers.

So….the biggest thing partygoers can do to prevent hangovers is ingest a 1 to 1 ratio of alcohol to water and eat asparagus.

I would like to 1 UP the scientific community.

How about boiling the asparagus for dinner. Eat it, and then carry around a jug of asparagus water to alternate drinks with……

Someone please send me my Honorary Doctorate in the field of Hangover Avoidance,. I really could be on to something.

Is is advice like that, that makes me want to find Bill Nye and slap him upside the head.


I know he is not the culprit, but he is the only science guy I can think of.

There is really only 1 sure fire way to avoid a hangover.


Novel idea, isn’t it.

The Identity of Grog

I have heard it many times-

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Well….today I will put it to the test.

I went to Google and searched “funny random strange pics”. I started flipping through the images.

My goal was to see if my mind could start a story from any of the pics. I would stop on a few and wait for the wheels of imagination to churn out a starting line to a story. What happened?

Zilcho. Nada. Nothing.

After searching through numerous pages that were indeed random, although not very strange or funny, I came across an image that sent the goo inside my skull into a frenzy.

The photo is courtesy of Google. The story is courtesy of my inner goo.


“GROG!! GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW!” The Mother yelled.

“No….I don’t want to.” He defiantly replied.

“Grogamous Zanderfil Schox….don’t make me tell you again!”

He knew she was mad. That was the only time she used his full name. Still, he defied her.




He knew she had just entered his chambers. He always recognized the angry steps of her heels on the tile floor, and the sound the enormous door made while being opened.

She looked at him as he sat in the corner, elbow on his knee, fist resting on his jaw, sullen look on his face.

It brought a pain to her heart to see her giant of a son huddled in the corner like a scared kitten.

“Grog… are late for work…..there are kids in their rooms sleeping without a closet monster to scare them. What will our neighbors think?” She sternly asked.

“The neighbors all make fun of me. They say I’m too sensitive to be a closet monster. I try to be scary….I really do, Momma. I just don’t want to be a closet monster. Please don’t make me go.” Grog sheepishly replied.

“Nonsense. No one is scarier than you. 18 1/2 feet tall, 1400 pounds last time we checked, strong as an ox, bald as a bowling ball. Now put on the scary costume I made you, get up and get in that closet!”

“No. I won’t. I have been watching the kids I am supposed to scare. And you know what….” He said as he stood up and towered over her.

“What honey.” She replied

“They grow up..and…and..and grow out of being scared….and…and…and do stuff that I wanna try doing.” Grog adamantly stated before he continued.

“I’m over 490 years old and all I get to do is creep in and out of closets. Trying to scare kids…WHO DON’T WANT TO BE SCARED!! They want to get sleep so they can go to school and learn something…well…..I want to learn something too!” He finished as he stomped his foot on the floor, bouncing his Mother into the air.

His agility and size allowed him to gentle catch her before she hit the ground. He put her on top of his gigantic bed and sat next to it.

“Sorry, Momma.”

“Groggie, you are nowhere near 490. We don’t age or count like they do. We are who we are and we do what we were meant to do. It is how it has always been.” The Mother concernedly replied.

“Not for me Momma. I’ve been hiding something from you….I found a way into their world without them knowing I am really there.”he said to her without looking her straight in the eyes.

“What have you done, Grog?” She replied as she looked at his down turned face.

He let out a sigh and began.

“While you are out teaching your “scare tactics” classes at the Monster Academy, I have been getting on your computer here. I learned how to use it by watching the kids from the closet….they all have one and I wanted to try it.”

She thought to herself as she waited for him to continue-

“I knew bringing their technology into our world would be a mistake. But my own son?”

She hand motioned him to tell her more, as she was too stunned for words.

“I started a blog…..” He said quietly.

” YOU DID WHAT??? Great, so soon the monster hunters will have an address to find us at. We are doomed.” She frantically stated.

“No Momma….wait…listen. I didn’t use my name or anything….I was going to….but I got so excited about doing something different that I misspelled it…..and I learned how to get a safe email. I have been doing it for months and nothing has happened.” He said all wide eyed and excited.

“Grog….go get me my computer and show me….your…..”blog”.” She calmly asked.

With this request he jumped up off the floor and ran to get her computer.

His Mother bounced up and down on the bed with each booming footstep he took.




He returned, out of breath, computer in hand. He handed it to his Mother with great anticipation of his secret finally coming to light.

She started it up and asked for the website name. He gave it to her and waited for the screen to come alive.

His Mother inhaled. Then exhaled. And asked-

“Ok, Groggie, what is your username?”

He shook with excitement and replied,

“Ok…..ok..ok. Let me tell you first ABOUT the username….I was going to call it good2begrog…..because I like being me!…..but I got too excited…and my fingers are big so I ended up with good2begone.”

His Mother typed the username in and the password he gave her.

“You should start at the beginning Momma, so you can tell me if I have gotten better since I started.”

Grog showed her how to find the first post he had ever published, watched her hit the keys on the keyboard, much more effortlessly that he ever could, and waited for it to appear on the screen.

Post 1 of Grog’s blog

The identity of the son she thought she knew was coming alive, through words, before her very eyes.

She thought to herself as she read-

“No matter how much you know about your kids….you never really know.”


The Game Show History Lesson Debacle

Christmas dinner at the in laws. Need I say more?….whether I do or not, I will.

We arrive at the pre specified eating time, which happens to be around noon. Knowing full well that eating will not commence for another 2 hours. Eating on time is the lure….not eating on time is the hook that is always caught in my cheek. So, I sit and wait, as each moment goes by, as the reeling continues, until the meal is ACTUALLY ready to be devoured.

During the waiting period inbetween the promise of food and the getting of food, my wife, step daughter and I sit on the couch and watch what is pre decided to watch. The in laws are game show channel addicts. Today is “The Match Game” marathon!!!! I was so excited I think I actually peed myself.


If you are not familiar with this particular game show…you are not missing much. It has a panel of 6 “stars” from the 70’s who attempt to fill in the blank of a ridiculous question, by writing their answer on a card. The contestant has to attempt to fill in the blank and attempt to get the same answer with as many of the stars as possible. Top prize $20,000.

After episode 5…..yes 5. I made a comment.

“Check it out honey…they finally have an African American on the celebrity panel.”

I am not a celebrities of the ’70’s guru. Of all the episodes. I actually only knew 2 so called celebrities on the show-

1- Charles Nelson Rielly
2- Richard Dawson

I just found it odd that so far only one person of color was represented. after that one comment….the fun began.

My 14 year old step daughter…in complete seriousness replies,

“It’s probably because that was when slavery ended.”


I looked at her and said, “Slavery ended in the 1970’s?….Which president abolished slavery?”

“I don’t know..” she replied, knowing that eventhough school was not in session, Professor Step Dad was unleashed to teach her something.

I looked her in the eye with a smile and said, “Remember Abraham Lincoln?”

She quickly recoiled and said, “OH NO NOT THIS AGAIN!”

And yet, it was this again.

Please venture into the archive retreival chamber to revisit our first “Encounter with Lincoln”- The Login

Ahh…memory lane.

Back to the story.

I asked, “What was Preident Lincoln known for?”

She replied, “…….the penny?….no wait….the top hat….umm…I know who the first 3 presidents were!”

Deflection technique. Admirable….But, she still had to know the answer to her bold statement.

“Ok, I’ll bite on this one. Name them.”

Her eyes opened slightly wider….she stumbled for words then replied,

“George Washington was the first. Thomas Jefferson was the second. James Madison was the third…WAIT!…maybe Jefferson was the 3rd….and some guy named Adam might have been the second…Give me a minute.”

As she takes her minute to decide, please watch a video which about sums up my brain at this point of the conversation.

She squints her eyes, scratches her head, and sighs. as she is about to reply, we hear from the kitchen,

“Dinner is ready! Let’s eat!”

My stepdaughter smiles big as she lets out an exhale and says,

“That was a close one….I’m hungry. Let’s eat.”

Still smiling, she pats me on the leg, flips her hair and heads to the table.

I try to stop her but the proverbial hook in my cheek gives its final tug.

Reindeer Revenge

I was awakened at 6 am by a loud clatter,
I jumped from my bed to see what was the matter.

At first I thought the reindeer had come to deliver holiday glee,
But the racket was so loud…I really didn’t know what it could be.

My daughter came into the room with a frown and she said,
“I can’t sleep in my room..part of the ceiling just fell on my head.”

My wife she awoke and looked at me in fright,
“Maybe the Mayans were right, they just chose the wrong night….”

I waved that comment off and threw on my pajamas, to check my gut feeling,
That there was a “Drunken Reindeer Riverdance” occurring on top of our ceiling.

I could picture 8 animals paw in paw on our roof,
But because of too much spiked egg nog, their rhythm came across quite aloof.

I threw open my front door and what did I see?
The Christmas hail was pouncing, “Oh Santa….why me?”

Most people hope for a white Christmas when they awake,
Not marbles falling from the sky, for goodness sake.

It is now almost 7, the reindeer had quite the bash,
I hope the insurance is paid up…..I don’t want to pay cash.

I sip on my coffee and look at the tree,
The day hasn’t even started…how will the rest of it be?

The truth is, it is Christmas, and the freak storm it has passed,
Every day creates memories….I pretty sure this one will last.


She stood in front of the mirror, like she did every morning, painstakingly applying the makeup she needed to look presentable to the outside world.

She pulled back her shoulder length hair and tied it back with a band. First the base, a bit heavier application in some areas, lighter in others. Then used the brush to apply rouge to her cheeks. She reached into her makeup bag, picked out a darker color of eyeshadow, and looked back into the mirror, ready to apply. Her reflection stared back at her, arms crossed and began to talk.

“When is enough going to be enough?”

She froze. Unable to reply to herself. A chill ran up her back and the hairs on the back her neck stood up. She continued to stare….at herself.

“Yes…it’s me…I mean you…talking to me…I mean you…Ughh it doesn’t matter…..I have had enough. That face paint of yours does not hide what he does to us. We look like a sad clown. If you won’t…”


“WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO IN THERE? HURRY UP I GOT THINGS TO DO!” Her husband yelled from the other side of the door.

She looked away from the mirror and frantically put the rest of her makeup back into the bag and turned and opened the door.

“I was just talking to myself. I will finish my makeup in the car before I head to the store.” She sheepishly replied without looking him in the eye as she scooted past him.

“Good idea. Pick me up some beer. You spilled my last one last night….. And hurry up I need it before I go meet the guys.” He demanded.

“Ok ok I will be quick, honey.” She said as she walked out the front door and headed to her car.

He walked into the bathroom and pulled the door shut behind him. He grumbled as he began to relieve himself. “She better hurry if she knows what’s good for her.” He zipped himself up and went to the sink and turned the faucet on. The cool water he splashed from the faucet up to his face calmed his hungover nerves. He pulled the towel from the holder beside the sink to dry himself and looked into the mirror and was taken aback by his wife’s reflection looking back at him.

“When is enough going to be enough?”

He rubbed the knuckles of his index fingers into his closed eyes and refocused on the mirror and said, “What the…I really must have drank too much…”

“I used to be a confident, beautiful woman until I married you. Now I am a remnant of a human…a slave to you and your demands…a punching bag when I deny your requests. Well…enough is enough.” The reflection stated.

“This isn’t real…I must still be dreaming…mirror, mirror on the wall…you bear the reflection of the one I ain’t scared of AT ALL!!”

Finishing that statement, he balled up his right fist and thrust it at his wife’s reflection in the mirror.


He looked at his hand, which started to bleed profusely from the shattered glass. Then looked back at the broken mirror.

He had hoped to see his own reflection within the broken shards of glass. What he did see were the reflections of every woman he had ever put his hands on staring back at him with evil, eager smiles on their faces.

His current wife’s battered reflection spoke for the army of many that awaited him.

“We are a collection of the damage trail you have left in your violent wake for control. The women assembled here are the battered reflections of the pain that you have inflicted upon their human counterparts. Enough is enough. You breaking the mirror has effectively and unknowingly broken the cycle. They will not fight back out of fear. We will fight back…because of it!”

With that, a multitude of hands reached out from within the broken mirror and grabbed him and yanked him to the reflection side.

Leaving behind only the gold wedding band , which he wore, promising to honor and protect the one he married until death do they part.

She returned home….beer in hand about 30 minutes later. She rushed into the house to pass it off to her husband in hopes she didn’t take too long.

“Honey?…..honey…I got your beer…I will put it in your cooler and ice it down for you…honey?” She questioned as she walked around the seemingly empty and quiet house.

She walked into the bedroom and knocked on the bathroom door….

Knock knock

“Honey is everything ok?…..”

She turned the knob and slowly walked in. Everything was in place…..except her husbands wedding band was sitting in the sink on top of a slip of paper. She moved the ring over and picked up the note. It only contained 3 words…and was written in her handwriting…

Enough is enough


(Orna)Mental Peace

He looked at the Christmas tree from the comfort of his recliner and got lost in thought while the lights randomly blinked….

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

The clock read 2 am. The house was quiet. He just watched the lights blink and shimmer off the ornaments that hung off the branches.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

They never bought ornaments. Always homemade. Each year was a family event to hang the newest of the family collection along side the ones from years past.

Some the kids made in school with their pictures from that school year. Each year they would go on the tree. And each year comments would be made of the changes each child was going through and how big they were getting.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

Some were from the grandparents. Each year a new set would arrive the week before Christmas. Always a coupled ornament for Mom and Dad and an individual for each child. On Christmas eve those packages would be opened and the ornaments inside would be hung on the tree with smiles from all.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

One year, they even carved their own ornaments out of wood. The local hardware store had family oriented do it yourself classes on the weekends. They all went and participated and brought their creations home and hung them on the tree. He looked at these ornaments in particular and laughed to himself and said quietly,

“Those have zero resemblance to snowflakes or snowmen…but what a time we had.”

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

He looked around the den and watched the small different colored lights illuminate the various family pictures that hung in frames throughout the room.

Six Flags from the summer of his sons 8th birthday. Cinderella on Ice for his daughters 6th.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

The second honeymoon he and his wife took the Bahamas. He fell asleep in the sun and got so sunburned they spent the last 4 days in the hotel room. She stayed right there with him the entire time.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF

A tear began to run down his cheek. He was brought back to the present by a nudge from his constant companion that got his attention.

“What’s up, girl…you need to go outside?”


He got up from his recliner and let the dog out to do his business. After shutting the door he stopped and walked back to look at the tree.

He let out a sigh and said,

“It’s been 3 years since the car crash that took you all away from me….and still….I do all this in hopes you will be coming home. One day we will be together again….one day. Until then, Merry Christmas.”

He walks over to the table and picks up 3 ornaments. The first is 2 angels arm in arm. The other 2 are single angels. He hangs each on a branch on the tree.

Strand 1 and 3-ON
Strand 2-OFF

Strand 2 and 3-ON
Strand 1- OFF

Strand 1 and 2-ON
Strand 3- OFF



Irony Of An Earworm

The earworm is a funny thing. it’s a song that gets into your head and stays there until you can find a way to get it out. I have had this particular song in my head for a few days. I figured to get it out I would head to my local music store and purchase the bands “Greatest Hits” CD and listen to it a few times to release it from its captivity inside my head.

The irony of the whole thing is this….

The only CD I found, had all of their hits…..except this one.

Indeed, a Cheap Trick has been played on me…

Aint that a shame.

Revision of a Classic 2

Here is my version of another Christmas classic.

Please feel free to song along….

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

I come to you to save my plight, but the crowds give me a fright

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, your smiley face it taunts me.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, your smiley face it taunts me.

Your customers shop in pajamas and the spandex its appalling.

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, your smiley face it taunts me.

You lure me in with sales delight, but distract me with the redneck sights

Oh Walmart, Oh Walmart, of all the stores, why is it with you I start.


The Cruise-A-Fix

I’m a bar binge, blackout having, drink in the morning to get going, don’t know where I am half the time drunk.

I can afford to be one, you see.

Money has never been my problem.

Unfortunately, it has never been my solution, either.

As long as I have it, I can’t be down and out…..who is going to believe that I have a troubles with the drink when I don’t have troubles with the bank?

I can tell you who….this guy.

And it only took waking up on a vessel surrounded by miles….and miles of water to find out.

Lets begin with the basics-

-I come from money…lots of it.

-Trust fund kid turned into a living off trust fund adult

-live alone…spend alone

-live big…spend big

-companionship by the hour…and by the dollar.

-flashing the green gives me the finer things in life….a constant flow of people who agree with me, want to be around me and drink with me.

-drinking is the one true love that reminds me that all the other basics are ok.

Money has its advantages. It got me into 4 rehabs, 6 mental hospitals, and 1 “recovery retreat” instead of 2 prison stays. The family couldn’t bear having that kind of stain on the family name so they did what they always do. Throw money at the issue to make it go away. Now they are content with continuing to throw money at me to keep me away. It works for all of us.

So I just do what I do each day…

-drink a little when I awake to shake off the cobwebs and keep the shakes at bay.

-figure out where I am…and who I am with, and what it will cost to keep it quiet.

-chalk the latest adventure up to experience and drink until the next blackout


The funny (or not so funny) thing is I never knew my last hoorah was here until a woke up with violent shakes.


No liquid remedy in sight,

With the room spinning and bobbing as if I was on a boat.

Turns out I was.

The week before the end wasn’t anything special….from what I can remember at least. Drunk and having a good time. Yay. The last thing I do remember was waiting for my car in front of the hotel bar with this hot little number who promised me great things (whatever,how much) when I heard someone call my name from down the street. I looked over and saw an old friend of mine that I used to party with.

He said, “Hey man. I’ve been looking for you. Feel like losing the hooker and talking for a while?”

I began to reply, ” I haven’t seeeen you in yearsss.sure…

Next thing I remember is waking up in my own vomit. Dry heaving. Crippling headache, in some sort of hotel room.

My first instinct was the same as always. Crawl to the fridge and drink whatever I had it stocked with the night before. My standard was Amstel Light in the fridge and Absolut in the freezer.

I opened the fridge and I saw orange juice and water.

“What the f&:k. Who drinks this crap in the morning?” I stated as I held my head.

I looked around. I was alone and it was quiet. I stumbled my way over to the window to gauge where I was at. To my surprise all I saw was water….no land….

Now….I may drink like a fish but I prefer not to vacation as one. I picked up the phone and hit zero.

“Sober cruise information. How may I direct your call?” The operator said.

“Yeah….I need booze in my room. Can you deliver up…..wait….what cruise information?”

“Sober cruise sir. And I’m sorry be we obviously do not have alcohol on this ship…..”

I livened up a bit. “Sober cruise? Why the hell would I be on a sober cruise…..who wants to be sober…not me. Send the captain of this ridiculous ship to my room. I need to have him get me off this shipwreck….NOW!”

“Yes sir. He will he there shortly. Thank you for using Sober Cruise lines…”

I slammed the phone down before she finished.

A few moments later I heard someone whistling down the hall. Then the knock on my door. I opened it ready to start yelling about my predicament and pay my way to a bar….somewhere, when the last person I remember talking to stood before me…wearing a uniform.

“Ahhh…Sammy boy. You are awake. You should probably drink that juice in the fridge. It will settle you down some.” The Captain said as he smiled.

“Yeah. I’m awake and I need a drink. I know you have a bottle in your “cabin”, get it. I will pay you double for it.”

The Captain smiled even bigger and replied, “Actually….no. I quit drinking 3 years ago, but as you know money has its advantages. I’ve been keeping tabs on you at your parents request. You are a f@/?king mess, Sam.”

“I’m not homeless or broke. I’m fine.” I replied as I dry heaved again

“No , you are not. I know I can’t make you change or force you to stop. But I can do something for you that all your rehabs and hospitals and money can’t.”

“What is that? Completely put me out of my misery? Yup, this boat should do it.”

He laughed a hearty laugh, shook his head and looked me in the eye.

“You are stuck on my boat for about 3 weeks with nothing but people who ARE sober. Not the ones who are trying to figure out if they want to be or not. There is no way off the boat unless you can swim….really far…..and I know you…you can’t. This is my way way of helping out someone I care about. You can stay in this room for the remaining time we are at sea OR you can venture out and mingle with others who live a life without the crutch you use to call survival. Either way…your money will get you nowhere here. Only your willingness to walk out that door and see what life without the booze has to offer. At the end of the cruise…the choice will be yours. Your shakes should wear off in a few days. You are actually in my quarters. so make yourself comfortable. I will still be here when your shakes…and anger wear off.”

He left to tend to the ship. I sat in silence. Fuming. I drank most of the damn juice to get the dryness out of my mouth. Laid down on the couch and shook myself back to sleep.

I awoke 12 hours later. Less shaky and more clear headed. I went to take a shower. The hot water refreshed me and calmed my nerves. I got out put on clean clothes and looked at the clock.

7:36 pm

“I’m usually finishing off Happy Hour at this time. Do sober people even celebrate Happy Hour?” I said to myself as I looked in the mirror.

“Well, Sammy what’s it gonna be?”

My reflection had no response. It just stared at me with the same scared blank expression it always did.

I turned away and headed to the door. I opened it and walked into the hallway….and just stood there. I was about to go back into the room when someone said,

“G’day mate…names Jon….first time on a vessel without a pub?”

“Pub?…umm yeah…what do you people do if you don’t drink?” I asked the stranger.

“Crikey…found me a newbie! Come with me mate. I meeting some friends of Bill in a few. They will be happy to see you.”

I don’t know who Bill is or who his friends are…..but I went along away.

The fix was on.