My last cruise as a waiter on Carnival Conquest was one to remember. My section was filled with twenty coeds just graduated from college: all 22, brainy, and beautiful. These women wanted to party and indulge in every aspect of the Fun Ships they could. This meant lethal flirting with their hapless waiter, even in ports (accompanying pic is with them in Cozumel). I was in heaven.
At the end of the first dinner, my ladies remained long after. They asked a flurry of questions, like “Are you single?” “Can you party with guests?” “Show us your cabin!”. The question that got me in trouble, however, was unexpected. “Why don’t you dance during dinner like the other waiters?”
“I’m management next cruise,” I explained. “They don’t want me looking like a fool in front of staff I’ll be in charge of.”
“No fair!” they cried. “We want you to dance for us!”
“Only if you dance for me,” I retorted. The gauntlet thrown, all twenty rose and I was surrounded by spinning, whirling, and gyrating bodies. I looked on helplessly, realizing I was surely to be out-done by these women. “Come on! Join us!” Realizing they wouldn’t take no for an answer, I jokingly counter-offered, “I won’t do dinner dances, but I’ll do one better. My last day as a waiter, I’ll do a striptease.”
Their applause indicated my jest was not taken as such.
The final night came. As always, serving the graduates was not work, but pleasure. They were patient for all things barring wine service. We laughed and flirted shamelessly. All week they had tried to kiss me in the dining room. The kiss became a game for us all, a silly little prize that both sides refused to relinquish. The challenge was spearheaded by a pretty lass named Jessica. The night drew to a close, but they remained to finish their wine. Neighboring stations emptied, leaving us a solitary island of gaiety. “Last night!,” Jessica called. “Where’s our strip tease?”
All twenty cheered and began chanting, “Strip! Strip! Strip!”
“I can’t,” I replied lamely, fishing for an excuse, “I would need a stage. And there’s no music.”
“Regina!” they cried to my neighboring waitress. Though busy readying for the morning, one table had been forgotten and was completely empty. Only then did I realize it had not been forgotten at all: Regina yanked the table cloth free to reveal an ideal stage. “But there’s still no music,” I observed gratefully. Smirking, Regina signaled a hostess and suddenly ‘I’m Too Sexy’ blared through the restaurant at tremendous volume. I had been set up. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
I leapt onto the table and began a bad dance, whipping off my bow tie and flinging it around my head. With surely the most awkward moves ever witnessed, I flung off my vest and began unbuttoning my shirt. Cheers roared from the graduates. Applause echoed from waiters. Hostesses leered. Chanting to the beat rose from everywhere. Then the maitre D’ entered the room.
I stopped mid-swing, stunned. But the coeds were just getting started. They rushed from their seats to yank me off the table. Hands tore at my chest. Buttons popped out, flying in all directions. My shirt was half ripped off before I could stop it. I had heard that women got far wilder then men at strip clubs, but this was ridiculous. I even felt my belt slipped free! Quickly I gripped my pants before they were yanked down. I began bellowing, not unlike an elephant seal under attack. Alas, there was no denying the authority of dozens of red-tipped fingernails. Here I was living my fantasy since puberty, yet was fighting like mad!
One would think the action would stop with the approach of the maitre D’. One would be wrong. He just grinned and let it flow, reserving the moment for future blackmail.
By Brian David Bruns, author of national best-seller Cruise Confidential.
Pics of the people and places I blog about are on my website and FB pages, join me!