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Monday, November 21, 2011


Monarch of the Seas
April 2005

As I walked Jessica (our daughter) down the aisle I smiled ear to ear. I thought to myself that she had come so far. At that moment I was downright proud of her. She had had a rocky past (we adopted her when she was 7) and now was taking a big step to leave that all behind her.

All during the wedding and reception everyone was so happy for Christine and me. Many strangers came up to us to congratulate us. They would shake our hands and look me in the eye (almost with a wink and a nod) and say that I must be very happy that I got to walk our little girl down the aisle. But why was everyone treating me so strangely, I thought to myself.

Later during the reception Jessica proudly said to me that they had already got married weeks before, but this whole thing was staged so that I would get to walk her down the aisle. EVERYONE was in on it! The wedding party, the guests, the preacher...everyone! My heart sunk. I felt like I had been duped. It was then and there that I decided to turn the tables and have a little fun with her!

The following day Jessica and Rick were off to San Pedro to take a cruise that we had put together for the (not so) new bride and groom. Jessica was so excited to take another cruise. She had taken several cruises while she lived with the family but wasn't able to since she had moved out a few years earlier.

Jessica called me as they were waiting in line to board to thank us again. She was talking a mile a minute about how much fun they were going to have. She was freaking out! That's when my plan went into effect. I dialed *67 so that she couldn't see that it was me that was calling her. I texted her the following:
Welcome aboard newlyweds! We hope that you will participate in our brand new Fun and Games using text messaging. Stay tuned for more info.
From, your captain and crew aboard Royal Caribbean's beautiful Monarch of the Seas.”

I tried to imagine how she would be freaking out. But I waited. About an hour later she called me to tell me that they were eating in the Windjammer Cafe (her favorite) and about this text message. I played dumb. She thanked me again. I suggested that she stop calling her daddy and give her husband some attention. “For goodness sakes, Jessica, you're on your honeymoon!” I joked to her. She said, “You're right dad. I love you. Bye.”

Finally my plan could begin! I next texted:
All newlyweds aboard Monarch of the Seas are invited to play Fun and Games trivia.
The first newlywed couple to report to the Purser's Desk and tell us the capitol of Nigeria will win a special Welcome Aboard gift. Ready? Set? Go!”

“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”, she yelled into the phone, “You'll never believe what happened. I got this text...” I interrupted her, “Whoa, Jessica slow down, I said sounding concerned. Are you okay?” She proceeded to tell me the story.

She said that she got a text as they were having a drink by the pool. They didn't know the answer to a trivia question so she grabbed (physically) their bar waiter that earlier they had noticed had an accent. Jessica excitedly asked him, “Do you know the capitol of Nigeria? Are you from Africa?” “No mon! I am from Jamaica!” She said he looked puzzled. “Dad, what's the capital of Nigeria?' “Lagos, I told her.” (Actually it has been Abuja since 1991, but I didn't know that at the time)

Jessica and Rick later said that they sprinted down 7 decks to arrive at the Purser's desk. It appeared that they were first! “We got it!, she shouted to the purser. The capitol of Nigeria is Lagos!” She said that the purser looked at her like she was crazy, but then gathered her composure and in her stuffy Queen's English said, “Thank you, I will be sure to record that in the Ship's Log.”

Jessica explained to her about the game and showed her the text. The purser said that she would need to talk with her manager and asked if she could take the phone with her to show him. Moments later she returned with a bottle of champagne and told Jessica, “Congratulations! You won!”

Not knowing what had just happened at the Purser's Desk I sent another text. A few minutes later I got a call from Jessica. This time she was talking much more quietly. “Dad”, she whispered, “We're at the Lifeboat Drill and they told us to keep it down”. She told me about winning the first round and said they need my help on another question. I interrupted her and said, “The blue whale is the largest mammal that has ever lived.” She asked how in the world I could know what the last trivia question was. I laughed so hard that I think I peed a little. She was not as amused as I was! I heard her tell Rick, he said, “Oh man! That's not cool!” When they came home we all laughed.

Moral: Never get in the middle of a war in Southeast Asia! Never pretend to have a wedding! And never mess with a Sicilian when a practical joke is on the line. Hahahaha! Hahahaha! Clunk.

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