“What was the worst part?”  Meredith Vieira asked some bimbo newlywed on the Today Show this morning.  I was still half asleep on the couch, working on the corduroy marks on my left cheek, but I perked up when she intoned, “Walking up nine flights of steps!” to eat the salads, sandwiches, and fruit they threw together and drink the free booze.  Oh, and smelling the non-functioning toilets.  They were bored, poor things, and tried to sleep through the whole stranded cruise ship ordeal.  “Well, we tried to sleep through it, but that only got us through the first day!”  After that, they had to figure out some way to entertain themselves, so they turned to that old activity of last resort – playing cards.  Can you imagine – 2 whole days (since they slept the first) of having to be entertained on a bum cruise ship!  And then a 2 hour bus ride back to California!  The horrors of having 3 days of your honeymoon on an ocean cruise ruined by a lack of electricity, an abundance of warm beer, and Spam on the last day! 

Really makes those Chilean miners’ trials pale in comparison, doesn’t it? Forget being trapped underground for more than two months without sunlight. Forget stretching rations for 17 days before being found.  Forget shitting and exercising in an underground cavern and entertaining yourselves with rocks. Never mind being without contact to the above-ground world for 17 days.  Forget being hoisted to the surface in a 22” capsule.  Those 4500 privileged Americans on that Carnival ship suffered, and we shall not soon forget their ordeal.  Imagine walking up 9 flights of steps just to get free warm beer!