THE LAUNDERETTE GOSSIPS
Gossips naturally gravitate to gossips and the best place on the ship to discover gossip or be fed complete and utter drivel is in the launderette. Some guests have even advised me that they go and make up a story, sit in the launderette and then share it. Sometimes they are not even doing their washing. One of my favourite rumours that went around the ship, which originated in the launderette, was that on the world cruise there were eleven bodies in the morgue. It was not true, but it amused me when I was asked. ‘So… we hear there are eleven bodies in the morgue…’
‘That’s interesting…’ I replied with a smirk.
‘Why is that interesting?’ asked one of the gossips with a curious tone.
‘Well the morgue can only hold three bodies.’
‘Oh,’ she replied thoughtfully.
‘It couldn’t even reach that capacity if they were top to tail. Of course they wouldn’t do that anyway. They would have to find somewhere else to keep them.’ When that popped out of my mouth I knew that only gossipy doom could ensue. A twinkle appeared in the gossip’s eyes. She had questions and she was also immersed in gossipacious creativity. That was my cue to depart with a sense of urgency. ‘Just got to go and feed the Captain’s cat!’
Well the gossip certainly became more interesting. The gossips, with five more days at sea, had plenty of time to mischief monger. They had to justify their eleven body claims. So apparently there was now an allocated cabin for bodies. There were a couple of bodies in the brig. In fact, the ship had run out of space for bodies – according to the gossips. The next thing would be body buddies, where you might wake up in the night with a body laid out next to you. Oh and according to the gossips the body count after seven days at sea had reached thirteen. The truth was there were actually two in total and during the voyage we had a heli-evacuation, where a person was air-lifted off the ship for a medical emergency. Of course the rumour then became that we ran out of space for the dead bodies and now they were having to airlift them away or throw them overboard.
The rumour expanded further, not only did the morgue have eleven bodies stuffed inside, the other options could not take any additional dead people, the only place left were fridges. The fridges were going to be cleared for anyone else who planned on departing the world (according to the gossip). I just want to point out this is completely untrue and the gossips certainly manufacture some incredibly tall shippy tales!
One more thing about the ‘Launderette Gossips’ … as much as they are brilliant, they sometimes turf things up that have an element of truth. For example, one of the engines was broken and it was likely that we were going to miss a port. The gossips figured it out even before the crew knew about the situation.
Another time the gossips noticed a series of affairs taking place. The reality is on ships the crew don’t bat an eyelid at the transient nature of relationships that take place. Yet a keen eyed gossipy observer entered the launderette with something that would certainly cause a sea-day-stir. The gossip spread like wild engine fire and the super-sausagey culprit was confronted by his wife who had just arrived on board, the girlfriend, the three guests that he was ‘keeping warm’ and his boyfriend. Quite an extreme gossip resolution.
Honestly the things that the guests come up with have me in hysterics. They often create back stories for Officers and crew who are completely unaware of their freshly created torrid history that resulted in them being at sea. According to the shippy gossips we are all running away. I like that concept – the strange thing is that on ship you can’t actually run anywhere. It is more of a luxury prison than a luxury escape. Think about it – you work seventy hours a week and you have to be nice to people whether you like them or not. You are on the ship a minimum of four months and you can’t leave unless you can get past Security (we swipe out). Abseiling would be a challenge and stealing a lifeboat might be a little tricky. The ship holds the crews’ passports and you can’t do what you want when you want. Where is the running away in that little set up?