An Open Letter to Carnival Cruise Lines
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Dear Carnival Cruise Lines:

I just had to write to tell y'all how much fun we all had on board the Carnival Victory. Man, oh man, that sure was a purty boat. We was a little nervous about leavin' the trailer park and takin' one of these big boats with all them high-falutin' folks, but there weren't nuthin' to get ruffled about.

The young'uns sure had a good time. Camp Carnival, Camp Carnival. That's all we heard about. Send your young'uns to Camp Carnival. Hell, so what if there's a video game contest, and no one shows up to turn on the video games for the kids? My young'un was disappointed, but I tole him to tuffin' up. Just because he waited two days to play in this thing and made a point of bein' where he was s'posed to be at the right time, don't give him no right to fret, dagnabbit.

And my other young'un. We had to interrupt our vittles to get him to some gawl- dang Camp Carnival ice cream makin' party he was waitin' all damn day for. And then when we picked him up, he done tole us he didn't get himself no ice cream because whatever they did to make the ice cream didn't work and the ice cream was all runny. He didn't need no ice cream, anyway, the varmint. Gittin' too big for his britches, what with ice-cream makin' parties and all.

And the night the man two cabins down beat up his girl, well, that was just more fun than should be legal. With her in the hall cryin' and the po-lice and security officers, I just felt right at home. Nothin' like a good beatin' to set a body straight, I always say. He said she pulled off his neck chain, and she said he beat the bejesus outta her. I just happened to be out in the hallway when all this was goin' on, comin' back from fetchin' the young'uns' swimmin' drawers from the washroom. I only wish the young'uns were with me so's they could have seen and heard all the yellin' and screamin' and cryin'. Yessiree, Bob. Just like home.

I sure did like that pool deck. What a great place to set a spell and watch folks. So what if the chairs were so close together you had to crawl up from the bottom 'cause there weren't no way to move 'em side to side. So what if there weren't no place to put your cocktail or your Jackie Collins novel, 'cepting on the chair next to you, but that guy sure didn't 'ppreciate me puttin' my stuff on his chair. Why, as I was hangin' on to my cocktail so it wouldn't spill, I'll be danged if an argument didn't break out right in front of me-some guy yelling at some woman he didn't know 'cause he thought she was accusin' him of tryin' to steal her deck chair. Hoo wee I felt like I was settin' right there in my own parlor watchin' Springer on the tee-vee.

The ce-ment ponds were right nice, too. Little squares (three-count 'em-three) filled with water with so many young'uns in 'em all a body could do was bob around. And the big water slide. I don't think anyone paid any mind to waitin' 45 minutes in the blazin' hot sun to take a ten-second ride down the water slide.

Some of those ladies were right purty. Why, I was just in awe over the woman who got on the glass elevator in that there atrium with her hubby. She had herself a can of Michelob Ultra she was swiggin' from she didn't need no glass. And I ain't never seen no one who could put three fingers in their mouth and pick their teeth and talk at the same time without spillin' the hooch- like she could. I tole myself as soon as I got back to the trailer park, I was gonna splurge and git me a pair of flip-flops with them great big pink plastic flowers on 'em, just like that purty teeth-pickin' lady had.

And I met a real nice fella who paid me a right nice compliment. He said I was something called "bawlsy." I ain't too sure, but I think it means lady-like or some such. I think he was from Noo Yawk, and I cain't never tell what them Yankee folks are sayin'. I saw him again the next night, and I got so excited I tole my husband, "Hey, that there's the guy who said I was bawlsy." But when he turned around to look, the nice man was gone. He sure did get outta there fast. Musta had an appointment or somethin'.

Anyhoo, I just thought I'd tell y'all a li'l bit about our vacation. The food was great and all the staff was just as nice as pie. But, you know, it's the passengers that make or break the trip. And don't you believe it when someone tells y'all that budget cruises attract budget people. It just ain't true.

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