The first ship that I ever worked on was called “The Discovery” at the time it had the biggest floating casino in the world. This meant that the casino staff could not live on board as there were not enough cabins to accommodate them. I should probably explain at this point that it was not a normal cruise ship. The Discovery did “nowhere cruises’, it was actually a floating casino. Sometimes we would sail to the Bahamas just for the day and sometimes we just sailed out beyond the 12 mile limit so that we could open the casino without breaking The USA’s gambling laws.
We were based in Ft Lauderdale and our company provided accommodation for us by leasing an entire motel so we worked lived and played together which made us a bit like a mobile village. Everybody knew everything about everybody else.
At the time I was employed as part of a couple which was fairly common, though not married my boyfriend John, and I were recognized as a couple and sent to work together on all our contracts
John was terrified of lizards, much as some people are afraid of spiders etc and it was this fear that resulted in the rather comical though extremely embarrassing incident which is the nub of this little story.
I was taking a shower one day when I heard John literally howling in terror. Running out of the bathroom to find out what was happening I found him backed up in a corner as white as a sheet, he had seen a lizard in the room and was paralyzed with fear. Cathy to the rescue then, as lizards don’t bother me I armed myself with a paper bag and started hunting for the offending reptile. Half an hour later it was in the bag and I needed another shower.
Without a second thought I opened the door to our room and tossed the thing outside, right in the face of a coworker who happened to be speaking on the pay phone in the corridor. I don’t know what was worse really, was it the hurling a lizard at him or the fact that in all the excitement I had actually forgotten that I was completely naked. As I made a hasty apology before diving back inside I heard him say to the other party on the phone, “ I beg your pardon, do go on, Ive just been attacked by a naked woman and a lizard.” You can imagine what sort of ribbing I came in for in our little community after this but as I said once before in a previous article This is not the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me but It comes in a close second.