The island was typical Caribbean, with its lush jungle, white sand, moderate-to-hot temperature, and water that was clear and not putrid. The people who lived there tried to get by on the main industry available in that job market – tourism. Otherwise known as foreigner bum-kissing.
The interior of the island was quiet, but as you made your way towards the shore, the sounds of revelry could not be missed. On the day The Manly Men and their following arrived, the once-pristine beach was enveloped in a seething mass of humanity, stretching from one end of the island to the other with nary a break. Those not ensconced in the painstakingly setup beach chairs made do on their own beach towels or in beach cabanas with beach butler service.
The other tourists were mildly miffed – the barbecue tucked away in the island’s interior was now overrun by screaming, starving fans who disturbed the serious picnickers who were only trying to enjoy their hamburgers in peace. Those who came to study the local flora, handily labeled with their scientific and common names and surrounded by roaming chickens, gave up on making any progress in their research that day.
The stage The Men used on the beach was an authentic replica of The Great Barrier Reef, destroyed parts and all. Michael, Andy, Sandy, and Luke dove off their private luxury tender and swam to shore as clown fish, then ditched the costumes and fooled around for two hours on their fans’ dime. The show abruptly ended when they announced there was to be an obstacle course event, had a path to the water cleared among the nearly-nude bodies, then ran into the sea and swam back to the cruise ship that was anchored a mile offshore (Michael almost didn’t make it and had to be towed by a local kayaker). With none of the island’s charms worth sticking around for, the audience bled out onto their own rollicking tenders, bounced across the sea, and were flung into the ship, the closest thing to solid ground they were going to get. Once emptied, the island began to breathe again.
The party boat meandered its way back to reality, as all things must end in the fullness of time. Souvenir sales were racked up by the hundreds, last-minute food and alcohol were downed, more photos than could be seen in a lifetime were developed and purchased, and the breakfast buffet was torn to shreds as the mainland horrifically drew nearer and nearer.
Still at full speed, the ship came crashing into port on the waves of euphoria. After their farewell strip show the night before, The Men had snuck away and stood at the bow for hours, waiting for this moment. Clasping each other’s hands, as the ship met land they leapt as one into the air, gliding in a graceful arc before landing gently into their limousines through the sunroofs. Having endured traumas beyond expression, they were never seen by their subjects again.
The remaining cruisers braced themselves to face the many trials of disembarking and scattering to their respective homes at the four corners of the globe. Relaxing vacations can be quite exhausting.