Rite of Passage: ‘Kiss the Fish!’
‘Calling all Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You must appear before Aegir, Norse God of the Seas, and confess your crimes. Brave the fearsome Vikings, take the plunge, kiss the fish and shoot the traditional Aquavit to gain passage across the Equator and be named a Shellback.’ — Notice in yesterday’s Viking Daily, the publication that appears on my turned-down bed each evening with the doings of the following day. My crime: Lord knows I caught enuf tadpoles as a kid, putting them in a bucket of water so I could watch them turn into frogs… or die. I, too, was a Pollywog, but now I am a Shellback, and here’s the proof: I kissed the fish, took the plunge, and shot the foul-tasting Aquavit! The not-very-frightening Viking fish purveyor is Lara Knutsen, mrs. captain and the official shipboard hostess. Once again, since this ship is fueled by alcohol, many, many glasses were poured. In this case, Aquavit.
The fearsome Vikings paraded in. We recognized the Game Show host, the Dance instructor, the Captain’s wife, the Shore Excursions director, etc.
First victims to walk the plank, so to speak, were the crew members. For many this was their first trip across the Equator. That’s the captain to the right, trying unsuccessfully to instill the fear of Aegir. Cruise Director Heather, in the pink dress, was the very last one into the drink. She did remove her stilettos before the plunge...
I cannonballed into the pool, though the photo doesn’t prove it. Did I mention that Aquavit tastes foul?
With thanks to my personal photographer and fellow blogger Bruce. Against my better judgment (who am I trying to kid?), I’ve let him post my fish-kissing pic on his blog since his wife, Susan, didn’t take the plunge. # [I know the photos don’t top align. Screw it. I’m going to breakfast.]