Survived the trip with the senior citizens to the beach and everyone had a great time. Well, except the 2 ladies we left at the hotel because they'd misread when they were suppose to be downstairs to leave. Oh, they were mad but soon realized that (a) the mistake was theirs (b) we'd waited as long as possible (c) we left their tickets with their own Personal Pirate at the front door to usher them in...just as the show started. Although they missed being in the group photo, they didn't miss being strong armed by the Photography Pirate. These folks take their characters VERY seriously and I wonder if pirate garb comes with attitude. For as I tried to slip past Photography Pirate, who was about six foot four and looked like half an American football team's defensive line, he caught me. Literally.
"And where do ye think you're going?" he bellowed at me in fluent pirate speak.
"Um, out of the way," I offered, pointing at one of my couples being photographed for personal pictures. "I'm the Director. My job is to stay out of the way and avoid the camera," I smiled.
"No," he corrected, gazing down at me. WAY down. "We shoot everyone who comes in."
At this point, I'm wondering if he means with a camera or a blunderbuss. Before I could ask, he threw a meaty arm around my shoulders and d-r-u-g me into place before the camera, with a hearty, "You'll have your picture with me!"
You ever try to argue with a human mountain who has you in a shoulder lock?
So I did that fake smile we all use when gritting our teeth.
"Just one more for good measure," the lady pirate at the camera said.
"Oops! Let's try that again!" she called cheerfully.
"Okay, you can let go now," lady pirate advised her co-worker.
To which Photography Pirate, still cradling me in a steel grip, replied, "Ah, I kinda like holding onto the soft ones." And there we stood, in grip lock.
I had two simultaneous thoughts. I am not THAT much overweight (and you could lose a couple of pounds yourself, Dude) and was that sexual harassment or entertainment? He winked and let me go. I smiled a genuine smile (of relief) and walked to join the seniors... who wanted to know who my friend was.
While the 3 day trip was fun, we did have a scary moment on the way home. They didn't want a bus, so we carpooled. Since they ARE adults, some elected to go visit local relatives while others did sight seeing. Four carloads returned home together, with me bringing up the rear to ensure no one made an incorrect turn. Hairy moment came when I saw the blur of gray to my right and I realized a small speeding car was going to either cut in front of the senior driving in front of me, or hit me.
Fortunately, the senior also saw the car and began slowing down: I'd already taken my foot off the gas pedal and was prepared to swing the opposite direction of him in order to avert a 3 car pile up. This fool, and I'm being kind, overshot BOTH lanes of traffic he was trying to enter and proceeded to fishtail for longer than I thought possible. How he didn't flip that car is a miracle. Finally straightening out as we crept past, he went north in the SOUTH bound lane, gained control, then shot BACK across in front of us. He wove in and out of traffic, then shot back off in the direction he'd originally come from.
We stopped a couple of miles down the road as the group wanted a snack and I asked if everyone's pulse rate was back to normal. One senior asked me what I had done when I saw him and I replied, "I was looking in my rear view mirror for blue lights. I can't believe a cop wasn't behind him!" We joked that we would go home and watch the news to see if any area banks had been robbed. Either he had a death wish or was higher than a kite.
So everyone had a good time and they're already talking about going somewhere again in the spring.
In the meantime, my Guardian Angel has requested a vacation...from me.