Milt Abel is a stand-up comedian traveling the world, and places closer.

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Ow-ie in Maui

By Milt Abel | October 9, 2011

| October 9, 2011

An Ow-ie in Maui

This past Tuesday I was island hopping; transferring from Holland America’s Westerdam in Honolulu, to join the Zaandam the next day in Maui. The drive from the airport in Maui to my motel in Lahaina took as long as the flight from Honolulu. Short stuff, on the plane I barely had time to power-up my electronic devices before I had to shut them back off.

“I don’t want to say it was a short flight, ladies and gentlemen, but by the time the      stewardess was pointing out the exits it was time to use them.”

I probably could have used that last night, to some success.

One nice thing about this short travel itinerary was its timing; I got to the hotel at around 6PM, and that gave me time to enjoy a leisurely dinner with a local brew or two, and then some television to help with the digestion. The Pioneer Inn, my motel in Lahaina, is situated right across from where the cruise ships’ tenders dock. It is literally the width of a street to walk from the motel’s entrance to the beginning of the very short and humble dock security screening system, before you can get on the tender to ferry you out to the ship. Which I was scheduled to do in 15 hours.

All very relaxing, unless, when you return from your cheeseburger and a couple pints of local microbrew, you lift the cover to your room’s toilet and find that it’s inhabited. No kidding. A cockroach that could have caused a dent in your car if you hit at any kind of speed. Huge. And alive.  And feeding off the speckled fecal matter left from a previous user that was spotting the porcelain bowl.

The pleasure and peaceful satisfaction of a microbrew and a cheeseburger, sat at an open window watching the waves crash, and the sun set, in Maui -all thrown out window by a shit-eating cockroach occupying a throne I had intended to occupy myself.  Now I know how a pro-football player feels when a touchdown is called back on account of a penalty.

Of course I called the front desk, and of course there was an incredulousness in their tone, ‘it’s never that bad.’ Because it was now after dinnertime, the Pioneer’s housecleaning staff was gone for the day (This not a Ritz-Carlton) so they sent up their handyman to disprove the horrible rumors I was starting. When he showed up at my door and I showed him into the bathroom and allowed him a view into the coliseum of crap consumption, a second cockroach had joined the tale-gater. This one might have been bigger than the first, or the first one moved and this was the smaller one. I just didn’t keep track of my john’s wildlife wanderings like maybe I should have. But in my defense, I wasn’t the only one doing a shitty job.

He looked at the spectacle, flushed the toilet, and wordlessly walked out of the bathroom and my room, leaving both doors open and the lid up. The cockroaches got flushed down; the spotting on the bowl wall didn’t not. He was gone for a couple minutes; time I used to imagine how good of underwater swimmers cockroaches were, remembering some wildlife TV show where they got around beneath the surface like Navy SEALs; and I, thankfully, started feeling constipated.

He came back a moment later holding a very feeble toilet brush, out at arm’s length like the Olympic torch. In the time he was gone I had called the front desk and requested a room change, which I got. When I told him I was moving he said something to the effect that he wasn’t going to clean the bowl then, he’d let housekeeping see it, to show everyone how much they’d missed. Lucky them.

Even next door, a few times through the night, I thought about what I had seen, and if those bugs could navigate into another bowl. I kept a shoe near the toilet in case anything surfaced.

The next morning, more bad news. The surf was so bad, (or good, if you were a local and had a board) that the ship called off its stop in Maui. It wouldn’t be safe to operate the tender service of disembarking and embarking passengers off shore. There were passengers that had planned a wedding ashore, and hundreds scheduled for tours. But only two people got on, or off the ship. Me and a crew member were boarded, quite gingerly. Just before we left the tender for the ship, the crew member also boarding took off her shoes and started rolling up her pants. Part of the loading dock extending from the ship was going underwater at times because of the raising and lowering surf. I briefly imagined one of my cockroach friends rising out of the water, clutched to the rigging.

Here’s a picture of me on the tender while it was still tied to the pier in Maui. I’m holding the crew member’s Starbuck’s tea, but note all the open space and the luggage, that boat could hold 150 people. It transported just two.

When I mentioned on stage last night that I was one of the two people that got on in Maui, the audience booed. They were resentful. Understandable. But they also didn’t know the crap I had to go through.

Topics: comedy, cruise ship, humor, travel | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Ow-ie in Maui”

  1. Rick M Says:
    October 10th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    The name “Pioneer Inn” conjures images of a flea bag motel in Oregon. So what’s that cockroach doing in my toilet bowl? I think it’s the backstroke, replied the maintenance guy. Rick :-)

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