Tuesday, October 12, 2010


(Dante & Virgil in Union Square, Isabel Bishop, 1932, Delaware Museum of Art)

Bob rushes to push open the door to Oslo's National Gallery of Art.

"He seems a little too happy to be leaving this cultural edifice," I muse to myself.

I quickly realize that I need to cut the Bobster some major slack.

So I say to him, "Honey, all we have left to do is walk back to the ship and get onboard!"

Bob glances at me and keeps walking toward the Baltic.

The temperature on the streets of Oslo is close to 326 F - and that's in the shade.

To say that it is HOT is the understatement of all time.

Bob and I are sweating buckets.

I am tired and cranky.

Because I am directionally-challenged, I am confused about our location every time we stop to search the map.

I say to Bob, "Please figure out the quickest way to get back to the ship. My feet are killing me and we don't have much time left before we need to be onboard."

We stop at a street corner for a no-walk light.

My eyes are scanning for taxis.




Because the Oslo taxi drivers are sane, they have left Oslo for work at the Arctic Circle.

Bob is studying the map like crazy.

I'm studying Bob.

I am nearly out of my mind with - for want of a better word - exhaustion.

I can tell that I am within seconds of getting my full gear "crazy" on.

I watch Bob study the map.

He is squatting on the street trying desperately to figure things out.

I decide that the best move on my part will be to kill Bob and hijack a car so I can get back to the ship before it leaves Oslo.

This plan seems utterly rational to me.

Then it happens.

From out of nowhere........


A big green blob of glop lands right in the center of Bob's map!



A second load of the same green stuff drops directly on the back of Bob's hand.

Bob grins up at me and says, "I guess one of these seagulls had to answer nature's call."

Then he actually.......... LAUGHS!

Perhaps I should say that laughing would not have been my first reaction.

I would have rapidly removed my AK47 from my handbag - which I keep handy for just such an emergency - and blown that bag of feathers with the loosey-goosey bowels into the middle of the next universe.

But that's just me.

We immediately realize that we need to get the green doody OFF THE MAP A.S.A.P. because the seagull's aim was dead on.

At this point, I am nearly comatose with exhaustion.

But the Bobster is in his element.

Bob says to me, "Do you have anything to mop up this mess?"

I watch as the green gunk runs down the back of his hand in rivers.

I choke back dry heaves and say to him, "I think so."

I dig into my purse and retrieve several tissues which I hand to him.

Then Bob picks up his precious map and moves it and himself close to the buildings to be out of the way of passersby.

He lays the map on the sidewalk and begins to blot up the bird - how shall I say this? - poop.

If he doesn't act fast, the needed information will disintegrate into doody oblivion.

He knows he must be able to read the very spot that is covered with the remains of the colon explosion.

I look at him and don't know whether to laugh or cry so I do some of both.

Bob is still in amusement mode as he blots away.

My heart goes out to this man who has been so incredibly steady and patient through every crazy thing I've put him through during the past 40 years.

I love him for that and so much more.

That doesn't mean that I've forgotten about killing him.

I need a target to relieve my overwhelming anxiety and he is the obvious choice.

At this point, my feet feel like they're on fire.

Crawling to the ship seems like an enjoyable alternative to walking.

I ask Bob, "How close are we to the ship?"

He answers and points, "It's just over there."

I look.

I see nothing.

I want to kill him.

But that sounds like way too much work.

Instead, I stare at him and shriek, "ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE?"

He says quietly, "Trust me. Trust me."

And so I do.

We drag our bodies through another block of ambulatory torture.

Then, turning the corner, we see the magnificent Star Princess in full view.

The blazing lights of heaven could not have looked more welcoming!

We fall in line with many of our cruise-mates who are making their way back to the ship in time for the afternoon sail-away.

Later that evening, I begin daydreaming about the wonders of Oslo.

Strangely, I can no longer feel my legs and feet.

That's because maximum-strength Advil is my new BFF.

I'm hard core.

I refuse to ingest anything but Advil gelcaps.

I get a faster hit with those sweet puppies.

Frankly, I can't live without the stuff.

(Traipsing all over Europe like a crazy person will do that to you.)

Still, I have to admit that every pain, every incident of misery has been worth it.

I am thrilled to the bone that we finally saw my grandparents' homeland.

I say to Bob, "Wasn't it a wonderful day, honey?"

He smiles at me and says, "Yes, dear."


  1. Loving these posts! Absolutely can't wait until the next one.

  2. Your writing is fun, clever, entertaining, and absolutely delightful! I love you and Bob!