Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise Part 9 of 9 (A Fictional Story Staged In Brooklyn)

Living Under the Loan Shark’s Shadow

Harry’s life was going downhill fast, especially when he began borrowing from loan sharks at extremely high interest rates. Harry had been pacifying the loan shark with small payments from time to time which didn’t even make a dent in what was owed. The interest on the loan kept getting higher and higher, making the balance due greater than what he originally borrowed. Harry had defaulted on his loan with “Nino the Butcher,” the new loan shark in town. Everyone in Brooklyn knew who Nino the Butcher was, and that he always found a way to collect on his loans.

At midnight, Boobala heard the doorbell of her apartment ring violently 6 to 7 times. Opening the door, Boobala saw a dark-featured, vicious looking gent. He held something in his hand that looked like a switchblade. With the most menacing tone, he slapped the switchblade in his hands, saying: “Tell your husband that Nino wants his money paid in full by tomorrow at noon or else.”

Boobala shuttered at the sound of his words. She closed the door locking it quickly behind her. She was shaking all over with fear. Harry didn’t even bother to ask who it was. He had a hunch that soon he would be dead if he didn’t come up with the money.

Harry was thoroughly frightened, not knowing how to get out of this dilemma. He started to berate and insult Boobala, blaming her for not caring about his fate. “You mother [email protected]#[email protected]%, you’re despicable and worthless. You don’t know how much I despise you. It’s your fault I’m in this predicament!” he screamed at the top of his voice. Needing someone to hate to give purpose to his meaningless existence, Harry balled his fists and punched Boobala. Her nose began to bleed heavily. She started to cry hysterically, not knowing if her nose was broken, which only enraged him more. He hit her again, knocking her to the floor and kicking her. Blood was dripping from her mouth.

He pulled her up by her hair, yelling: “You ugly bitch, are you listening to me at all? I said to go and get some money from your Uncle Marvin or your friend Myrtle.” He began to shake her by the shoulders, screaming “Do something, don’t just stand there looking like a freaking idiot!”

Accustomed to the frequent violent outbursts, the neighbors kept their doors closed. They never liked Harry and avoided him like the plague. Nonetheless, Boobala in horrendous pain and still bleeding, tried to calm him. The more she tried to calm him the angrier and more out of control he became. Harry was raving mad as he paced the floor of his apartment nervously. He yelled in desperation. “The only person in this whole world that I could count on and who has the money to bail me out is Uncle Jake. Why now of all times is he vacationing in Florida? I don’t even know how to reach him!”

The ranting and raving finally stopped. An awkward silence filled the air. Boobala was shocked to see Harry staring at her, not uttering a word, as if he had descended into a trance. After sitting there for what seemed like forever, Harry buried his head in his arms on the table and began crying: “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die,” which he kept repeating.

No: 12 (9-16-2011)

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep…

Nino the Butcher had a notorious reputation in Brooklyn. He was getting tired of Harry jerking him around with his smooth talk. This time Nino meant business. There was no way out. Harry was now trapped by the consequences of his gambling vice. The mere thought of such an outcome sent a wave of dizziness surging over him. Feeling sick, anxiety rising in his chest and experiencing symptoms of nausea, he had a terrible urge to vomit. He got up from the table to go to the bathroom, when suddenly the pain was almost more than he could handle. “Boobala!” Harry cried, trying to keep the panic and fear from showing in his voice. Another wave of pain swept over him, taking his breath away as he fell onto the floor grabbing his chest. Boobala ran to his side as he lay on the floor in a motionless heap.

“Harry?” Boobala said anxiously, shaking her husband’s shoulder gently. “Please Harry, open your eyes.” Silence answered her. Boobala tried shaking him again, in a much louder tone of voice she cried “HARRY, HARRY! PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES!” There was still no answer. She sat there in shock, her body shaking with heart wrenching sobs. Reality was just starting to sink in as a blade of unbearable pain twisted in her heart. Realizing that he was gone, she screamed at the top of her lungs: “Harrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy!!!”

Boobala’s ordeal was finally over. Harry had died suddenly from a heart attack at the young age of 36. Boobala could not believe that Harry was dead. She was heart-broken but also relieved. He had always been in the best of health, hardly ever experiencing a period of sickness. Although she hated him for his physical and verbal abuse, she still loved her psychopath of a husband. I guess you could say theirs was a love-hate relationship, an on-again/off-again love affair. They had been married for 17 years. Now she was a widow at age 35. For good or bad, Harry shared her dawn of love, her first sexual experience. A strong addiction which she found was hard to kick. The role of victim seemed to fit her fairly well.

Not having any life insurance or a nest egg to fall back on, Uncle Jake had to pay for the funeral expenses. Uncle Jake was retiring and wanted to give up the apartment and move to Florida. He had to get away from Boobala. He told her that she had to leave. Picking up the remaining pieces of her life, she ventured out in search of a better and more peaceful way to live.

No: 13 (9-24-2011)

Can Dreams Come True?

Boobala had no social life other than her one and only childhood friend, Myrtle, who was always concerned about her well-being. Since Myrtle lived on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, Boobala was able to get a one bedroom apartment near her. As in every tenement building, you can’t avoid having a nosy neighbor. In Boobala’s case, that role was served by Mrs. Grime. She was an elderly woman who lived alone, always needing someone with whom she could talk. Never having the good graces to shut up, she went from one neighbor’s apartment to the other, looking for freebies, smokes and the latest dirt. Boobala avoided her nosy neighbor at all costs.

Boobala was now making considerable money as a Buyer/Product Manager-Women’s Apparel for a local department store. Papa and mama had passed on. Uncle Marvin sold the business and retired to Florida with his wife Ethel. All Boobala did was work, saving every penny that she earned. No one, perhaps, ever had a greater fear of being poor than herself. She cringed at the thought of losing all that she had worked for to create a name for herself. She was deathly afraid of being caught out in the cold, unfriendly world, unable to find work, destitute with nowhere to go. Being the frugal person that she was, Boobala would shop locally instead of taking the elevated train on Marcy Avenue.

As it was her way, whenever she came across sweepstakes entries in the stores, she would fill them out hoping, that she would eventually win something. She had been doing that for several years. It was becoming a monotonous practice to fill out the entry forms. Somehow, on this day, the picture of a ship in the shop window seemed to attract her attention. It stood out like a blinking neon sign, beckoning her to look. Boobala approached the window and began to read, thinking it was the usual ‘blah, blah, blah.’ The poster offered a free cruise, all expenses paid. She kept debating whether or not to give it one last shot. Finally, not able to resist the temptation, she filled out the form for the umpteenth time, forgetting all about it until the day the door bell rang and the man dressed in a sailor’s suit delivered the telegram…

No: 14 (9-25-2011)

Is this the part where we say “The End?” The end of what? We don’t have to. Wasn’t each episode riveting? Aren’t you a little curious to find out more about what happened to Boobala? I bet the suspense is killing you. Boobala is incredibly eager to get going again. So what do you say, should we take it to the next level? Let me know and let me hear some of your comments too!

Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise: Part 5 of 9 (A Fictional Story Staged In Brooklyn)

The Opportunist: Makes His Mark

Uncle Jake was quite taken aback by the unexpected news. He was against his nephew wanting to marry at such a young age. Besides, he was not too pleased with his choice. He felt his handsome nephew deserved something better than this unattractive girl, but she might end up being a devoted wife. He turned to Harry and asked: “Do her parents know you are getting married?”

“No they don’t, Uncle Jake. They dislike me big time, and I don’t know why. They are threatening to send her to an aunt in California to keep us apart. Boobala and I love each other very much and it would break my heart if she left. Since we are of age, we have decided to elope. I am hoping as my Uncle you will give us your approval and help us out financially.”

Uncle Jake couldn’t understand the rush. “Is she pregnant?”

“No, Uncle she’s not pregnant,” he answered.

Jake was still uneasy about the coming marriage. How could he give his approval when he knew that Harry was emotionally immature and irresponsible. Of course, he had to painfully admit he was partly to blame. He was sorry that the kid got a bum deal out of life, with his mom dying when he was so young and a dad who didn’t care. Maybe that’s why he spoiled him so much. He hoped that Harry would become a responsible adult once he married. Jake agreed to get them a furnished room and kitchenette, the rent paid up for a year. He even bought him a suit for the wedding with all the accessories to match.

Harry never seemed to be satisfied with what he got. He always wanted more. In planning the wedding, Boobala had suggested to Harry that they go on a cruise to the Bahamas for their honeymoon. She had always dreamed of going on a cruise. “It’s so romantic,” she would say. Harry angrily snapped at her: “What are you crazy, I get seasick easy. Do you want me to spend our honeymoon throwing up? Besides it would be dull with nothing to watch but watch the sea, so forget about it. I’d rather go to Las Vegas where the action is. It’s more fun.”

As a last shot, to squeeze some more money out of his uncle, he reminded him about the honeymoon. “Hey uncle,” Harry turned on his famous charm, “since I’m your only kin, why don’t you send us to Las Vegas for a week’s honeymoon. I always wanted to go there.” He was looking for a way to escape his wedding night consummation, which he was not bargaining for.

Uncle Jake was annoyed. “What the hell do you think I am, a [email protected]#[email protected]% ATM? Listen dude, the buck stops here. I’ve spent enough already on this wedding. You want to go that bad, then you can work and save your money if you like.” This was the first time that Uncle Jake exploded towards him, and the first time Harry didn’t get his way. He was mad as hell. Already at 19 years of age, Harry had begun to drink and bet heavily. His best friend Billie Boy always had a stash of beer and wine on hand whenever Harry needed it. Uncle Jake didn’t even have a clue that Harry was drinking and gambling. He only knew that he smoked. In his eyes, Harry was always a good kid, a little wild-eyed but good. There was nothing about him that should cause concern.

No: 7 (9-7-2011)

To be continued: Part 6 of 9 of Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise

Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise: Part 8 of 9 (A Fictional Story Staged In Brooklyn)

Execution Day: Bang You’re Dead!

The following morning Boobala awoke a woman, the first day of a new life. She blushed as she remembered her first sexual encounter with Harry, her husband. She was a virgin, and though their wedding night was wild, it was uncomfortable and even painful. She smiled as she felt the warmth of Harry’s body lying next to her. Boobala sat up and stretched, enjoying the languorous pull of her muscles when suddenly she shrieked “Oh my God.” A cold chill ran down her back. Jumping out of bed, she made a mad dash for the bathroom and took a quick shower. She got dressed once again in her baggy clothes, brushing her hair back into a pony tail. As a final touch to her homely look she put on her large black rimmed glasses.

Boobala rushed to the bed and began to shake Harry. He mumbled, turned over and went back to sleep.

“Come on Harry, you have to wake up. We have to go to mama’s house and tell her we’re married,” her voice was high and whinny, piercing his ears as she continued to shake him again and again.

Harry awoke from his deep sleep extremely aggravated, in a foul-mouthed mood. “Shut up you bitch, I can’t stand your whinny voice. We’re only one day married and you’re a nag. You remind me of your mother.”

He once again saw her as homely. Shrugging his shoulders in disgust, he said to himself, “My God, this is the crap that I have to see and hear every day?” His tongue and throat felt like it was on fire and his head was aching from last night’s brown out. He yelled, “Hey Boobala, since you’re near the fridge, beer me that Heineken.”

Opening the door to the refrigerator she dutifully retrieved the last bottle, saying “Harry, can you please hurry up. It’s already 10:30.” Guzzling down his beer, he rolled his eyes at Boobala and screamed: “I heard you. SHUT THE HELL UPPPPPPPPPP!!!!”

Later Boobala told Harry to wait outside in the hall while she went to break the news to mama. Mildred was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for her, her lips pursed in disapproval. Papa had already gone to work. That was a relief. She opened the door and quickly stepped in, mumbling “…Hi mama.”

Mildred looked up, glaring at Boobala who was standing with her back to the door. Her face was distorted as she was ready to slap some sense into her daughter. She screamed at the top of her voice, “So where have you been? You said you were going to Myrtle’s for dinner last night, and here it is 11:15 in the morning. I called Myrtle and she said you were never even there. Where were you? How dare you lie to me?”

Boobala’s stomach clenched at the sound of Mildred’s screaming voice. Shaking like a leaf, she weakly responded “I got married, mama.”

“What did you say? Married??? Who did you marry?” Boobala, scared out of her wits, blurted out: “Harry Darling.”

“Harry Darling? The student that came here, that no good bum? I knew it! I said I smelled a skunk and you said he was not your boyfriend?”

“I love him mama,” cried Boobala. “He’s my husband.”

“Love, ha, you’re barely eighteen years old, what do you know about love? Did he get you pregnant?”

“No mama, we never had sex.” she answered.

Enraged, Mildred quickly rose from the table and struck Boobala, full force across her face, grabbing her by her pony tail and shaking her violently until she started to scream. As she continued her physical and verbal assaults, she shouted, “For this, I risked my life to give birth? Get out, get out, you are no longer my daughter. You’re dead to me. Don’t you ever step foot in my house again. I am cutting you out of my will. You say you’re married, then let that bum support you.”

Boobala was in total shock and disbelief. She ran out the door crying and screaming hysterically, her hair in complete disarray. She sped past Harry and continued on down the stairs. Harry rubbed his nose with the flat of his hand, not knowing what else to do. After a few seconds, he ran after her. Neighbors began opening their doors to see what all the fuss was about.

No: 10 (9-13-2011)

The Elusive Dream: Catch Me If You Can

Mildred kept her word. That very same day she called the lawyer and changed the will, leaving everything to her brother’s family. Boobala was devastated, her grief knew no bounds. She was so angry because she was the rightful heir, not Uncle Marvin. She was the one that had a magnificent head for business. Boobala kept saying to herself over and over, “Oh mama why did you do such a terrible thing to your only child?” When she told Harry that she was disinherited because of their marriage, he was in shock. There was a long harassing interval where his mind needed time to figure out what to do. As he slowly recovered from the shock, he began to realize that his plan had swiftly back-fired. Now he had a wife with no inheritance. Angry, he would leave for weeks on end. Boobala was all alone, isolated from her relatives, always on the edge of despair, living from hand to mouth. All the dreams and promises Harry made never materialized. He kept losing one job after another. They began to accumulate debts, which Harry was not able to pay. As a last resort, after the lease ended on their apartment, they had to move in with Harry’s Uncle Jake.

Since money was becoming a monumental issue, Boobala had to find work. She was able to secure a job with decent pay because of her experience in her father’s clothing company. She liked the job and liked the wages she was making. “Maybe now I can save up for that cruise I always wanted.” she thought to herself. The more money she earned, the more Harry would steal from her and the further away her dream sailed. He was heavy into gambling, losing everything he had in his pocket.

Boobala regretted ever getting involved with him. His drinking and gambling addictions had ruined a large chunk of her life. Their sexless marriage had deteriorated into a contemptuous relationship of verbal and physical abuse.

No: 11 (9-13-2011)

To be continued: Part 9 of 9 of Boobala Darling Wins A Cruise

Cruise Vacations – An Overview For First Time Cruisers

All aboard! You’re going on your very first cruise. Lucky you! This is an exciting time. Huge adventure awaits you, but before you go, there are some things you need to know. Here is an overview of cruise vacations for first time cruisers.

Costs

Many first-timers are confused about what’s included in your cruise price. As a general rule, meals, snacks, onboard activities and entertainment are included in the stateroom prices. Here’s some great news that might surprise you: even room service is included! Beverages such as water, juice, tea and coffee are typically included, as well. Other beverages, such as those from the bar – soda, beer, wine and cocktails – are an additional cost. You’ll also have to pay extra for babysitting, salon and spa services, gambling and purchases from the gift shop. Fortunately, all these expenses are charged to your room, alleviating the worry of carrying cash everywhere onboard.

There are other activities that you’ll have to budget for, namely, shore excursions. There are many options available, from simply shopping forays to extensive guided tours. Most cruise lines have specialists that can help you book your offshore activities. It’s typically wise to utilize this service, as the cruise experts have loads of experience and know which companies are reputable, and which to avoid. Many activities book up quickly, so plan ahead. It’s also a good idea to book spa and salon appointments well in advance.

Gratuity

Many cruise lines factor gratuities into your final bill when the cruise ends. Others leave this amount up to you. If you’re in charge of the tip, follow this rule of thumb: $3 per person, per day for your cabin steward, busboy and cabin steward. All gratuities should be paid in cash when the cruise comes to an end. When it comes to bar beverages, you’ll have to pay at the time of service. Your servers are there for one reason: to serve you and make sure you have the best cruise experience ever. Treat them well.

Dining

Nothing says great food like a cruise. Everybody knows that cruises are notorious for exceptionally delicious cuisine and abundant dining options. Buffets, niche restaurants with high-end specialties, elegant dining rooms, cozy room service, on-the-go snack bars – they’re all yours. Try them all! Room service is usually available 24 hours a day while other options have limited hours, some serving late into the night or early in the morning. Main dining hall times frequently begin around 6:30 p.m., and permit seating through 8:30 p.m. Submit your preferred times in advance whenever possible.

Special dietary needs? No problem. Cruise lines employ top chefs who are well-versed in all kinds of dietary specialties. Vegetarian, kosher and low-fat diets being the most common special needs, these dishes are abundantly available. More specialized needs can easily be accommodated, as well. Be sure to consult your vacation cruise specialist in advance and speak to them about your dietary restrictions. That way, you can be sure to secure a perfect culinary experience.

Wardrobe

Not sure what to pack? You’re not alone. Most cruises are seaside-casual during the day, and more formal at night. When packing formal attire, men can’t go wrong with a nice, dark suit. Ladies: pack your lovely cocktail dresses. Make sure all your fabrics are appropriate for the climate in which you’re sailing.

Check with your vacation expert to determine the level of formality aboard your ship. Some lines are far more formal than others, and require tuxedos and gowns. Don’t have a tux? Check to see if rentals are available on board. Many offer this amenity. If dressing up isn’t your thing, don’t worry; most every cruise line offers exclusively casual dining options.

If you’re a water person, don’t forget to pack plenty of swimwear. Those who bring only one or two bathing suits will likely have to buy more onboard. The same goes for basic toiletries.

Motion Sickness

Afraid you might fall prey to the dreaded motion sickness? If you’ve suffered from motion sickness before, there’s a strong chance it could happen again. Some people don’t realize they’re prone to motion sickness until the ship departs. By that time, there’s no turning back, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Though all modern ships have top-notch stabilizers to reduce excess movement, it’s a great idea to bring along medication or other remedies if you’re concerned you might get seasick. Also, stick to the lower decks, as you’re more likely to feel motion at higher levels.

Now that you’re familiar with first-time cruise basics, you’re ready to embark on a journey you’ll never forget. Chances are, it will be the first of many cruises. Ahoy, and enjoy!

Customary Amenities On Cruise Ships

Ever wanted to take a cruise? If so, you are not alone. Each year more and more people are vacationing aboard cruise ships and the choice of ships and destinations grow and grow. If you have never been on a cruise ship before, you may be wondering what amenities can be found onboard many of today’s cruise liners. Most cruise ships have common amenities such as eating facilities and bars and also daycare centers and activities geared towards children of all ages.

When first evaluating your choice of ship, it is important to decide whether you prefer a smaller, more intimate type of cruise or whether you would prefer a larger ship with more amenities. It is important also to consider the comfort level you require. Small does not always mean luxurious as many of the large ships nowadays are very luxurious. However, the number of passengers could be a concern for you. Large cruise ships often offer more of a choice of amenities especially in the case of onboard dining facilities such as dining halls, restaurants, and cafeterias. Many of these dining facilities are classed as upmarket restaurants with specific dress codes. This is because Elegant dining among cruisers is as popular today as it was in days gone by. To make sure that you are able to enjoy a superb meal, you are encouraged to make a reservation as soon as you board the ship. In addition to a sit-down restaurant, there are usually a number of small eateries located onboard.

Bars, Ballrooms and Disco’s are also found on most cruise ships. The Range of Entertainment depends on the size of the cruise ship and often include Broadway style productions and comedy, with dancing, music and cabaret all in separate bars. Larger ships can have a TV studio and even a conference center. For the Bars and Discos, it is important to check if any age restrictions are in place. If there are younger members of the family who cannot use the bars then it is advisable to check that they can complete other activities while you enjoy the nightlife at sea.

In addition to the above mentioned bars and Entertainment Venues many cruise ships have casinos. Most Cruise Lines adopt the same age limits as with land based casinos. Some of the gaming halls and casinos are open 24 hours a day Some of the popular gambling activities include slot machines, blackjack, poker, bingo and much more. Because Gambling is popular on cruise ships, if you want to cruise just to gamble, it is advisable to check what facilities are on each ship. Check the cruise liners websites for more information.

Childcare is often available for young children. Many parents have concerns about leaving their children with the daycare staff. It is important to know that cruise ship employees are often highly educated, properly trained and are closely monitored. One way to allay your fears is to quickly familiarize yourself with the staff that will be looking after your child.

What do you do if you have older children who are too old for daycare? Well, there are Swimming pools, movie theaters gyms, libraries, video arcades and even ice rinks on some of the larger ships. However, one thing to check is whether the cruise ship has a Adult Supervision Policy, this prevents children under a certain age from roaming freely around the ship.

As each cruise ship could have a different adult supervision policy, you would be advised to check out these policies before you purchase your ticket. Also ask whether Teenagers may be able to visit these facilities without adult supervision.

For those people who do not want to give up their daily exercise routine when they are on their cruise, many cruise ships now have fitness centers and gyms which would rival those found in many large towns and cities. The larger ships have sporting activities which include tennis, basketball, jogging tracks, volleyball and some even have 9 hole Golf courses. Many ships also have spa’s, steam rooms and sauna’s, massage, health treatments and beauty salons.

For those who want to stay in contact with the outside world, cruise ships often have Internet cafe’s.

So how do you check if a particular ship has the amenities you require or not? First you can check comparison websites. Just do a Google search for cruise ships and you will see several websites listed for you to check out. We found Cruise Ship Finder very helpful. Next, visit the Cruise Ships website. You can often check the individual ships listings to see what they offer. Also make use of the toll free numbers they often supply to get answers to specific questions.

Some cruise lines to check, are, Carnival Cruise Lines, Paradise Cruises, Royal Caribbean, SAGA and Celebrity Cruises. This is just a small selection. There are many others as well.