On February 19th, 2012, a boat will leave Fort Lauderdale and sail out into the Caribbean Sea carrying with it the attendees of MURDER CRUISE 2012.
There are several inaccuracies in that sentence, so I will preemptively push my glasses up and correct myself.
Technically, it’s not a boat. It’s a ship. But come on, boat sounds more romantic. Also, it doesn’t sail. It moves under some other power than blowing. Nuclear reactors? Coal shoveling? Perhaps a flux-capacitor? I think it might be a combination of turbines and will power. It’s unknowable without looking it up on wikipedia.
And, no, it’s not actually called MURDER CRUISE 2012. That was a joke started by Paul F. Tompkins on the twitters. It’s actually called JoCoCruiseCrazy II. It’s a big floating geek concert/comedy festival hosted by Jonathan Coulton.
If you’re not sure who Jonathan Coulton is, it’s possible this is the first page you’ve looked at on the internets since 2003. All you really need to know is this: Jonathan Coulton is a nice man who sings songs and makes money doing it. After singing songs and making money on land for a while, he looked around and said, “What if I sang songs and made money in the middle of the Caribbean Sea?” And he did and it worked out, so now he’s doing it again.
The cruise is packed with talented entertainers and I’m honored to be doing a performance on this will-and-turbine-powered geek boat.
Right here and right now, I’m going to make seven predictions about what will happen on JoCoMurderCrazyCruise II and we’ll see how accurate they are.
PREDICTION NUMBER ONE:
There will be a MURDER. Not a sad real life murder involving consequences and human feelings, but a light, festive, Agatha Christie murder where some jackass no one likes gets drowned in a chocolate fountain when the lights go out on the Lido Deck and a bunch of colorful suspects with easy-to-remember names happen to be in the same room.
PREDICTION NUMBER TWO:
We will not sink. Though we will be attacked by a Kraken.
The Kraken will be easily defeated. A Kraken is basically a bully who lives in the sea. We will confront the Kraken about what is missing in his life that he has to attack a boat. He’ll say, “It’s not a boat, it’s a ship.” And we’ll say, “Don’t be pedantic, Kraken.” And we’ll make some quick and funny “It Gets Better, Kraken” parody videos and he’ll go away.
PREDICTION NUMBER THREE:
There is a possibility the owners of the cruise line will charge me extra if I look at the sea too often.
PREDICTION NUMBER FOUR:
I will probably get full-on old man cranky about the use of the word “squee.”
There will be a lot of excitement on the boat and people will want a short, emphatic word to express that emotion. I’m all for that. The emotion, the expression. Just not the word choice.
When I hear the word “squee,” I picture a panel from a Star Wars comic book in which R2-D2 is farting. Big, block letters shooting from the little astromech droid’s backside.
So while I might enjoy the comedy of John Hodgman or the music of Paul and Storm or the stories of Wil Wheaton or the reasonably priced rum drinks at a pirate ship bar on a small island in the Bahamas, I can’t squee.
For me, it’s a matter of respect. I can’t bring myself to say, “I’m enjoying John Roderick’s song. I think I’ll use my mouth to fart like a robot.”
Perhaps this opinion will lead me to be the man that is drowned in the chocolate fountain.
PREDICTION NUMBER FIVE:
I will foolishly attempt to define geek culture to an old woman from Arkansas.
The people on the cruise who are there for Jonathan Coulton and friends call themselves Sea Monkeys. Sea Monkeys are a fun, friendly, and inviting group of people.
There will be many people on the boat who are not Sea Monkeys. They will be confused and alarmed by all the excited people running around singing songs and saying “squee.”
They won’t even know that “squee” sounds like you’re imitating a Star Wars robot farting in a comic book. They think comic books still cost a dime and mostly feature Superman beating up nazis.
At least one of these people will gaze at me across the gaping cultural chasm and say, “Hey, you want to leap across the gorge and explain this to me?”
And I will try. And I will fail.
I will say words like “twitter” and “ukulele” and “bonhomie” and phrases like “no, we don’t all wear glasses, some of us have contacts” and “no, nerd isn’t really a negative term as we’ve made an effort to culturally appropriate the word and celebrate its positive aspects.”
And the perfectly nice woman from across the chasm will say things like “what?” and “huh?” and “so you’re all just getting together to sing songs about the Star Tracks?”
And I’ll use the word “filk” and she’ll think I’m swearing at her.
And I will go drown myself in the chocolate fountain.
PREDICTION NUMBER SIX
Even though my name is Scrimshaw, I will fail to hunt and kill a whale, then carve a picture into its bones. I will drown my sorrows in whiskey and this will make my ancestors proud.
PREDICTION NUMBER SEVEN
The cruise will be awesome. I will grossly overuse the word “awesome” and it will make me seem like a big hypocrite about the farting robot word.
After the cruise, I’ll do my best to let you know exactly how inaccurate my predictions were. Until then, I’m off to pack some shorts that I will not wear for fear of blinding my fellow Sea Monkeys with the pale white glow sticks that are my legs.
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