~I once knew a dude named Vito. He worked for Carnival Cruise Lines. He was an Italian Officer, a big shot, a womanizer, a smooth cat, and a rat. Do you remember “Officer and the Gentleman?” They are not really gentleman. I know. I worked for Carnival Cruise Lines, too.
Anyhow, I never really knew what Vito did on the ship, you know, his line of work. I guess being an Officer Was his profession. All I know for sure is that Vito and his fellow officers were in the club every night picking up passengers. And I swear to you, I was told by a reliable source that “picking up chicks, flirting ceaselessly with them, and asking them to dance” was part of their job description.
What a big fat joke.
I remember the elderly women, the ugly ducklings; the flirty married women, and the single college girls would giggle like fools at Vito’s jokes. Hell, the guy barely spoke a word of English, except when he’d utter in that lush Italian accent…. “Come Sei Bella” (how beautiful you are), or “Voglio fare sesso Conte,” (I want to make sex with you). They’d snicker and cackle and gush and get all red in the cheeks….and I’d think to myself, “All of you are complete and utter dumb asses, aren’t you?”
My pit boss, Ellen, was sleeping with the Captain. She walked around the casino as if she were Queen of Sheba, as if she owned every blackjack table and roulette wheel in the joint. She might as well of had a sign screaming, “Look at me. I’m finally somebody, cuz I’m sleeping with the Captain of the ship. Yeah, you heard me right—the old guy that navigates this vessel, babe.” I heard through the grape vine that Ellen had been dating Captain Stubbing for about two years; that he was VERY married with kids; that she moved out of her little all -girl cabin into his big-boy cabin, and that he thought her teeth were ugly, so he paid big bucks to have all of them capped in Miami. Ellen’s teeth were perfect. And quite honestly, after hearing that story, I felt a bit differently about Ellen. I felt sorry for her. Sorry that she was dating a damn jerk that didn’t think her teeth were good enough for him.
The Casino Girls couldn’t dance in the ship’s night club, which I never completely understood. We had to sit there watching as Vito and all of his married cheating Italian friends seduced the female passengers one by one with their sexy voices, crisp white uniforms, and smooth swaggers. It reminded me of that scene out to “European Vacation” where Chevy Chase and his family are sitting in this stylish French restaurant utterly mesmerized and captivated by the waiter’s dialect. But the audience can observe the subtitles of what the waiter was TRULY saying: “You American’s are all Ass Wipes. Yes, you Americans are Dumb Shits, aren’t you?!” That cracked my up.
From another source (I had several sources) I heard the Officers had a massive chart in their quarters with the names of women they had sweet talked into their Italian- 500- count –silk sheets. I was so appalled by this outrageous, sexist behavior that I snuck in their break room once to check it out. Vito caught me, grinning with that delicious grin of his. “Come Sei Bella!!!” He purrrrred.
I never did see that sex chart, but Vito valiantly denied everything. I believe he lied right to my face.
The main land could have exploded and I wouldn’t have known the difference. I was too busy dealing blackjack, and observing Veto and the other officers strutting around the ship as if they were desirable Greek Gods, as if they were indestructible, as if they were sex machines.
Of course, I never told them I’d be writing every little detail down…every little sin.
A few years after leaving the ship, I was informed that Ellen and Captain Stubbing broke up. Perhaps, he found another young thing to worship the ground he walked on. Perhaps he was working overtime to pay for a boob job for her, or liposuction, or something to make her worth his while. I never cared for that Stupid, Stupid man.
But I do wonder about Vito. He seemed a little different than the rest, a bit more thoughtful, a bit more female. In the photo below you will see Nikki, Vito, and I. Vito actually treated us both for dinner in Cozumel, and we took this picture beforehand. We ordered stuffed calzones and sweet, fruity Sangria. We had stimulating conversation. And yes, Vito was an absolute gentleman. If not, I would have told you so…
Nikki, Vito, & Kim / Carnival Cruise Lines / good times, carefree days.