On board the Diamond Princess tonight. We have left Vladivostok are are headed toward South Korea. The ship has endless jewelry tables to cajole old ladies to refresh their diamond and pearl supplies. Fascinated by the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel nature of this sales gimmickry, I watched the string of elderly women pass by, ruthlessly triggered by sales photos of young, beautiful women draped in pearls. The message: that being an elderly woman must somehow mean being depleted in vital femininity. I thought this cruel and garish in its wanton commerce.
As I pondered the incoming fish, a woman had been standing behind me, injudiciously close. I stepped back, maybe an inch, and clobbered her open-toed show with my hiking boot. A squawk reminiscent of a buzzard’s caw came screeching through her dentistry. As I turned around to immediately apologize–as is custom–she clippety-clopped off cussing something fierce–like a drunken “Granny” from a Beverly Hillbillies reality show. I wasn’t sure what to do because chasing a wounded animal into the bush could have unintended results–like ending up hobbling down to my cabin with a torn scrotum.