A deserted cruise ship crawling with cannibal rats is feared to be heading towards Britain, marine experts revealed. The 300-ft. Lyubov Orlova has been floating around the North Atlantic since being set adrift off the Canadian coast a year ago and coastguards believe a series of storms blowing in from the west have driven her thousands of miles towards UK shores… It is feared the 40-year-old Soviet vessel may have become home to hordes of rats, which would have had to eat each other to survive. (The Telegraph, Jan. 23 2014)
Good morning! It’s 30 January and this is the Lyubov Orlova Ship’s News, edited as always by your genial Cruise Director, Sasha Malenkov.
Conditions today should be clear but cold, with highs near 9 degrees Celsius (approx. 48 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s just the sort of weather we’d usually recommend for a brisk turn about the Promenade Deck, but insurance regulations and just plain common sense dictate that we leave the Shelter In Place order in effect for today. As we have for much of the last year, we maintain hopes that you will all be able to get out and about very soon. In the meantime, please remain locked securely in your staterooms with those dressers wedged tight to the door, and your overhead ventilation louvers closed and nailed. Do stay silent if at all possible, because our “stowaways” (ha! ha!) can hear you. It is our understanding that they can also smell you, as their senses are preternaturally acute. So although you may no longer have access to functional plumbing, may we suggest that a sponge bath or moist towelette might be not only pleasurable but prudent? This applies, of course, only to those among you who haven’t sucked their moist towelettes dry in lieu of potable water.
And now, on to cheerier things!
We’re happy to announce that the ballroom dancing finals were scheduled for 1:00 PM in the Fiesta Lounge. And we’re sorry to report that they’ve had to be postponed once again. Your entertainment staff regrets the inconvenience — it’s always a highlight of our crossing! — and hopes to be able to reschedule this event when and if the space can be cleared. Sadly, the Fiesta Lounge has proven to be just as popular a gathering spot for our little guests as it always is for our human passengers. It was just awfully bad luck that the last scheduled event in that space was a Cheese Tasting.
We’ve had scattered reports of electrical outages on the lower decks, and it seems likely that the power plant is now under the control of the cannibal rats. Unfortunately, your crew has been unable to verify this as the passages and gangways leading to that part of the ship have been colonized by You Know Who. If indeed the power goes fully down for passengers on the Alpine, Bromeliad, Camellia and Dandelion decks, we cannot legally advise those passengers to wait for dark and stealthily make their way to Eucalyptus Deck and there entreat their fellow travelers for shelter and may God have mercy on their souls.
Lunch today, as it was yesterday, is whatever packets of instant coffee and creamer may still be present in your room.
Were the Shelter In Place order not in effect, today is the sort of mild winter day on which we might traditionally suggest Shuffleboard. It’s a heck of a lot of fun! Our Shuffleboard courts are located both port and starboard on the Lido Deck, and as far as we know are still suitable for play. Sadly, however, the cues and discs have long since been looted for use as weapons. If you are in possession of shuffleboard equipment, please do consider passing it along to any fellow passengers who might have a greater need for it. (A through D Decks, I’m looking out for you!)
Tonight’s scheduled Casino Night has also fallen prey to the current unpleasantness. Funny story, though: Some of you may have met my assistant cruise director Georgi, a lovable chap with a fine baritone voice and an impish sense of humor. Georgi reported to me yesterday afternoon that he’d been on the Lido Deck scouting for food and as he crept past the Sunshine Ballroom he thought he saw cannibal rats wearing dealers’ vests and tiny eyeshades and dealing Faro! He was hallucinating pretty badly by then, though. He disappeared shortly after.
Finally, a note about religious services: The daily interfaith service is cancelled yet again. However, I’m pleased to announce that starting at 7 AM Ship’s Time, or in about forty seconds from now, I will be barricaded in my stateroom loudly beseeching an uncaring God to deliver me the sweet release of Death. So if you’re in the area and can make it here safely, please do feel free to pick up a blunt instrument and drop by!
See you in Hell,
Sasha, your Cruise Director