Deck Chair Hog

Hit the Deck – Chair Hogs

Monday Mantra

Hit the Deck-Chair Hogs!

If reserved seats get you hopping mad….

I will get revenge on deck-chair hogs…I will get revenge on deck-chair hogs…

deckchair1Don’t get me started.

It was still early morning as my husband and I made our way to the pool for a glorious, sun-drenched day at sea. On deck, it appeared most chairs were occupied, and those that weren’t were positioned alongside screaming children or people who, even at this hour, looked to be on their second bucket of beer. “There!” I said, “That looks like a whole row!” And, sure enough, it was a whole row, unoccupied by people, but very occupied by stuff.

It was a row of 13, yes, THIRTEEN chairs, lined up in an almost military precision. Connecting each chair to its partner was a beach towel, folded twice lengthwise and then perfectly woven in a figure eight through the armrests. It looked like something Julia Roberts would have done while she was married to that crazy guy in Sleeping with the Enemy. On each chair were flip-flops, again strategically placed in the center of each seat, and on every seat was a tattered paperback, withdrawn, I’m sure, from the ship’s library for seat-saving purposes. Odds are low that 13 people would ALL be reading Jackie Collins — there’s usually a smart person in even the most dysfunctional families.

Dazzled, but defeated, my husband and I climbed to the deck above, finding two unoccupied chairs that just happened to be located where we could easily monitor the occupancy of the baker’s dozen of deck chairs and their curious reading material.

10:00 a.m. —  Nobody.

11:00 a.m. — Nobody.

12:00 noon — Nobody.

1:00 p.m. — Activity! One woman arrives, settles herself in, and places the Jackie Collins book on the chair beside her. (She may be the smart person — sadly, it is possible to be both smart and selfish.)

At no time between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. were more than two of the 13 “reserved” deck chairs occupied. When people approached and inquired as to whether all of the chairs were taken, they were shooed away like flies, assured that the occupants would be back shortly.

At 3:00 p.m., my husband and I decided to return to our cabin. We descended the stairs to find the chairs we’d been watching completely unoccupied. In a fit of rage, I decided to extract revenge. I grabbed one flip-flop off the end deck chair and hid it under the staircase. And I really hope they never found it.

— Judi Cuervo

Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.