I decided Jon had officially lost his mind this time. And since I couldn't make him pay, I decided to make the guests pay instead.
I had an entire ship of victims...er...guests handed over to me for whom to plan activities. Oh, and they must also fall in love. This should be a great deal of fun.
But first, to get out off this horrible uniform I was forced to put on for the opening segment and into something a little more comfortable:
"Julie," called a voice as I walked from my cabin. "Julie!....JULIE!" A hand grabbed me to get my attention.
"Julie, didn't you hear me calling you?" It was Ciera. Apparently since she didn't have to write this week's challenge she came on board thinking she was going to have a good time. Was she in for a surprise.
"What's with the Julie business?" I asked.
"Well," she began, "Since you are in the credits listed as Julie, we're required to call you 'Julie' ."
"That's just great," I said, shaking my head. "Just what I wanted."
"I like the name Julie," she said, trying to make me feel better.
"Right," I said. "What is it that you needed, anyway?" I asked.
"Oh, yes," she answered. "The hot water in our room does not appear to be working. Would it be possible to have someone come look at it?"
"Did you bring your dearest love, Kirk, on board with you?" I asked.
"Of course," she answered, swooning at the very mention of his name.
"Then, no, it would not be possible," I responded, to Ciera's surprise. "You're lucky I don't eject you into space." At this Ciera began backing away from me.
"I...I'm sorry to have bothered you," she stammered, then quickly retreated back to her room.
I heaved a sigh. One romantic couple down, several hundred more to go.
But where to begin now? Perhaps the kitchen.
"Ok, guys," I explain as I marched into the head chef's office with my official-looking clip board. "We must conserve some of our food stores because we weren't given enough to last the entire cruise."
"What?" he said.
"You heard me," I shot back. "So tonight, we can't use any salt, butter, or meat of any kind."
"But I was planning on king crab legs," the chef whined.
"Well, I'm sorry," I answered. "We just can't afford it -- not tonight."
"Wow," he said. Then looking at me assuredly, he continued. "We'll come up with something, Julie."
I nearly hurled when he called me that, but kept my composure and smiled as pleasantly as I could. "Good man," I answered as I fought back the bile in my throat.
Next, I went to the different pool areas and put in so much chlorine that anyone who got near them suffered respiratory problem. We had several people rendered unconscious by the fumes and had to go to sickbay. This program director job was actually turning out to be a better assignment than I thought it would.
I finally went to the ship's stores and removed all the alcohol, putting it in a hidden area. The small amount that was still in the service areas was quickly depleted and the wait staff and bartenders began scrambling to find some more.
"Julie, Julie!" it was Issac, the bartender. "We're running out of alcohol and the guests on the promenade deck are about to riot."
I smiled coyly. "That's ok, Issac. I'll take care of it," and I patted him on the arm reassuringly. He smiled, apparently encouraged by this.
I went to the promenade deck and saw a throng of people yelling at some of the staff that was there.
"Ladies and gentlemen," I yelled, amplifying my voice using the Force. They quieted down some and looked in my direction.
"Hey!" yelled one man, "We came here to have fun. We can't have fun without tons of alcoholic beverages."
"You are not here to drink alcoholic beverages," I answered, waving my hand before them and bending their will to mine. "You are here to fall in love."
Their eyes all glazed over and then looked around at one another. Each grabbed the nearest person of their sexual preference and retreated to the different parts of the ship. Except for this one woman sitting off to the side as she sipped on some water.
"Why are you still here?" I asked.
"As you can see," she gestured to the rest of the deck, "I am alone."
I looked around; she was right. And since she was the only B-List celebrity I'd run into so far, I knew as part of the challenge, I had to help her fall in love.
"Hmmm, what cabin are you in?" I asked.
"I'm on deck 15, cabin 349," she answered; I made a note of that.
"Well," I said, "you can't stay on board if you can't find a partner." She seemed somewhat startled by this information and she stood up.
"I guess I better get started looking for someone then," she answered.
"Yes, you had," I responded. "And you had better do it by dinner time, or it's out into space for you."
"Uh, yes ma'am," and she ran off.
I yelled after her, "If you don't show up for the meal, I'll be sending someone to search for you."
Later that evening, as I was monitoring who came into the port side restaurant to make sure they were nothing but couples, a familiar face approached with a man in tow.
"Thank you for the encouragement," she said with a smile. "Without it, we would have never have found one another." She turned to her new love and took his hand. "Fox is never going to believe this."
After getting the pair seated, I decided to go to the starboard side restaurant to see how things were going. I was greeted by a very unhappy set of guests.
I shouted several times before getting their attention.
"Everyone," I shouted to all the disgruntled eaters, putting up my hands for their silence. "On the port side restaurant, where everyone there has all found their love on board this ship, they will be receiving prime rib for dinner." More shouts of protest arose from the crowd. "If you would like your meals to return to something more to your liking, I suggest you start looking for your loves as well -- otherwise tomorrow we will also be replacing your water with vinegar."
I love this job. Thanks Jon.