Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On a Sea Cruise with DFW

Here is just a sample of the breathless style of David Foster Wallace's account of one week on a luxury cruise ship in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again:

At the Windsurf Cafe, up on Deck 11 by the pools, where there's always an informal buffet lunch, there's never that bovine line that makes most cafeterias such a downer and there are about 73 varieties of entrée alone, and incredibly good coffee; and if you're carrying a bunch of notebooks or even just have too many things on your tray, a waiter will materialize as you peel away from the buffet and will carry your tray -- i.e. even though it's a cafeteria there're all these waiters standing around, all with Nehruesque jackets and white towels draped over left arms that are always held in the position of broken or withered arms, watching you, the waiters, not quite making eye-contact but scanning for any little way to be of service, plus plum-jacketed sommeliers walking around to see if you need a non-buffet a whole other crew of maitre d's and supervisors watching the waiters and sommeliers and tall-hatted buffet-servers to make sure they're not even thinking of letting you do something for yourself that they could be be doing for you.

With its accompanying Footnote 48:

Again, you never have to bus your tray after eating at the Windsurf, because the waiters leap to take them, and again the zeal can be a hassle, because if you get up just to go get another peach or something and still have a cup of coffee and some yummy sandwich crusts you've been saving for last a lot of times you come back and the tray and the crusts are gone, and I personally start to attribute this oversedulous busing to the reign of Hellenic terror the waiters labor under.

Then there was this nice bit about the sky at sea:

And then in the late A.M. the isolate clouds overhead start moving toward one another, and in the early P.M. they begin very slowly interlocking like jigsaw pieces, and by evening the puzzle will be solved and the sky will be the color of old dimes.


  1. Sounds like a fun read. I'll add it to my list.

    Joyce in KS
    P.S. Don't think I'll ever go on a cruise either!