Spud was flipping through the channels one late night and by chance he came across Aaron Spelling's classic 70s series - the Love Boat. The tater had always been intrigued by the show that spawned an ensemble of great talents; including a man named after a rodent who went on to become a Congressman for the state of Iowa, and a plethora of other thespians that today, you would probably find forgetting their lines while you try to choke down dry teriyaki chicken at the local dinner theatre
But alas, it was not the acting that Spud used to tune in weekly for. Instead it was the boat itself: a luxury ocean liner that would transport you to exotic ports and provide the one thing that had always eluded the potato: true love.
Spud had always wanted to take a cruise but couldn't afford it. His assets had been frozen by the courts after the tater's ex-wife, the evil Twice-baked Beatrice, had filed for alimony support. Even though the marriage had been annulled years ago, somehow the courts felt that there may be some merit to her claim. In the interim, that meant that Spud had no cash - certainly not enough to afford a fancy trip.
When leafing through the weekend paper, a particular ad in the classifieds caught his attention. The ad was looking for maintenance workers for Princess Cruise Lines - the same organization who's ship provided the backdrop for the television show. An opportunity to work on The Love Boat...it was an opportunity that Spud couldn't pass up!
The tuber knew nothing about fixing boats, but didn't let that sway him. He jumped in his car and zipped down to the Company's local office.
Spud's charm easily won over
the Human Resources officer, and she offered the side dish a job cleaning
the decks on one of their premier ship's in the line: the Grand Princess.
The two shook hands and then Spud was given his first orders. He was to report to the port of Galveston where he would board the ship enroute thru the Gulf of Mexico to the sun and sand of ports along the Caribbean.
Spud was in awe at the size of the boat. This massive vessel stood 17 stories tall and housed over 2000 passengers. While the ship certainly looked impressive, it was probably not a good thing that he had watched a double header of Titanic and Poseidon on video the night before. Those boats were equally impressive, yet had untimely ends at sea.
The tuber weighed the risk of sailing on. Undaunted, the tuber climbed aboard and reported to duty.
The work proved to be a lot tougher than the tuber anticipated. The ship had a few miles worth of deck in total and the potato's broom was only 2 inches wide. Still, he was able to work outside and check out all of the sun worshippers who were bronzing their pasty-white bodies under the warm Caribbean sun.
Spud enviously watched the passengers enjoying their vacation and gorging themselves in plate after plate of foods from the 24 hour buffet. This was no free lunch for Spud, and all of his meals were charged at full price. Even the drinks weren't free, except of course, for the recycled sea water and whatever he could ring out of a passenger's bath towel
It was a welcome site when the boat pulled up to its first port of call, Belize City. Belize was a familiar place to Spud having first visited there 3 short years before.
The tater disembarked and headed straight into town, away from the tourist shops, to a local market where he could get himself a cold drink without it costing him an appendage.
While downing a frosty margarita, the tater got to talking with a jungle native who was in town to download some new tunes to his iPod. Spud told the native that he was working on the ship, and a horrified look came across the man's face. "You dunna know abo' de pirates, do ya mon?"
The man continued and told Spud that these seas were rife with Pirate activity. Ships were frequently being taken over by these marauders of the high seas... it was an endless ordeal of plundering and pillaging - the likes of which hadn't been seen since the late 17th century!
Spud took heed of the native's warning and seriously considered abandoning his post on the ship. The tater had never walked away from responsibility though, and he certainly couldn't start now. The two shook hands and the tato made his way back onto the ship.
As the potato rummaged for dinner amongst food scraps in the Ship's kitchen, he thought about the warning given by the native. The bottom of the sea was the last place the tater wanted to find himself. In an effort to get his mind on something else, the potato made his way to the Ship's Atlantis Casino. Unlike Las Vegas, there were no free drinks at this Casino, and the poker tables just seem to be vacuuming out the remnants of his wallet.
The next morning, Spud's well founded fears were realized. One of the most ruthless villains of the sea had boarded the vessel overnight: the evil Captain Coconut
The one-eyed hard shelled pirate and his men had blitzed the ship and were focussed on taking the passengers for all they were worth.
Some were armed with cameras, relentlessly taking photos and forcing the vacationers to pay inflated prices for them. Others were luring unsuspecting passengers with cheap champagne to a secret art auction, where the intoxicated holidayers would bid hundreds of dollars on 'art' prints from the clearance bin at Wal Mart.
It was simply EVIL in its purest form
The tater was incensed! He couldn't sit back and watch these horrors unfold before him...he had to do something.
Spud spotted the green-capped ring leader across the deck just outside of the spa. He carefully crept up behind him, clutching his push broom like a mace.
When he got within striking distance the tato swung the broom with all of his might - sending the palm-tree pirate across the deck. Spud charged at the dazed chaos-causing coconut and drove end of his broom straight into the Captain's cake-hole
The pirate's henchmen looked on in disbelief as the potato continued to pummel their leader relentlessly. Fearing the wrath of the potato, the pirate's crew began fleeing the ship by the most direct route - jumping overboard.
With one final whack, Captain Coconut split in two - revealing a cool milky liquid that had been hidden by his tough, surly husk. The tuber pulled out a bottle of Malibu Rum and added it to the mixture. He then popped in a straw and partook of the refreshing island beverage.
The ship's passengers and crew let out a tremendous roar of appreciation for the potato. He had saved their vacations and preserved what was left in their wallets for the Ship's team of Pursers.
then that their eyes met -( well sort of, because Spud was starting to
see double at this point...)
He thought that he recognized her from the buffet just the other day. She had been hanging out with a bunch of her friends in a bowl next to the cold-cuts. Her sassy eyes and soft bronzed skin was unlike any other pear he had seen. She was no ordinary fruit - she was an exotic treat.
The pear sauntered up to Spud and introduced herself. She was petite with big, full lips and long feather duster eyelashes. The tater offered some elixir to his new found friend who graciously accepted. After downing the remainder of Captain Coconut, Spud was well in the bag, as was his female companion.
The tato invited the young lass to go swimming in one of the Ship's many pools. The pear accepted, but wanted to go somewhere more private than the ship's big pools. While swabbing the deck, Spud had noticed a few small ones that had a great view of the outdoor big screen. They were very private and would be the perfect place for the two to be together, and get to know one another more intimately.
Spud led the pear across the ship to his oasis of love. As predicted, the small pool was vacant without another soul around. Still a bit tipsy, the two carefully climbed the steps and stood for a moment at the pool's edge.
Spud looked longingly at her and she at him. He wondered to himself, 'could this be the one?'. He held her hand tightly as the two entered the water.
Suddenly, as if in unison, the pair both let out a blood curdling SHRIEK.
had unknowingly slipped into a Hot Tub!
Spud scrambled to the edge of the boiling mass, still clutching his beloved's hand. He barely managed to pull himself to safety, and avoid winding up on tonight's plate in the main dining room.
Horrified, Spud looked down at the hand of his love. It was all that was left of her - she had melted away into the swirling abyss.