5 foot seas, 1937.4 nautical miles from Alaska. Ships position: 47° north 167° east

This many days into the trip it has been a challenge to enjoy the reliability of my personal plumbing. When back in Los Angeles, I know what I’m eating, how much, and the health effects of each item. But aboard a cruise ship — where there is enough food for 6000 people, provided to 2300 passengers, the force-feeding atmosphere tends to gum up the works. And here’s the rub.

Before I boarded in Whittier, Alaska, over 1100 senior citizens had occupied the ship for a full week and had depleted the vessel’s prune supply. What I found out was how the restaurant managers cope with a gang bang of walkers and canes pummeling the prunes, en masse. What they do is “control” the prune supply by no longer putting any of the wrinkly poop fruits on visual display. Only upon request can one receive a student prune to prime the pump of possibility.

It is to this end that I have begun prune-hoarding. Befriending a handful of waitstaff can assure prompt delivery of these withered brown oyster-like gems. These miraculous half-decomposed plums have magical powers known only to wise and elderly sages. My grandmother offered me particular counsel on the matter — a debt for which there can be no repayment.

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