Keep On Cruisin’

Greetings from "The Unhappiest Place Under Earth" • Larry Doyle
Art by Joe Oesterle

Art by Joe Oesterle


isney riverboats could be entirely new canvases in which to let the Walt Disney Imagineers unleash their creativity on, integrating storytelling into the very nuts and bolts, decor and fixtures, setting the scene for adventures to come.”— Do More Disney River Cruises Foreshadow Dedicated Cruise Line?, Travel Pulse.

Good morning! Or evening! Whichever, let’s make the best of it!
 Welcome once again to Adventures by Disney’s Royal Subterranean River Cruise. I’m Larry, your cruise director, bringing you the latest Lowdown from Down Under for the next Tuesday or possibly Wednesday of Eternity.


Please remember to take the danakes from your eyes when you awake and keep them safe. You will need these coins at the end of the cruise. You don’t have pockets so you will have to hold on to them. As they will sear your flesh, our ship’s physician, Doc, recommends that you don’t carry them anywhere but in your hands.


You’re way ahead of me: It’s going to be another scorcher! Pray for a break in the writhing by late afternoon when there’s a chance of scattered blood showers. Tonight will be nippy beyond imagining, so please remember to wear your hairshirt!


Please remember this is a nonsmoking cruise. If you must smoke, please drag your smoldering remains up to the Princess Ariel lido deck and hurl yourself into one of our three Olympic-sized smoking pits.


Your wife has married your neighbor Brian, the guy who shot you in the throat at that tailgate party. (It was ruled accidental!) The deliriously happy newlyweds report that your little Molly calls him “Daddy Bee.” Isn’t that adorable?
 Also, that boy who copied off your civics test and then ratted you out for cheating is now the president of the United States. 
 Oh, and they cured your kind of cancer. If only you hadn’t been shot in the throat by Brian, your wife’s beloved husband… well, there’s no point in dwelling on that now!
But do dwell on it.


Please remember you are required to spend at least one hour head-down in the Goofy Poop Deck.


Let’s see what our Dark Imagineers have brewed up for you today!

  • You were likely visited in the night by lovable Sully, irascible Randall, or a succubus. Well, this morning from 4 to 5 AM you can meet them for a Monster’s Breakfast in the Bilge Room. Grab a selfie and get your hearts or genitals back!
  • Scrooge McDuck will be threaded through the eye of a needle at 11 AM and 1, 3 and 5 PM.
  • Today’s Offshore Adventure is once again a jaunt to Disney Underworld, where you will wait in line until it’s time to return to the ship.
  • And of course, every endless day ends with our Disney Parade of the Damned, whipped endlessly by our Seven Demons: Beezle, Bubby, Agony, Bloodthirsty, Insaney, Floggy and Bashful. Survive the flailing and stick around for our Spectacular Cleansing Fire Display. 


Parents who wish to gamble and fornicate may dump their tykes at Cruella’s Puppy Mill. Please remember to pick them up before feeding time. And also please remember these are not your real spawn. They are memories of the children you once had but who have grown and never talk of you.


We will be screening Disney-Miramax’s Duplex (2003), an alleged comedy starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore. It’s the story of a young couple who try to kill a sweet old lady for her New York apartment — and you thought you were bad! Check the seats around you to see if you can spot the immortal soul of director Danny DeVito, awaiting the arrival of his earthly vessel. And in the front row you will find the severed head of the screenwriter, his eyelids nibbled away by Mickey before each showing, only to grow back again. Trivia: Can you name that screenwriter? No, you can’t, because he’s been forgotten.


Remember that red-eye from LAX to JFK where you had six vodka cranberries and then you screamed at that attendant for saying “Please remember” all the goddamn time? Please remember that.


Don’t forget (please remember) to join Captain Pluto for our Midnight Snack. Chef Ratatouille and his all-rodent kitchen have scurried up an infectious feast.
 Enjoy Farmer Donald’s Ducky Guacamole with Chip and Dale, Nemo Niçoise, Chopped Chicken Little salad, Geppetto’s Wood-Fired Pizza, gluten-free pasta with your choice of Toad Fra Diavolo or Baloognese sauce, Thumper Hasenpfeffer, Lion King Pao, Mushu (Tastes Like) Chicken, Poached Dory stuffed with Sebastian Florentine, Roast Beast au jus de Belle, Braised Shank of Bambi’s mom with a glaze of human tears, and for dessert, Deep-fried Cinnamon Dumbo Ears or Queen Grimhilde’s Wicked Apple Popovers with your choice of creme Grumpé or salted salt ice cream. 
 Eat until you’re about to burst, and then continue eating. Also, please remember there is a three-drink minimum from Eeyore’s Champagne Fountain of Regret. Check with Princess Elsa to see if you have been chosen to be an ice sculpture.

This is your cruise director Larry signing off and saying how very, very sorry he is, so so sorry, he had no idea when he stiffed that cruise director, that that would — I mean, it was all-inclusive — and she was so goddamn perky all the time, and — Ayeee! What the hell, this isn’t my rending time! — but I’m just saying, I’ve, I’ve repented and I’m sorry and please — 

Good Morning!  ◊

This piece originally appeared in The American Bystander #4.

Larry Doyle
(@thelarrydoyle) contributes regularly to The New Yorker. He won the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor.
Larry Doyle (@thelarrydoyle) is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. He won the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor.
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