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mel hartsough 08-25-2011 11:30 PM

Humor and fun on Steamboats
I remember back in the good ol days as a Deckhand on the Mississippi Queen occasionally we would have fun with the passengers and throw a little light hearted humor out and fool with them. Things such as a Pax would ask how many Knots we were going and I'd say oh no sir we go by Kilometers per hour. Or they'd ask if there was an Auto-Pilot and Id say no sir we have a Riverboat Pilot. And back in those days there was no Riverlorian or Narrarator to make point of interest announcements so some of the Pilots would take that initiative. The one that sticks out in my mind is Capt. Ted Davisson. Ill never forget the first time I heard it I was making deck rounds checking trashcans and ashtrays and an anouncement came over by Ted that said "Ladies and Gentlemen if you will look to your Starbord side you will see a herd of genuine Louisiana Deer" well the boat dang near listed to starbord within minutes as all the Pax were moving to the starbord side to see a herd of Herford cattle. The other one was as we were passing St. Francisville one time and they had these sand or salt domes that I think the Corps. used and Ted came over the loudspeaker anouncing " to the port side of the vessel we will be passing the Pyramids of St. Francisville" and again the boat took a list, this time to Port. I seem to recall another anouncement as we passed a dredge about a Government Sand mining operation. Those were the days...

Lexie Palmore 08-26-2011 10:58 AM

And then there's the announcement out in the middle of nowhere on the Miss. River that we are passing the point where Hudson discovered the Mississippi. They would just look and look. Seems the bigger the lie, the faster people took the bait and believed it.

Jazzou Jones 08-28-2011 03:22 PM

A humorous exchange between Bud Black and a reporter from a California newspaper as we were passing by some covered hopper barges: the woman asked Bud what was in the barges... Bud promptly replied, "Manure." She wrote this on her pad and asked him how he could tell. Bud told her to look closely and she could see the flies all around it. She went over to the window to look and wrote on her pad some more.

mel hartsough 08-28-2011 03:49 PM

[QUOTE=Lexie Palmore;27079]And then there's the announcement out in the middle of nowhere on the Miss. River that we are passing the point where Hudson discovered the Mississippi. They would just look and look. Seems the bigger the lie, the faster people took the bait and believed it.[/QUOTE]

Now that made me Laugh Lexie! I forgot about that one.

mel hartsough 08-28-2011 03:53 PM

Oh we could probably go on and on about the answers to one of the most infamous questions a Passenger could ask, "What are they hauling in those barges"? One of my personal favorites for empties was Ping Pong balls.

Jon Tschiggfrie 08-28-2011 07:29 PM

This is quickly becoming my favorite .org thread.

Alan Bates 08-28-2011 10:24 PM

Chet Foster, engineer on the Belle of Louisville was accosted by a couple of men one of whom asked him where the stem was. Dead-faced, Chet replied, "Buddy I don't know; I just come to her last week."

We used to torture smart-alecky navy veterans. They would ask, "Where's the head?" The answer was always, "Go forward and dowstairs." On arrival there the deckhand guarding the forward doorway would point forward and say, "There she is, sir." After a little more discussion the passenger would be told, "Oh, you mean the TARlet. Go upstairs and you'll find it on the left side of the boat at the back corner."

Bob Reynolds 08-28-2011 10:31 PM

We have a new Safety Director. She sent a color chart about hydration and its effect on urine color, and asked that it be posted "above the head". I wondered for a full minute about why in the world she wanted this chart posted over head, when I realized she meant over the commode in the bathroom.

mel hartsough 08-28-2011 11:02 PM

Jon Im quite sure your dad can add some good ones here. And Robert isnt the lavratory just around the stack, passing the pile of Periodicals just before you get to the Egress. and speaking of Egress I'll never forget the time Capt. Ed Winford made what I believe was his first trip in the Delta Queen and when he saw the Egress sign he said "Oh, well I thought an Egress was a bird with long legs"

Bob Reynolds 08-28-2011 11:34 PM

Yep. Right close to the "fresh breath machine".

For the uninitiated, in the old Officer's Quarters on the Sun Deck of the DELTA QUEEN, the hallway split around the smokestack. Outboard on both sides of the stack were doors leading out on deck. Capt. Jim Blum, a dedicated Anglophile, had me letter "Egress" in the alcoves leading to the doors. The "fresh breath" machine was the self-contained breathing apparatus stored in this hallway in a trunk. It was lettered as such, but Capt. Rip Ware called it the Fresh Breath Machine. We would joke that it contained toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, chewing gum, etc. for those (who will remain nameless) who were in need of such. Mel and Lexie know who they were.

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