Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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People Soup

March 22, 2017

Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

-Shakespeare-

 

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Years ago I was not the sophisticate I would later pretend to be. I’m thinking about a time when Mrs. Chatterbox and I were newlyweds and had recently moved into a small one bedroom apartment. Money was tight; after paying our rent and other expenses there wasn’t anything left for entertainment. One cold November evening we were bored watching television when I came up with a great idea.

 

“This apartment complex has a swimming pool. Let’s go take a dip.”

 

“It’s much too cold outside to go swimming. Do you even know if the pool is heated?”

 

I hadn’t thought the pool might not be heated. Since it was November the heat had probably been turned off, with water now so cold I’d need a melon baller to scoop out my hiding testicles. “Wait a minute; this complex has a hot tub.”

 

“I don’t recall seeing a hot tub.”

 

“It’s not one of those free-standing ones. It’s in the ground, next to the pool. I’ve seen steam coming off of it so the water must be warm.”

 

She agreed to give it a try.

 

We jumped into swimsuits, bundled up in all the towels we owned and dashed to the pool/hot tub. The pool water was icy cold, but when I dipped a toe into the hot tub I found the water to be gloriously warm. We dropped our towels and climbed in.

 

Simmering in the hot water, we must have looked like “people soup.” When we’d been there long enough for our toes and fingers to get wrinkly, an older gentleman ambled by with a Pomeranian on a leash. He spotted us and stopped, prompting me to wonder if we were breaking a rule. Maybe it was too late to be using the facilities.

 

“You know,” he said, “you kids would enjoy that Jacuzzi a lot more if you turned it on.”

 

“Turn it on?” I wondered out loud, having never seen or experienced a Jacuzzi.

 

He walked over to a nearby control panel and turned a dial. Instantly, a jet of hot water shot up my ass. The bubbling jets caused me to moan with a measure of pleasure I foolishly thought only Mrs. C. could provide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

25 Comments
I love a nice hot tub or whirlpool tub.
By: PT Dilloway on March 22, 2017
oh hahahahah this is hialrious! You have such GREAT stories!
By: Kathe W. on March 22, 2017
There is a hot spring in northern Utah, where the water comes out around 120 degrees (they have cooler pools, too) but just 50 feet away is another spring with 50 degree water. After soaking the hot pool, you can swim a lap or three in the cooler one!
By: Sage on March 22, 2017
Hahaha! That was hilarious :)
By: The Bug on March 22, 2017
Hehehe... funny how that scale of 'savoir faire' improves as the years accumulate. A hot tub to sooth my aches is on my wish list but then so many other things are as well.
By: Daniel LaFrance on March 22, 2017
I hear they are a petri dish with bubbles. I don't care, I love them. I would have visited it often.
By: cranky on March 22, 2017
Up until 3 years ago we had a Jacuzzi on our back porch. It was heavenly. I most especially enjoyed it in the winter when it was snowing. Sitting in the hot tub all nice and toasty with a glass of wine while the snow fell on our heads and shoulders. Sigh.......
By: Oma Linda on March 22, 2017
Build a Jacuzzi and they will come... Hopefully not literally because that's a soup you don't want to be in.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on March 22, 2017
LOL!
By: jenny_o on March 22, 2017
I love jacuzzi's and Hot tubs. I actually want one for my home because it would help my joints. This story is very funny...thanks for the laugh
By: Birgit on March 22, 2017
The image of people soup cracked me up. Amen for the old guy.
By: Arkansas Patti on March 22, 2017
A Jacuzzi can be pretty comfy without the jets. Willy Dunne Wooters suggested we put one on my deck, but we decided there's no point. It's almost always too warm to enjoy a Jacuzzi. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on March 22, 2017
I wondered where this was going when you said, "It's not one of those free-standing ones. It's in the ground..." Ah, the innocence of youth. I for one have nothing been so ignorant... well except maybe when I was around the same age and peed in my Italian friend's bidet. I was so amazed to find a urinal in her bathroom.
By: Mitchell is Moving on March 22, 2017
Reminds me of Lana and me as newly weds on a tight budget. We'd take old bread to a memorial garden lake and feed the swans and ducks. As for the spa-I'm in ours at least 3 nights a week. It is sensational to soak in the jets and look up at the star field with almost no light pollution here a mile from the Pacific. Some nights I can hear the surf roar, see the Milky Way and be tranquilized by the jets. Perfection!
By: Tom Cochrun on March 22, 2017
Heeheehee! Those can be fun. In fact, in the place we stay in Florida, they had to take out a couple of the jacuzzis because people were enjoying them a bit too much, and it's a family establishment.
By: messymimi on March 22, 2017
We inherited a hot tub - already very old - when we moved in. We kept it going for many years until it finally suffered a breakdown that was too expensive to fix, but I still miss that nighttime soak before going to bed.
By: Botanist on March 22, 2017
Ha! So did you re-experience the glorious spa tub every evening thereafter? At least the price was right. :)
By: scott park on March 22, 2017
Hahaha! I think the man with the Pomeranian deserved a present for the info! A painting or a pie!
By: Lexa Cain on March 22, 2017
We have a hot tub that Hick got FREE from his boss's dead dad. The first time he turned it on, a huge wad of hair shot out of the jets. I only know that because one of the boys told me. I asked if Hick took the hair out, and was informed that he couldn't, because it "sucked back in." I have never set foot in our free hot tub.
By: Val on March 22, 2017
I never wanted a hot tub ... until now!
By: Tom Sightings on March 22, 2017
Your story reminds me of one somewhat similar when we were entertaining a group of Japanese scientists...I should get my act together and write it up. You might enjoy it.
By: Tabor on March 23, 2017
Been there myself. Dominican Republic, 4-star hotel and all-inclusive. Then, I realised that the small pool was a jacuzzi... Greetings from London.
By: A Cuban In London on March 23, 2017
I so agree.
By: Ch4 on March 23, 2017
What a hoot. I love those things. We want one in our backyard, but I haven't made it happen yet.
By: Rick Watson on March 25, 2017
Ha! Funny story. Not sure if I'd enjoy a jacuzzi. We have one of those big garden tubs in the master bathroom...and it hasn't been used once in the over nine years we've lived here. I'm a shower kinda gal.
By: Pixel Peeper on March 28, 2017

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