Queen Victoria's Ball and Queen Victoria's bloomers

Jerry Nuovo

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Jan 22, 2010
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Aboard the Queen Victoria ther

Aboard the Queen Victoria there is an event called the Victoriana Ball from what I have read since I have not been aboard the Queen Victoria yet.I did find this link from the UK newspaper The Daily Mail www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1044263/Victorias-secret-Covered-Queens-stockings-revealed-loft.html .Recently the bloomers and stockings of Queen Victoria (the monarch not the ship)were auctioned off and sold.So just imagine the crazy thought that if some woman who was booked to do a cruise aboard the Queen Victoria bought the these bloomers and stockings to bring aboard the Queen Victoria (the ship not the monarch)to wear underneath her very long formal evening gown at the Victoriana Ball.Imagine the free publicity for Cunard and the Cruise Ship Queen Victoria if that were to happen. LOL Jerry
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Imagine the free publicity for Cunard and the Cruise Ship Queen Victoria if that were to happen.

Well...the publicity would depend upon whether or not milady wanted to...uh...hoist her gown to expose the antique undergarments for the cameras of the press, and for the edification of her fellow travelers. We once watched a fellow passenger from grill Class disembark topless but for her mink (what a character SHE was....bending and posing, with her coat loose enough so that all could tell she was sans blouse, sans bra, and surgically augmented) so it is theoretically possible that she MIGHT consent to doing that. But then a second question arises...are these the undergarments of the slim, contextually attractive, Victoria, or the undergarments of the later, miles more portly Victoria. In which case, does anyone REALLY want to learn THAT Victoria's secret?
 

Russell Smith

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Jun 18, 2009
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quote:

We once watched a fellow passenger from grill Class disembark topless but for her mink (what a character SHE was....bending and posing, with her coat loose enough so that all could tell she was sans blouse, sans bra, and surgically augmented)

Can you say "Tramp" ! Whats become of people?
 

Mike Poirier

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Haha... I remember Mrs. X the lawyer's wife. Yes, it was very humid and it felt like 90 degrees. We couldn't figure out why the mink... Then she showed the world.

I also recall when first going out on deck at sail-a-way, people were not properly dressed. Those people must have froze!
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Can you say "Tramp"

Tramp.

Actually, she was one of those hyper-irritating "free spirits" ...just a little TOO loud; a little TOO vibrant; a little to aware of her own 'daring' tendencies, and a little TOO convinced that she was Sally Bowles reborn. In short, first class grade A prime cut genus faghag.

>Whats become of people?

It's a generational thing. Tacky behavior has a grandparent clause. If Zelda Fitzgerald had disembarked from the Leviathan nude under her mink, it would be attributed to "anything goes 1920s zeitgeist." If the person who sat at your table during dinner on a crossing in 2004 did it, you'd just see it as vulgar and more than a little pathetic.

Another hi-light of that gala crossing, that for some reason we did not write about, was a fellow who apparently beat up his wife in the 6000 odd-cabin corridor. Our chatty steward witnessed it; we did not. It was later attributed to his being off his 'meds' but I think that it was just QM2 induced claustrophobia as it happened on day 3 at sea.

Another thing not reported at the time- a rather well known author, who was a friend of our friends, pummelled an English woman on the boat deck as we departed from Las Palmas. Every time our acquaintance waved to the crowd below us, this woman would slap her arm, rather hard, and say "You are blocking my view." After the third slap, our acquaintance first changed positions at the rail and then after thinking about it went back to her original spot. And when the woman slapped her a fourth time, she ended up getting mercilessly pummelled about the face and neck by a genteel seeming Amanda Bearse clone.

Ah, a magical night at sea, and an acquaintance met by chance on the boat deck who seemed a bit TOO reluctant to let us go. Turns out that the woman he was standing with had been subjecting him to a bizarre recitation of horrors, including her omnipresent thoughts of suicide. They were in what appeared to be a security camera blind spot, and our acquaintance was afraid that if she vanished overboard, when the surveilance tapes wre checked he'd be the last person seen alive with her. So when we appeared it gave him the ability to leave in safety.

Sexy from behind woman in Todd English who had 1940s Hollywood hair and gowns. Viewed from the front, she was 150 years old and had pointy, vampire like canines. Mike opined, and was correct, that she looked as if she should be holding chunks of raw meat in both hands and tearing into them alternately. Here's where it gets weird- every time I tried to photograph her on the sly, my camera jammed. It took me quite a few attempts to capture this particular fellow traveller on disc.

But, then one reads the Normandie night logs, and realises that transatlantic travellers have never EXACTLY been as classy as the rose colored glasses make them out to be.
 

Russell Smith

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Speaking of bizarre shipboard behavior (we should start a thread on this!).

On one cruise I took with some friends (right after graduating High School) the wimmin all shared a cabin. Seems that a latin steward availed himself of his master key and walked in on them 2 times unannounced. On the 3 time they screamed bloody murder and went to the Captain personally.
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They had to go through a number of junior officers first though, but raised such a ruckus that they were finally permitted to see the captain.

On the same cruise, one night at about 2am I was on the stern having a smoke, when suddenly a crew member appeared from nowhere and offered to sell me some marijuana! I declined and he gave me a dirty look and stormed off.
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Jim Kalafus

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>Seems that a latin steward availed himself of his master key and walked in on them 2 times unannounced.

Wymym friends of mine on a mid 1990s cruise were...disconcerted...that their steward kept getting into their underclothing and refolding it whilst they were out. They were not sure if he was a deve or just exceptionally solicitous.

My never to be topped onboard memorable horror? Another travel diary excerpt:

"A friend of mine who took the Zenith earlier in the summer told me that the high point of his cruise was discovering the surprisingly comfortable chairs that flank the outboard wall of the ship’s library. Tim and I have settled in to them late one afternoon, and lulled by the motion of the ship and the amazing comfort level of the chairs we both doze off. Myself fitfully, Tim more deeply. The folio of photos of the S.S. Resolute I was examining before becoming somnolent slips off of my chest and startles me awake. I look to my right at Tim. He is asleep, but the woman in the chair next to his~ apple cheeked, hair dyed a honey blonde, and about 60 years old~ is looking directly at me and apparently has been for some time. We make eye contact. She beams and twinkles at me. I nod a polite “hello”￾ and lean back into my chair. A few minutes later, when I look over again, she is still beaming and twinkling at me.

Tim picks a singularly unfortunate moment to wake up. Our conversation consists of nothing more than him saying “How long was I out for?”￾ before the pert woman who has been eyeing us in our sleep for god-knows-how-long sweetly asks “My friends. Can you tell me what language the book I am reading is in?”￾ She shows us the cover and I guess, wildly, “Hebrew?”￾ She stiffens noticeably and says rather forcefully “No. I am a European and a Christian.”￾ After implying that she could possibly be Jewish, I am the proverbial fifth wheel- from here on in she only has eyes for Tim. Not that I am complaining of course.

“And you, my friend, can you tell me?”￾ she asks him, twinkling, and he guesses “Armenian?”￾ Tim guesses correct, alas. “My friend, you are VERY intelligent!”￾ she says. “Where are you from?”￾ He tells her that he hails from Ohio but his family is of Swiss and German origin. “Ah…then that is why we have so much in common. The Swiss are a very intelligent people”￾ she croons “Like Armenians. We both come from mountainous countries.”￾ While we are digesting this, she adds that it is scientifically proven that Armenians are the smartest people on earth. I only relate this next quote because Tim is around to verify it; “Our brains are small, not unlike those of birds, but…we…use…more…of…them…”￾

I shift uncomfortably in my chair. “Lilly”￾ has the voice of a narrator reading a children’s book. It rises and falls dramatically. There are pauses at just the right moment. Sighs. Whispers. Sudden forceful interjections. She talks directly at Tim, giving me time to observe all of this very closely. My “Oh god, we are dealing with a nut”￾ sensor has long since gone off (I later learn from Tim that his has, too, by this point) and I want VERY badly to leave but there is no break in the conversation or, rather, monologue. Tim sits wearing what a stranger would view as an interested smile but which, to me, looks like an “I’m trapped, get me out of here”￾ grimace.

Trapped indeed, for “Lilly”￾ is telling him, in excruciating detail, about the torture and execution of 345 members of her mother’s family by the Turks, in 1915. Oh, does she hate Turks. It is a tidal wave of disturbing information. She was born in America, she tells Tim, just before World War 2. So, she never had to hide from the Turks, but nevertheless she hates them. Then she begins talking about the 300 members of her father’s family tortured and executed by Turks, going into Baroque detail as to the hows and whens and whys.

Her cadence rises and falls like the ship; shrill, as she relates details of yet another blood orgy, moments later soft with regret as she speaks of the aftermath, and then shrill again. Tim makes minimal reply, and I sense that it really doesn’t matter at this point. We are watching a one woman show. Lilly resents the entire world for being too easy on the Turks. It is also clear that she resents Jews. She has, at no point, asked if I am either Turkish or Jewish and I am beginning to get offended. The temptation to say to Tim “Let’s head back to the cabin, Kemal”￾ is strong, but I do not recall if he told her his first name, and know that she knows he is Swiss/German, and so stifle the urge. Also, it occurs to me that she is now so agitated that if she found out that either of us IS Turkish she might produce a weapon. It is that weird.

I want to leave. Tim wants to leave. This has been going on for close to a half hour, nonstop. No pause for breath. No chance for Tim to say a word. Just endless ENDLESS tales of death and torture. I think of the device used in comic strips, in which a dialogue balloon wraps down and around a character trapping him in a frame full of words. I feel my soul leaving my body and going to a safe place where there is no pain, and for a time stand outside the shell that once was my body as Tim’s torture-by-words worsens.


She resents the fact the Germany apologized to the Jews for the Holocaust, for no other reason than that the Armenians never got an apology from the Turks. She whispers that information in a soft croon, and then goes in for the kill, her voice becoming sharp and angry as she tells Tim “But….I ..DO…NOT…WANT AN APOLOGY! I WANT OUR LAND BACK!”￾ It is now going on 6:30.

Finally, comes the moment where “too much”￾ becomes "enough" Now, imagine this direct quote delivered in hushed but mountingly indignant tones: (In a near whisper) "They don’t WANT us to be called Genocide victims! (Louder) But we were! 700 relatives executed. I told my doctor in Massachussetts that, and he said to me, without letting me finish, 'you dream about saving Armenia.' (pause) And then he put me in a place to get mental help."

At which point Tim says “Oh, my, look at the time. Well, we’d better go to the cabin to get dressed.”￾ Hasty goodbyes are exchanged, and we exit at a near sprint. We say nothing until the elevator door closes behind us and we are safe. In hundreds of days spent at sea, neither of us has ever experienced anything remotely close to this. We wonder about the hypnotic spell that kept us from leaving for close to 45 minutes!

(2006)

_______________________________________________


I will preface this next part by saying that neither Tim nor I find anything remotely funny about genocide…but, in the days to come, at odd moments I find myself impersonating Lilly in Tim’s presence. “I see you are eating blueberry waffles, my friend. When the Turks would come to a village they would force the women to cook blueberry waffles and then kill them with their own waffle irons. I ask you, what kind of human being kills another human being with her own waffle iron?”￾ That is the sort of bizarre, disturbing, seems-highly-fictional tale she told.

>offered to sell me some marijuana!

Usually, they just offer it.
 

Jim Kalafus

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More bizarre fellow travelers, from 1991:

"Our table mates are, as it transpires, a family of five, only one of whom actually wants to be aboard the ship. Thirty seconds after leaving the room, after dinner, neither of us can recall their names so I dub them “Big Hank and Midge Smithers and Their Offspring” which sticks.

Big Hank, the family patriarch is tall, stocky, bald and bearded and has a vaguely threatening “you WILL do as I say, just because I said it” attitude. “Midge” is a slightly more glamorous Jean Stapleton As Edith Bunker type, who fidgets a lot and seems to be the peacemaker of the bunch. “The Married Ones” are Son of Smithers and his wife, Smitherette who, between them, say two words all night (one of which is “salt,” I think) but who seem nice enough in a We’d Both Rather Be Somewhere Else Without Our Family manner. Star of the Family, ‘though, is Little Timmy Smithers, a lad of some 18 summers who wears long scraggly hair and the sort of suit one’s lawyer picks out for the All Important First Impression on court day. Little Timmy is determined to prove A) that he REALLY does not want to be here and B) that he can ruin the cruise for everyone. And he succeeds wildly at both, quickly, God Bless Him. The 8th chair at the table remains vacant.

After forced, friendly introductions, conversation peters off to nothing in less time than it takes to think “oh my god, seven nights of this?” Ursula and I pay elaborate attention to ours menus- because we can- and just as the enraptured critics had been saying , all of the choices seem both interesting and tempting. And we quietly discuss them amongst ourselves with an attention to detail that would do a professional debate team proud, because the longer we talk about our potential choices, the less time we’ll have to spend chatting uneasily with the Smithers Family.

The service is prompt and attentive without being intrusive, the food when it came is every bit as good as the reviews said it would be, and Little Timmy Smithers got into an argument with both his father and the waiter because he refused to look at the menu, no less choose anything from it, insisting that all he wanted to eat - or would eat-was a hamburger.

Midge Smithers' one chance at seeming... awake... her big moment to shine so to speak, comes with her roast duck. “Look at that!” she says, admiringly, with a bit too much animation “that must be the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Ducks!” Her one joke of the night is met with mixed negative reactions from her clan; Timmy scowls; Son Of and Smitherette look mildly embarrassed, and Big Hank looks at her as if she has suddenly turned green.

After that, what is left but for them to talk ~sporadically~ amongst themselves and for Ursula and I to chat exclusively with one another, with just enough attention paid to the table to keep it from appearing that we are rudely turning our backs on The Smithers. Although, of course, we are. After dessert, we excuse ourselves and bid cordial goodnights to our companions of the evening, who are equally cordial with their best wishes. Safely out of earshot, in the foyer, Ursula good naturedly but firmly says “We are NEVER eating with those people again” and I second that emotion.
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and 1996....


I sit at a table for 8 in the Zenith’s Caravelle Restaurant, against the port wall exactly at the midpoint of the room. I slept through the first dinner at sea and so this is my Grand Entrance. To my right sits an extremely attractive woman of about my age, “Karen,” who I soon learn is a travel critic for a rather prominent East Coast newspaper making her first ever cruise. The other six women who ring the table are all in their late 50s and early 60s, and greet me with an enthusiastic “There you are! We thought you weren’t going to show up!” when I came down to dinner.

Karen, as it develops, is a transfer from another table, replacing a single man who, for some reason, left after the first night at sea.

Although the women are all kindly, Karen and I soon discover why the man who once occupied her place departed. The six women are all recent widows placed, by coincidence, at the same table, and the conversation soon swings to tales of bereavement and coping, and stays there for the two plus hours it takes to finish our meal.

Karen, and I, make game attempts to liven up the party by telling travel tales, but the Not So Merry Widows have the bit in their mouths and are going to run with it as far as the finish line. And Death Holds Court over our corner of the festive room…
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Russell Smith

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Jun 18, 2009
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Once I had the misfortune of being seated next to an Aunt Agony type, who took great glee in criticising everything and everybody. When I let it slip that I was a smoker she berated me about the evils of tobacco. The only upside was that she wore a Stella Stevens-Linda Rogo-Poseidon Adventure dress. The downside was that she was in her 60's and had business wearing a Stella Stevens-Linda Rogo-Poseidon Adventure dress. I lasted one night before I requested a seating change, only to be seated next to a couple who were the American version of Onslo and Rose from "Keeping Up Appearances", right down to the husband appearing at dinner in shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt with a picture of The Fonz emblazened on it, to which I sarcastically said "Nice shirt". He smiled and said "Thanks!" Some people are so clueless they don't even know when they're being insulted. I'm not usually like that, but I had had a few Adult Beverages before dinner and was feeling no pain. He was also clearly into his cups and slurred the whole time. Ironically he was an entertaining fellow and kept the whole table conversation lively.
happy.gif
 

Jim Kalafus

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>When I let it slip that I was a smoker she berated me about the evils of tobacco.

As an ex smoker, I recall such people with great fondness. Nothing like some random stranger offering malicious comment disguised as 'caring' to make even the most banal of events special.

I've seen that Stella gown situation arise many times. 36DDD has become 44 long but, no matter, the plunging neckline is maintained.

Visually, the most horrific couple I was ever seated with were a pair Mike dubbed Tony and Tina Tuna. Tina was a 'personal trainer' but had all the visual attributes of a pole dancer on the down side of the pay-scale. That certain je ne se qua that whispers "That'll cost you an extra hundred, norm'lly I don't do that, and I got a switchblade in my bag so don't try to take the money back after." Her Bronx accent was almost as thick as the layers of makeup with which she was slathered. From a distance I picked year of birth as 1974. (This was 2005) From up close I picked 1947. She did lots of yoga and pilates and was really firm, but had the rock hard, pointed, "poitrine" that suggest augmentation.

Tony, however, stole the show. Imagine your oldest uncle done up to resemble a ca. 1980 pimp and you are halfway there. Skin tight package-flauting pants, with open black faux-silk shirt and gold chains. Hair Club For Men "Male bouffant" dyed shoe polish black and woven to a magnificent curvilinear peak. Multiple rings. Wearing "Men's makeup" (Bronzer, and mascara to highlight the lashes) and a pungent cologne that spoke to me of the insoucient ambience of a used condom tossed nonchalantly into the back seat of a 1978 Camaro.

"Tony and Tina and Mike and I" was NOT table made in heaven. The real horror came in St. George at the beach. Tina was wearing a micro-kini and, tragically, so too was Tony. Imagine the effect of someone picking their nose and then immediately jamming their finger into your mouth and touching the back of your throat, and that was the feeling Tony Tuna in a micro-Speedo fostered.

I cannot recall the contents of the limited conversation we had with Mr. and Mrs. Tuna, except that Tina Tuna kept a trapeze in her apartment to help her with her act. The ensuing mental picture was, and is, not a pretty one.

On a voyage to Aruba, Mike and I were seated with Julie and Kay, a great pair of women with whom we had a pleasant series of dinners. Lots of laughs. At the next table, almost close enough to touch, sat a young honeymoon couple who were seated with a 70-ish man who could have been Tony Tuna's brother, and his much younger (MUCH younger)companion who, we were 99 99/100% certain, was a transvestite. The knife wielding scary sort you used to see on Ricki Lake. The younger couple looked quite wistful every time our table erupted into laughter, and we felt kind of sorry for them.

>t-shirt with a picture of The Fonz

So, Russell, we've met. "My Fonzie For President" t-shirt makes a hit on even the most formal of nights.
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Another extract of a dinner gone awry follows. The set up? We were at a table for eight and did not want to be there. I spoke rather pointedly with the maitre d'who said he'd try to fix things. THEN, we found we liked our table companions and did not want to switch....

********
"Don’t get the Pastry Swan” Tim advises me “The whipped cream always tastes bad.” I order it anyway, and soon admit that he was 100% correct. It DOES taste funny. Our waiter ‘flies’ the swan onto my serving plate, in a series of descending bounces, while quacking, but we all withhold comment on that until after his departure.

When dinner breaks up, Tim remarks that it was not so bad, very pleasant actually, and we both agree that another five nights with those table companions is not so horrible a fate. “Which means, of course” I say, “That even as we speak they are changing us to a table for two and we’ll never see these people again.” And, at the end of the evening, when we return to our cabin, there sits, as expected, a change of table card.
*****************
So now, on our second night at sea we are at a table for four, from which two chairs have been removed, which allows us plenty of space and gives us an unobstructed view across the room to our former seats. Long before we finish our meals, we observe our former companions and those who replaced us at the table pushing back their chairs and hastily leaving. “Oh, that doesn’t look good” notes Tim.

***********
>It is days until we find out what went terribly wrong.
*********
"The Long Island couple we sat with on our first night aboard joins with us until the game starts. From them we learn what went awry the second night out, when we saw our former table suddenly break up for no evident reason. The man who took my place had vomited into his napkin, then placed it on his lap and reassured the others at the table “I’ll be alright. I don’t have to leave.” It was suggested that maybe, possibly, he DID have to leave, and the meal soon broke up under the strain that a man with a napkin full of vomit on his lap can place on even the most congenial crowd. There is more, but we don’t get to hear it, for the game is underway.
 
May 27, 2007
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quote:

When I let it slip that I was a smoker she berated me about the evils of tobacco.

George's Rules For Smoking Etiquette

I'm mean! If it's outside I'll light a cig and blow smoke in their face.
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.

If I'm inside I say to them, " Yeah I smoke. Listening to you berate me for that fact makes me want a cig right now."

I don't give a tinker's D**n. Hence my smoking. If I cared I wouldn't smoke.

Now if someones polite and says "please don't smoke around me" I'll put it out and apologise then go smoke somewhere else. But no please no apology. I'll just go off and to get away from their rudeness.
 

Russell Smith

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quote:

...we were 99 99/100% certain, was a transvestite. The knife wielding scary sort you used to see on Ricki Lake.

133400.gif


I vividly remember a cruise to the Bahamas when a gay couple next to the pool suddenly began making out like there's no tomorrow. Some people showed disdain and some left, hauling their children by their hands. One astute child of about 6 said loudly, "Mommy those men are kissing!" I thought it was tacky. Gay or straight, you really should'nt get into a tongue-wrestling and groping match with your significant other in public. Needless to say it caused quite a stir amongst the passengers, until someone yelled "Take it to your room!" The couple beat a hasty, embarassed retreat while the rest of us just shook our heads and laughed about it.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Public displays of affection, whether gay or straight, should be limited.

What should be abolished entirely, however, is the norovirus spreading but immensely popular self-service buffets. Dear LORD what are people thinking? On land, if one suggested, "let's go to a buffet style restaurant where up to three thousand other people will be handling the same pair of serving tongs in less than an hour" one would be asked "Where, other than a prison, might you find such a set up?" Even soup kitchens have a better grasp of basic sanitation and have staff members manning the ladles. Yeah yeah, I know...they now have hand sanitizers at the door. Which don't work. Yeast infected tongue brushes fingers as sloven bites nails while on line and then touches serving tongs. Fecal material impacted under fingernails well out of the reach of sanitizer but waiting to spew forth upon those damned tongs. Little Kaitlin With Pinkeye whose parents did not want to miss the cruise over something as trivial as conjunctivitis heading back for her third pass at the serve your own ice cream station....

...THAT all scares me. I'd sooner my kids be exposed to straight or gay couples perhaps expressing a hair too much affection, than have them handle the tongs at the buffet.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>We went to an all you can eat buffet on my Birthday.

Only scary if 3000 people funnel through it in two hours.

As an observational journalist, I obsessively watch everything that goes on around me. Which is why I avoid buffets. It's always the SNIPER who kills you~ you can dodge the bullet represented by old Mrs. Gilhoolie who you see digging through the deviled eggs with her damned fingers looking for just the right one, but the bullet that is festering under her hygenically challenged son's fingernails will get ya and you'll never see it coming!

>I may never go to another Chinese buffet again.

Pick up utensils first.
Use your clean utensils to pick up food.
Eat only from fresh trays.
Avoid serving tongs and ladles.

And you are fairly safe.