Sunday, August 2, 2009

Honeymoon Sweet

How I envy you both. You’re going to love it. Just picture yourself relaxing on a deserted beach, with the gentle lap of the waves, the lulling cry of gulls and, frankly, all you have to remember is not to get too close to the water’s edge or a seven metre Killer Whale might leap from the depths and drag you out to sea. We lost another honeymooning couple that way in June. Too much in love, is the way I see it. They were lying on their beach towels, furiously bonking away and – snatch – the next thing they know they’re somewhere off the Ross Ice Shelf being served as lunch to a pod of baby Orcas. Still, it’s a holiday they won’t forget in a hurry.

Trust me – Antarctica is the choice for adventurous travellers seeking a memorable honeymoon location. Unimaginative punters whose idea of an exotic experience is the Holiday Inn off the Patpong Road may be satisfied with la-di-dah toilets which flush, but I’ve been in the travel agency business long enough to know that my clients want something different, even if it means spending a few additional weeks trapped on an ice floe eating penguin chicks while waiting to be rescued by a Russian trawler.

Oh, yes, admittedly other just-married couples arrive home all suntanned, waving photos of lagoons and palm trees. But here at Bride’s Nightie Travel (motto: “You’ll Be Off Quicker”) we strive for the unusual. Who wants a hotel room with crisp, ironed sheets and those ghastly little chocolates on the pillows which have always melted because the air conditioning broke down and you spend the night picking gooey bits of Cadbury out your left ear? There’s none of that at Club Dread. You’ll be very comfortable, provided the dog sled can reach the huts before nightfall. Just between you and me, you wouldn’t want to be out in the open after sunset because the polar bears we introduced from Taronga Zoo last year to act as game for a planned shooting safari have escaped and were last seen disembowelling two British scientists who’d stopped for a pee behind a snow drift.

At Club Dread, remember, it’s all about you. For instance, the wonderful thing about the club’s Quonset huts is that, when the wind picks up to 140 kph and is driving snow and sleet through the cracked window panes, you can lie in your collapsible Chinese Army-issue bed at night listening to the rhythmic banging of sheets of corrugated galvanised iron. You’ll be asleep in no time – although if I were you I’d do a quick check under the bed each evening for rats. Roald Amundsen may have been a great explorer but he obviously never inspected his ship for rodents. Since 1911, the little bastards have bred and if it wasn’t for their crazed pink eyes which glow in the dark, you’d never be able to hit them with a shovel as they advance slowly across the room towards you at 3 a.m.

The cost, you ask? We have a number of tailored packages. For honeymooners who’re a little short on cash, we offer the Discount Deal. It’s simple. We video your first night in bed as husband and wife – in the best possible taste, as you can imagine – and upload it onto where sentimental strangers can download the video as a memento of the happy occasion. Whatever we make on the sales will be deducted (after we’ve taken out some trifling production expenses) from your holiday bill. I know these are early days, but if you do choose the BlueTube option, would you mind if in the opening scene of the video, the wife starts off wearing a fur bikini and the husband comes through the door dressed as an Eskimo? It’s a creative little scenario I’ve been considering and I think it could work provided you’re not put off by having a camera crew in the room. I’m trying to keep the crew numbers down, but I’m afraid Rhonda at Reception (you’ll have seen her with her feet up, painting her toe nails) has been auctioning the crew roles on eBay. So far we have 11 cameramen and a sound recordist.

If you’re a little shy, there’re other deals, most of which won’t require you stripping off. And, please, please, don’t be concerned about the two-way glass mirror above the bed. It’s mainly for show – unless, of course, the guests who’ve chosen the attic suite get inquisitive during the night. I always think a dead giveaway is when you notice a small, red “record” light on the other side of the mirror.

No, don’t thank me. It’s my job. Now, sign here and here. It’s purely for insurance purposes. You’ve no idea how pricey it is to get coffins out of a snowed-in camp.

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© Greg Flynn 2009

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