October 2, 2007

Master Hollywood, Parakeet Trainer

Hi. I'm Hollywood. But that's Master Hollywood to you.

I just completed an on-line check-in procedure for my cruise next week. It's a four day float out of Los Angeles. The cruise line, Royal Caribbean, asked that I provide basic information regarding my address and passport before I showed up at the boat. The very first thing they asked for was my "Title." The options were, "Doctor, Master, Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms.."

I completed the check in for a Doctor Spike and a Master Hollywood. Technically we are a Mr. and Mrs. but I was feeling decadent. I hoping people treat us better as a Doctor and a Master. If anything, they'll be confused as to how a woman could be a Master but if anyone dares call me "Miss" I'll primly correct them and dump hot English tea down their trousers. It may be false glory, but I learned years ago that false glory might just be as good as the real thing.

My sister and I graduated from BYU on the same day. Because we were in different colleges, my parents and I attended her graduation ceremony in the morning, then planned on attending mine that afternoon. She was graduating in Zoology from the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. It was going to be a long day. As my parents and I sat in the audience we commiserated about the hours of pomp we had ahead of us. When my sister's class finally began marching across the stage to accept their stock diplomas I had a brilliant idea. I grabbed an old receipt from my mom's purse and on the back I scribbled, "[Hollywood], Sociology." Then I ran up and jumped in line behind my sister. I wasn't going to spend four more hours in a folding chair just to walk across another stage. And I was wearing my graduation robes...

The announcer was reading names off a list as the students marched across the stage. "Tyler Backus, Biology. Cindy Barringer, Astronomy," then I reached the front of the line and handed him my crumpled receipt. He looked at it in confusion and hesitated. I gave him an encouraging nod and he read into the microphone, "[Hollywood], Sociology." I marched smartly across the stage, waving grandly to my relieved parents.

I had barely finished crossing the stage when I realized how badly I'd blown it.

I could have written anything on that piece of paper for my five seconds of fame. I could have written, "Hollywood, Nuclear Physics." Or, "Hollywood, Parakeet Training." But I had just written my boring old major of Sociology. I've been kicking myself over it for the past seven years.

Even though I didn't get the applause of an auditorium for an impressive, imaginary degree, I am thrilled at my second chance for glory. For one week on my cruise I will be "Master Hollywood." Stewards will tremble before me. The Captain himself will place dainty confections on my pillow. I'll get an automatic upgrade to the private suite on the top deck. False glory is glory nonetheless and I'm going for it.

* * * Update * * *

Spike has just informed me that "Master" means young lad, not Master and Commander of the Universe. I am a moron.

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21 comments:

Melissa said...

I bow before you master!
I wish I was as gutsy as you... I'm too much of a coward.

aubrey said...

that is hilarious that you did that! and i'm with you..too bad you didn't write some bogus degree on there. or name. oh well. and have fun as master flake on your cruise. the treatment better be good!

Nancy said...

Its a shame that the loftiest title that they had to offer was 'Doctor'. My husband was signing up for a credit card online and they had titles like 'Crown Prince' and 'Admiral'.

Adum said...

this post was really funny. mainly because "master" is a title you give to a boy to young to be called mister. or a scottish viscount

from mw.com:

master: 3 a (1) archaic : MR. (2) : a youth or boy too young to be called mister -- used as a title b : the eldest son of a Scottish viscount or baron

now people are going to expect you to speak with a thick scottish brough. nice work, sweets.

Hollywood said...

Dang it! I was thinking more "Master and Commander" type Master. Way to rain on my parade, Adum. I guess I'll have to pack some nickers for this cruise.

Hollywood said...

or "knickers" as my mother, editor pointed out. Sorry for all my egregious spelling errors, Mom. I just like getting you all riled up sometimes!

AzĂșcar said...

You're my hero.

Amy said...

I was confused about why you'd choose master, wondering if you had a sudden desire to be a little boy. Thanks for clarifying the "master and commander" thing. Also, nice job of shortening a long long day on graduation. Those things are sooooo boring.

s'mee said...

Ah, this is something I encourage. I think the whole graduation stunt was brilliance! My #4 decided that during the boring speeches given by faculty he would rip out some electrical tape and wrote in huge block letters on the top of his cap "HI MOM!" When the time came for the final walk across the stage and formalities of the tassel ceremony there it was in all it's glory. "HI MOM!"

I knew instinctively that it was my kid. I reared him well.

So off with ye lassie! Be the Master of the cruise line!

CACKEL said...

Now, if you are pretending to be a Scottish lad, don't mention that you packed your knickers, because in Great Britain, "knickers" are what they call panties. seriously, they have "knickers" sales at Victoria's Secret shops over there. "pants"=underwear, "knickers"="panties". One more thing to laugh at.

CACKEL said...

PS but "master in knickers" aside, the whole story of jumping up during your sister's graduation was hilarious. that really was gutsy. I'm glad that it worked out well instead of having security haul you off stage or something.

Clyde said...

I read the other day that if you go crazy, you'd better "...do it with a touch of style and a dash of humor..." Your last minute decision to participate in Mary's graduation ceremony made me get the idea that you, Master Flake, are completely nuts with a hand-full (or even a bag) of funnyness. :)

I couldn't help but wonder:

What did your sister think when you showed up in the line?

What about your parents? Did Aunt Barbara pulled her hair out?

Did anyone on stage notice or say anything at all?

Did you go to your own graduation ceremony afterwards?

NOTE: Your post title reminded me of the movie Fletch, the Master of Disguise (of course, here it's replaced with the name Flake).

Teah said...

Ok, that was stinkin' hilarious. I don't care what "master" is supposed to mean. You are the master of the parakeet trainers in my book.

So there.

Go forth and conquer, Master Flake. I'll leave my parakeet on your porch in the morning. I expect him to be well trained.

Clyde said...

LOOOVE your update line! I wonder why, hmmm? :)

Clyde said...

A little reminder:

To confirm that you AREN'T the Master and Commander of the Universe, did you try out the line that goes along with the title?

"By power of Greyskull... I have the POWER" I'm just checking.

Colleen said...

Ha ha! You are hilarious. It's official. I hereby dub you Master of Funny.

Shiloh said...

I hate to contradict, Adum, but I believe "Master" can also mean a commander, a teacher, an owner, etc. It really hasn't been used to mean "young lad" since, like, the 19th century. According to definition 16 on dictionary.com, I really *can* make people call me "Master Shiloh" now! Sweet!
Master Sarah--check out dictionary.com and rescind your update!!!!

amelia bedelia said...

Hilarious!

I was laughing so hard I was crying, and stuggling to catch my breath...ahh. I haven't laughed this hard since I heard the joke about the possible assasination attempt on K-Fed. Does K-Fed even need a hitman? All you would have to do is set up a cupcake trail off the roof of a building.

Sorry, totally off the subject. Thanks for supplying humor so funny that my husband thinks I'm deranged :)

By the way - what year did you graduate in Soc from BYU? I graduated in 01, but I actually went to the boring lame ceremony...to think I might have been in the presence of greatness.

Physcokity said...

haha master. I love the moxy. Although I would be surprised if people on the cruise line actually knew that it was meant as a young lad instead of Master of the Universe...maybe you should have gone with Shera Princess of Power.

Sue said...

You are an evil genius.

Chelsea Worth said...

it's great you just wrote about college because believe it or not you were in a dream of mine last night regarding college. you were pregnant(?) and you were the Grad assisitant in the Poli Sci department. I had come to see you because I needed help with some Poli Sci assignments. you wouldn't help me because I had been absent for a class, thanks a lot. Who knew that you can now go by Master Poli Sci Grad Assistant?