Back when only ships could make intercontinental passage possible, a certain man wished to leave Europe and emigrate to America. He worked hard, scrimped and saved until he was at last ready – he paid for a ticket. Unfortunately, he had very little money left over. In his luggage he stowed some crackers, hard cheese, jerky and dried fruit for the two week voyage.
He boarded the passenger liner with heightened anticipation regarding his new life, even if not excited about the voyage. The weather was fair and the ocean calm. The trip was very reasonable, except at meal times as he sneaked peeks into the dining rooms. There were beautiful white linen tablecloths, silver, china and crystal. Men dressed in tuxedo-like apparel bowed and served. And, the seafood, braised beef, roasted fowl, ripe fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods, pungent soft cheeses, mounds of eggs as well as delicately scented desserts and beverages were often almost more than he could bear. On the last day of the voyage, nearly overwhelmed by the sumptuousness of an afternoon buffet, he didn’t notice a well-dressed gentleman come upon him from behind. The man queried “Are you ready to dine sir?” He responded “No, no, no. Excuse me, it looks very nice, but I’ll just retire to my room and eat my snacks.” The gentleman retorted “Why, we have spared no expense on this, your final meal?” The man replied, “The ticket cost so much that I haven’t been able to afford the extra for dining.” In response, the Captain tucked his hand under the pleasant stranger’s arm, called waiters to him as he led the fellow to his own table while stating “Sit at my place sir. These men will attend to your every desire. I am sorry that you have missed dining with us. Did you not know this is an all-inclusive cruise? Everything is already paid.”
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