By John Pierce

Whew! Glad I was not among the 4,000-plus passengers aboard a cruise ship that lost its power and drifted at sea before a slow tow into Mobile last night. But I don’t want to hear another report — or especially see another photo of the makeshift alternatives to working toilets.

OK, the smell was bad and there were indeed some health risks. And sleeping out by the pool on deck chairs was required of those who couldn’t enjoy the comfort of their shoebox rooms.

And these unfortunate people missed four additional days of school or work or land-based retirement living. Catching up on favorite TV shows could take awhile.

Then they faced tough decisions like: Which first, a hot meal or hot bath? Take a waiting bus toward home immediately or spend the night in a clean, cool hotel room in Mobile?

All of that to say: the whole experience was a big inconvenience.

Uncomfortable? Yes. But an inconvenience — overdramatized by cable news stations that had apparently tired of congressional political theater, a job opening in Rome and the Hollywood dating scene.

A crisis? Check with those rattled by a meteor in Russia or those around the world for whom an onion sandwich would be an unexpected treat.

It seems that we modern Americans — especially those of us with the resources to go on vacation excursions — have come to the conclusion that we should not only be exempt from suffering but even inconvenience.

That’s something worth pondering over the next 40 days or so.


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