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A Day On Australia's Great Barrier Reef (VI).

By Douglas Sassman.

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I talk with an old guy sitting next to me who turns out to be a retired farmer from Michigan, I welcome the distraction until he begins telling me about – of all things – the last time he got seasick. “ hit so fast, I went down below decks, and then BOOM,” he smacks the table for effect, “it hit like a ton of bricks. I raced back up and didn’t quite make it over the side...”

I slink lower in my seat. I reach into my shorts pocket to retrieve my brochure to see what could have been, should have been, but it’s gone. It must have been blown out of my pocket, adrift now in the sea of lost hopes.

As we drop down into the belly of a wave, I think to myself, here I am on the Coral Sea at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world. I should feel fortunate that mine eyes have seen such a marvel... but somehow when you’re on a boat loaded with American tourists chumming for sharks over the side, and crewmembers stalk the aisles with plastic gloves on, distributing disposable bags and looking under tables, some of that aura is most definitely lost.

But not to worry there’s always #25 to look forward to – Attend cooking school in Tuscany. What could possibly go wrong at cooking school?

Copyright 2000 Douglas S. Sassaman

Douglas Sassaman is a freelance writer, aspiring novelist, and self-described humorist (who some think should be self-committed). He writes an online column called, 'Life in the Cosmic-Burp' at Join the FREE direct to e-mail column and add zip your water-cooler conversations every other Friday by sending a blank e-mail to: You can e-mail Doug at

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