“So, earlier today was great. Van was reading from, um, basically it was ‘Storytime With Van,’ so he’s reading to these kids from a storybook called The Leprechaun’s Magic Fountain, and he seemed to be having a good time. But a couple of minutes into it, everybody realizes that they can’t understand what he’s saying, because his accent’s so thick. And they keep asking him to repeat things — he gets really annoyed. Really angry. And eventually he got up, and he walked to the back of the boat, and he’s really livid, and he threw the kids’ book and a nice sculpture a fan made of him, throws ‘em both into the ocean. Really violently.”

“Violently.”

“Uh-huh.”

“And then like an hour later, Mellencamp, he’s playing shuffleboard? And he’s losing really bad to this dud with a huge beer gut… and Mellencamp gets so mad that he stabbed the guy in the belly with his shuffleboard paddle, had like little spikes on the end? It was sick. There was blood and… beer spurting. There was beer still in him.”

“In the guy.”

“From the night before, yeah… but things started really getting out of hand tonight…”

“So that wasn’t out of hand, what you just described.”

“I guess it was, but with these guys, it has just started seeming normal. You know, there’s this cloud of anger that’s over the ship.”

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“Yeah, because this is a vacation for people...” 

“Well, it’s supposed to be, yeah.”

“And they’re thrilled to be on this thing with their heroes.”

“Well, yeah, they were at first.”

— “Darren Takes The Van Mellen Cruise,” Scharpling & Wurster, Best of the Best Show (Numero Group, 2015)

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