Downtown Philadelphia finds spectators watching a street motorcycle race as 24 racers competed in The Philadelphia 200.
And with 2 laps to go, we find Joe Roman behind in 3rd place. Then Joe poured on the power and made his move. Within a couple of minutes, Joe got the checkered flag & won The Philadlephia 200!
"Yeah! Yeah! In your face!" Joe yelled as he drove a victory lap as he saw the gang cheering.
At the winner's circle, Joe got a big trophy (& a kiss from a beautiful girl), $30,000 and an unusual prize.
Back home, Joe looked at the envelope as he read the prize.
"A trip for me and 2 guests, 4 days & 3 nights aboard the SS Rosita, a Gulf of Mexico cruise from Tampa, Florida to Galveston, Texas."
Claire looked at the brochure about the boat.
"It's a lovely boat, has lots of activities. The main thing about this cruise it's a Bingo Tournament boat." read Claire, "Why don't you take Lou?"
"Good idea." said Joe, "Andy's too young, maybe Lloyd will tag along."
Just then, Lloyd & Andy entered wearing Scout uniforms.
"Let's do our Scout song." Lloyd instructed, "We got to get ready for our jamboree!"
Lloyd & Andy sang "Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes".
"Great song about shampoo." kid Joe, "Where's it held?"
"Camp Blossom, home of Mount Whoa off U.S. 6!" said Andy, "One week camping, just me, Lloyd & the rest of troop 287, Den 4."
Lloyd said, "Last jamboree, I picked up a coon skin cap & found out I had a live skunk on my head! For weeks, I was known as Pepe Le Pew!"
Joe had no choice but to ask Matt.
"Cool!" said Matt, "A cruise ship, a perfect gift for my 18th birthday! I got $200 saved up."
"As long as you don't waste your money on Bingo." Claire told him, "Or I'll ground you till your 36!"
Matt looked at the Bingo Tournament rules over carefully, "Mom, there's a $25 minimum for 12 cards for 25 games with payouts ranging from $500-$10,000. But I have to be 18 or older, which will occur in 3 days, I'll get 6 free for my birthday totaling 18 cards."
Joe & Claire had a conference. Maybe Matt would learn his lesson of wasting money. And besides that, Joe & Lou could be alone while Matt played bingo.
"You better win, or else." said Joe, "Only spend $25, no more."
"I promise." said Matt, "You mean I can enter?"
"On one condition." Claire instructed, "If they have a secluded no smoking section, sit there!" as Matt showed Mom in the brochure there was a no smoking section.
Joe, Matt & Lou started packing for the cruise as they each took a couple of suitcases. Then they took an airplane flight to Tampa. Since they arrived one day early, they checked in at a motel near the beach.
Pool side found Lou sunbathing as Joe had his Speedos on diving in the pool. When he got out, he saw Matt far away surfing at the beach.
"Wow!" Joe exclaimed, "Matt's a pretty good surfer. How did he learn so quick?"
"Babewatch." said Lou.
"Babewatch wouldn't approve of that swimwear. I can't believe my trunks are gone." groaned Joe.
"I kind a like a man in Speedos myself." said Lou as Joe was about to kiss her. But she dove in the pool as Joe followed.
They swam around chasing each other until Joe caught her & they kissed. When they got out of the pool, they kissed some more when Matt came with his surfboard & said, "Totally awesome waves, dudes! Gnarly ride! Tubular cool!" then Matt made a hang ten sign with his hands.
Then Lou got her camera & took a picture of Joe & Matt holding each other's arm as Joe flexed his right arm & Matt held a surfboard.
"Joe." said Matt, "They have an area where you can rent watercycles."
"WATERCYCLES!" screamed Joe & Matt as they left.
Joe & Matt got some life preservers on as they each drove a watercycle. Lou rode behind Joe while Matt drove by himself.
Twenty minutes later, Lou took pics of Joe & Matt driving the watercycles. Then Matt challenged Joe to a race from the pier to the bouy 200 feet away.
"Loser buys dinner." said Joe as he told Lou, "I'll beat him. If I can be a motorcycle ace, I'm also a watercycle ace!"
The boys raced each other as they reached the bouy. Joe had no trouble with the turn, but Matt had some as he nearly missed hitting the bouy. Matt started speeding trying to catch Joe. Then Joe didn't see a wave coming as he fell off his watercycle. Matt reached the pier as he parked his watercycle, got off & danced as he yelled, "Yeah! Yeah! In your face! Watercycle ace beats motorcycle ace! Wohoo!"
"D'oh!" Joe yelled as he was still in the water.
That evening, the gang went to a fried chicken dinner as Joe flipped the bill.
The day came when the trio boarded the SS Rosita. They met the crew & the Captain of the ship. Matt checked out the bingo hall, but a security guard grabbed him.
"Son, you have to be 18 or older to play bingo on this ship."
"I was just curious what it's like." explained Matt, "Here's my ID."
The security guard checked his ID.
"You try to enter the bingo hall again with this fake ID, I'll throw you overboard!"
Matt was scared as Joe told the security guard off.
"Relax. I'm only playing with him." he explained.
"You touch him & I'll report it to the captain of the ship!" threatened Joe, but he wouldn't, he was playing too.
The trio waved good-bye to the people on the shore as the ship sailed westward toward The Gulf of Mexico.
That afternoon, the trio relaxed on the deck as they were trying to decide what to do that evening until an idea came over the PA system.
"Attention passengers! Tonight @ The Captain's Mess will be an Italian buffet along with a passenger talent show.
Passengers interested in performing sign up @ The Captain's Mess. Remember, if it's The Captain's Mess, let him clean it up! (Laughing)"
"Obviously, the announcer saw that same Bugs Bunny cartoon!" groaned Lou as Matt disappeared.
When Matt came back, he told them, "Joe & I are in the talent show!"
"No!" Joe said firmly, "No singing on this fanfic episode!"
"Joe, my birthday's tomorrow!" said Matt, "Besides, Larry, the author of this story likes it when we play instruments & sing.
He calls television episodes like that..."
The ship's bell rang fast as Matt said in excitement, "THE DAILY DOUBLE!"
"Bad gag!" complained Joe, "He watches too many game shows!"
However, the ship's bell rang again as the cook yelled,"Soup's on!"
The trio ate at The Captain's Mess as they ate an Italian buffet of pizza, lasagna, spaghetti & other Italian favorites, as they were watching other passengers perform on the talent show.
"May we have Act 24 please?" asked the host.
"That's us." Matt said as they got up on stage. Joe sat down on a piano as Matt borrowed an electric guitar from the house band. A woman in the audience, who looked like Nell Carter said, "Deja vu all over again!" as Joe & Matt sang Johnny B. Goode. The crowd applauded Joe & Matt!
That night @ Camp Blossom, HEY! WAIT A MINUTE!
"Larry, this fanfic's boring!" Andy complained, "Give me a scene in this story or we'll never let you write another fanfic on the Lawrence Brothers site again!"
"OK." I said.
That night @ Camp Blossom, the Cub Scout Troop gathered around the campfire as Den Leader Lloyd told campfire stories as they were in sleeping bags.
"Once there were two Scouts who were hiking in the woods. Then as they climbed a hill, they saw a BIG HAIRY, SCARY BEAR! The bear approached and all the Scouts had was..."
Lloyd began to itch all over. "Itching powder! You put itching powder in my sleeping bag, Andy!" The Scouts laughed at Lloyd.
"Saw it on a Brady Bunch episode!" laughed Andy as Lloyd started throwing himself on the floor & ran around in circles (like Curly) yelling, "Woo woo woo woo woo!"
All the Scouts chanted, "Moe, Larry, the cheese! Moe, Larry, the Cheese!"
Lloyd got up and ran towards Lake Russo & splashed in!
Andy got a big laugh and as he opened his sleeping bag, he saw...
It was a plastic phony tarantula as Andy ran screaming & jumped in the lake as he joined Lloyd! "Now we're even!" said Lloyd.
That morning aboard the SS Rosita, Matt had a birthday breakfast & went back to the bingo hall as he faced that same security guard. Matt got scared as he said in a mean voice, "I just got one word to say to you." then he smiled, "Congratulations! You're of legal age to play in the Bingo Tournament!
Matt breathed a sigh of relief as he spent $25 for 12 cards (+6 free for his birthday) for 25 games. The usher directed Matt to the secluded no smoking section that was located upstairs. When he reached upstairs, he placed his cards on the table & sat down next to a woman.
"You're new here!" she said with a Texas accent, "You must have turned 18!" as Matt nodded, "I'm Laverne LaRouge, a hairdresser from Midlothian, Texas, 24 miles southwest of Dallas down U.S. 67."
"Matt Roman, from Philly, high school graduate."
"Obviously since you never played bingo before, I'll help you along. Use my green dauber, it's used to mark the numbers with." said Laverne.
On the ship's deck, Joe & Lou were kissing, but she didn't get use to his 5:00 shadow beard.
"Joe," she said, "I'm having a good time on this cruise. Let's do it again."
"This time, we'll head to The Bahamas. This is a looney cruise ship." said Joe.
Just then, a guy saw Joe & was surprised to see him.
"I can't believe Joe Roman's aboard the SS Rosita!"
Joe saw & recognized his friend.
"Frank!" they hugged and shook hands. Joe told Lou this was his high school bud from California. "This guy's the coolest trumpet player. Still play?"
"Yeah. After playing in a couple of horn sections in pop bands, I decided I wanted to fly solo. I play in a deck band." told Frank, "You still play guitar?" Joe nodded, "Cool! I'll let you sit in the band. How about singing?"
"You still got that white trumpet?" Frank nodded, "Let me shave off this beard."
"No way." he said, "You look cool with it."
Back at the Bingo Tournament, the bingo caller went through all the rules as he said, "Once the game begins, we're gonna have to ask you to...SHH!"
"Keep the noise down!" said all the bingo players as the caller laughed.
"Our first game's Regular Bingo. Straight line or 4 corners wins. For $500, good luck!" as B-4 showed on the screen.
"Matt," Shirley instructed, "Mark all the B-4s! I got my 72 cards to tend to. I spent $200 for 72 cards."
"B-4 & after!" said the caller. Then he called I-29, O-67 & G-59, then someone bingoed in the smoking section. A natural with the first four numbers called.
Outside near the pool deck, Frank's band played a fast jazz number as Joe chunked guitar chords & Frank played a trumpet solo as he played cool & fast. The he stopped & snapped his fingers at Joe as he played a fast long solo on the electric guitar. Then Frank & Joe played together as Joe mixed strumming & soloing. The song ended as folks applauded as Frank said, "Joe Roman on guitar!", then he said, "Joe's a high school friend of mine who's not only a super guitarist, but a cool singer.
How about doing "All of Me."
Joe then lead the band as he strummed chords & sang that classic song. When he finished singing, Frank played a trumpet solo, then Joe played lead guitar. And as he was playing, Frank said, "Now I will attempt to sing a different song that has the same melody. A homonym of a song!"
When Joe sang "All of Me", Frank sang "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Although it was confusing, the melody & harmony worked as the audience cheered in amazement! Joe gave the guitar back to his regular guitarist, along with a $100 tip.
Back at Bingo, it was game #14 as Small Picture Frame was played for $2,000.
"I-22, I Two-T-Two!"
Matt saw one of Laverne's cards as he marked her 22 she missed and said, "Hey, she's got Bingo!"
Laverne was surprised as the usher checked her card & won $2,000!
"Matt, you're a doll! I'll repay you somehow!"
On game #18, it was 4 Corners & A Diagonal for $1,500.
"B-7", "B-10. The 7-10 split in bowling!"
"All I need's a 67." said Matt.
"As they say in Wimbledon, championship point!" Laverne pointed out.
"BINGO!" yelled Matt, as the usher checked his card & won $1,500.
It was the 25th & final game, The $10,000 Coverall. Matt and Laverne were coming close after 49 numbers called.
"Championship point!" they both said as they asked each other.
"What number you need?"
"BINGO!" yelled Matt & Laverne as well as 2 others in the smoking section. Matt & Laverne won $2,500!
The next morning, the SS Rosita arrived along the shores of Galveston, Texas as it docked @ Pelican Island. The trio got off as the head greeter said, "Hope you enjoyed our cruise. Come back and see us again."
"Yeah," said Joe, "We're going back to Tampa."
"I'm afraid not." he said, "Your tickets were good for a one way trip. Looks like that motorcycle race prize stung you!"
Joe, Matt & Lou were disappointed.
"I can't believe you were careless!" Matt gruffed, "Now we're stuck on Galveston Island.
"At least it isn't Gilligan's Island. I could be Ginger!" said Lou as she tried to cheer up Joe.
As they walked near the paking lot, a minivan pulled up. It was Laverne.
"Need a ride?" she asked.
"Don't take rides from strangers." Joe said.
"Yes we do!" said Matt, "Joe, Laverne's cool. She won $4,500 & I won $4,000 in bingo. She can be trusted."
So the trio loaded their luggage as Laverne took them & traveled along I-45 North, headed to Midlothian.
When Laverne reached Downtown Houston, Joe got suspicious when she took Exit 47B, the Houston Ave. underpass.
"There's construction along the I-10 junction. It's a little shortcut." explained Laverne as they got back on I-45 minutes later.
The journey along I-45 continued. They stopped for hamburgers at Madisonville, Laverne picked up a chocolate meringue pie @ Corsicana.
When they reached Milepost Exit 247 (U.S. 287 North), she played her lucky cassette tape of Joey Lawrence music for 7 1/2 minutes as they went down U.S. 287 North towards Midlothian.
"That was a pointless gag." said Joe.
Thirty minutes later, they arrived in Midlothian as she stopped at a bed & breakfast off Business U.S. 67.
"Laverne," explained Joe, "We need to catch a plane back to Philadelphia! Why are we at a bed & breakfast?" he asked.
Laverne said, "Matt thought you could use a real romantic getaway. So I'm offering to let you stay a night at my sister's inn!"
So the trio spent the night as Matt had a room to himself & Joe & Lou shared a room.
"Nothing happened!" they said.
The next morning after breakfast, Laverne took the trio to the DFW Airport. Joe got some tickets to Philadelphia.
"Thanks for saving us." said Matt, "You really are a samaritan. If you were younger, I'd fall in love."
"You're so kind. That'll be $4,000!"
"I'm only kidding!" she said as she hugged Matt.
Laverne saw the trio fly back home to Philadelpha.