Phyllis Porter
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Phyllis Porter the Troublemaker

Story written by Rick Archer
First Written: January 2009

Phyllis Porter may be in the SSQQ Hall of Fame, but where she really deserves to be is in the SSQQ Rogues Gallery.  She is clearly SSQQ Public Menace #1.

Phyllis Porter
signed up for her first dance class at SSQQ in March 2003.  Things have never been the same at the studio since. 

Phyllis likes to stir up Trouble.  That's what she does best.  Mind you, it is a Harmless Type of Trouble, the kind of Trouble that some people call Fun and other people call Mischief.   Phyllis could easily be the role model for a female Dennis the Menace.   On second thought, she may BE Dennis the Menace.


Phyllis Turns 80!

In late December 2008, Phyllis's daughter Bea contacted me about throwing a surprise birthday party for her mother's 80th birthday in January 2009.  In preparation for her Mother's special moment, her daughter Bea thought I would have a good idea how to best ambush her Mom who is perpetually suspicious of everything.

After all, Phyllis is so naturally sneaky herself, how would we ever catch her off guard? 

Phyllis Porter and her lovely daughter Beatrice
January 2009

From: Beatrice Ruff
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 1:24 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter

Hi, This is Bea, I am Phyllis Porter's daughterI am trying to plan her 60th birthday party!! She turns 60 on January 13th and I wanted to have a big surprise dance party for her.  I was wondering if you ever rent out one of the rooms of the dance studio at  SSQQ, and if so how much would it cost?

Thank you, and please do not mention anything to her,  i want to keep it a surprise!!!

 

From: Rick Archer
To:
Beatrice Ruff
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 14:07:38
Subject: RE: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter

You donít need to pay a cent.  After all the trouble and pain this woman has caused me, any chance to even the score is worth every penny.  Just plan on surprising her at the studio.  Phyllis is typically here on Mondays and Fridays.  All you have to do is get someone like Holly to make absolutely sure she will be there on one of those nights.  I recommend the 12thÖ. I will ask my wife Marla to schedule her to work that night and we can ambush her without any trouble whatsoever.

You see, she enters our room around 730 pm.  After that, the doors are closed and the whole world can sneak up on her either at 8 pm or 9 pm.

From: Beatrice Ruff
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:05 AM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter

Thanks so much!!!  she's going to love this !!!!  I was also thinking of asking every person that comes to wear a tshirt with a saying on it.  Like the ones that my mom always wears. Mom would think that was hilarious!!

Unfortunately, Bea made a little mistake.  Bea has been staying with her mother while her husband does his tour of duty over in Iraq.  One day Bea needed a phone number while she was driving on the freeway.  Using her cell phone, Bea called Phyllis at home.  Bea told Phyllis to go into her email program to look up an email and find the missing number. 

Phyllis is no dummy.  The moment she saw an email from Rick Archer that said
"
Subject: RE: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter", Phyllis had a pretty good idea what her daughter was up to.  So much for the surprise party. 

Phyllis told me what had happened during the wedding reception for Bruce and Mara over the 2008 Christmas Holidays.  Phyllis was gloating at how she had outsmarted her daughter.  Parents always like to think they are smarter than their kids  (except me of course).

Over the years, Phyllis has had so much fun at my expense that this surprise was something I was looking forward to with relish.  I was a little frustrated that my initial plans had gone awry, but for once, I kept my mouth shut.  I was already concocting a backup plan.

Sure enough, Bea soon emailed me to tell me the bad news. 

From: Beatrice Ruff
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 1:38 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter

Hi Rick,  So since the cat is out of the bag I was going to go ahead and send out an Evite for moms birthday,  that way when people respond i can get an idea of how much margerita mix and chips and salsa to buy.  I just wanted to make sure I have all the info correct

Oh well.  Even though its not a surprise anymore, its still going to be a lot of fun !!!!
 

From: Rick Archer
To: beatrice ruff
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 04:40:59 PM
Subject: RE: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter - let's try something differerent

Yes.  Go ahead and send out the Evite.  Friday the 16th will be fine.   In addition, let's have ANOTHER surprise party for your Mom.   Thanks to the SCHEDULED PARTY on Friday, With you acting above-board, Phyllis is unlikely to anticipate a second SECRET PARTY for her on Monday the 12th.

Here is how we will do it.   Marla will schedule Phyllis to work on Monday Night, January 12.

Phyllis will get to the studio about 6:30 pm.  She won't roam around because she takes her registration job seriouslyUsually around 730 when her shift is over, Phyllis likes to come into my room to join the class and see her friends.  Meanwhile you can come to the studio at 7:45 pm, but enter through a side door.  My wife Marla will then organize the entire studio to sneak up on my class.   That should surprise the heck out of her. 

 

From: Beatrice Ruff
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 5:00 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: RE: Surprise Birthday Party for Phyllis Porter
- let's try something differerent

Yes!!!!  Great idea !!!  and this time I will delete ALL e-mails to insure that the surprise is not ruined this time!!! :)   thank you thank you!

And so the Trap was set.  And you know what?  It worked like a charm.

Just before Phyllis had left the house at 6:15 pm on Monday to come to the studio, Bea had deliberately put on her pajamas to say she was settling in for the night.  In her jammies, Bea waved to Phyllis from the couch and wished her a fun evening at the studio.  Sure enough, Phyllis did her registration duties and came into my Room at 7:30 without the slightest suspicion in the world.  In fact, Phyllis was so relaxed, she didn't even question why I had pulled the curtain in Room One (I did it to prevent my class from seeing the door!)

While Phyllis and the rest of her class danced a complicated pattern to music at 7:55 pm to keep Phyllis occupied and to drown out any noise, Marla organized the other five dance classes to sneak up right behind the curtain.  The moment the song ended, someone pulled the curtain.  A hundred people suddenly appeared out of nowhere screaming 'SURPRISE'!!  Phyllis was flat-footed.  She had NO IDEA what was going on.  Why were a hundred people standing there laughing?

Then she saw Beatrice and her jaw opened in shock.  Gotcha!!   While we sang Happy Birthday, Phyllis was amazed at how totally off guard she had been. That sneaky daughter of hers had pulled a fast one!  If at first you don't succeed, try try again.   It was definitely the perfect Surprise Birthday Party.

Phyllis Porter and her buddy James
January 2007

2004 - The Legend of
Phyllis the Troublemaker Begins

Believe it or not, Phyllis pretty much kept a low profile for her first year and a half at the studio.  Phyllis was actually the major reason SSQQ stayed in business.  From March 2003 till January 2005, Phyllis took 64 classes here at the studio, an average of two and a half classes a month. 

Before she became a famous personality, Phyllis obviously started out doing her best to become a good dancer.  I am happy to report that she succeeded.  Phyllis is a very good dancer.  However she pretty much stayed out of the limelight.  During her incubation period, Phyllis was always outgoing and well-liked.  She didn't become "outrageous" until the 2004 Rhapsody Wedding Cruise.

Marla and I got married on that 2004 Cruise.  You would think that trip would have been about Marla and me, but I have tell you Phyllis was a serious scene stealer much of the time.  That year it seemed like every time there was a story, Phyllis turned out to be in the very middle of it.  It took me a while, but eventually I figured 'why' Phyllis was always in the middle of the tornado - Phyllis was causing the tornado!!

Phyllis was a whirlwind of energy from the moment we got on the ship.  Phyllis had bought an underwater camera.  Her friend Handsome George had brought something too - his special Gatorade.  George was relaxed... maybe too relaxed... and thanks to his beloved Gatorade he was feeling no pain. 

George wasn't dating anyone at the time.  Furthermore this was back in the days when people still believed they could misbehave in public and get away with it.  He figured he could suck toes in the hot tub and smooch girls in the swimming pool without having to answer to anyone.  After all, it was his vacation.  Phyllis thought otherwise.  She thought Handsome George was fair game for her waterproof camera.  Here are a couple of most famous pictures.

Believe it or not, these two pictures are only the tip of the iceberg.  There were lots of pictures!  I think George was seriously drunk and not really thinking about any consequences.  Not only did Phyllis snap the pictures, she showed them to George.  Understandably, Mr. Handsome was a bit miffed.  He threatened to get a hold of that camera when Phyllis wasn't looking and erase all the incriminating photographs.  Phyllis took George seriously.  She was so worried about George's threat that she took her pictures to Gary Richardson and downloaded them on his computer for safekeeping.  Phyllis was not about to be denied her fun at George's expense!  

Then Phyllis showed me the pictures and begged me to include them in the upcoming cruise write-up.   With her request in mind, my very first nickname for Phyllis was Paparazzi in honor of her photographic documentation of George and his misdeeds.  That was actually a pretty good nickname, but it never lasted. 


The Usual Suspects

Throughout the trip, Phyllis was literally in the thick of the action wherever the action was.  I suppose "Where the Action is" would have been another appropriate nickname for Phyllis.  As it was, I listed her as the Ringleader of a Band of Miscreants known as The Usual Suspects.

Out of 120 people on the trip, I noticed only about seven people seemed to be causing all the rowdy behavior.  Of course there was Phyllis and George as Leaders of the Pack, but they had plenty of help.  That was the trip when dark-haired beauty Gina Garza had the time of her life.  Leslie Goldsmith, aka Alph (short for Alpha Girl), became Louise to Phyllis' Thelma.  They were definitely an action-packed duo.  Next to Alph was The Great Gabino.  Oddly enough it wasn't until 2009 that I realized Steve Gabino could actually grow hair without any problem.  He simply went bald to be cool!  Next came Alabama Handsome's Lust Object, Leslie Grapevine.  Rounding out the pack of troublemakers was Gary Schweinle, our beloved Mr. Hat, who at the time was in training under Phyllis to learn how to cause trouble himself.  Phyllis taught him well, believe me.  It was this pack of rogues who constantly roamed the ship looking for mischief.

After the trip was over, I went back and reviewed the pictures.  Darn if it didn't seem like Phyllis was in half of the pictures!   That is why I renamed Phyllis the Center of Attention, a moniker that stayed with her for several years.  Wherever there was a camera, there was Phyllis.  That's when I realized the woman had literally undergone a mid-trip metamorphosis.  She had started out the trip stalking Alabama Handsome George wherever he went, but somehow switched gears in midstream.  Phyllis flipped the switch from passive to active after she reached the conclusion that it was more fun to cause trouble herself than to watch other people do it for her.  In just a flash, Phyllis had gone from photographer to photographee

It was not a coincidence that Phyllis was in one picture after another.  She not only had a nose for mischief, she took her camera everywhere and made sure people took lots of pictures of her whenever she misbehaved.  Phyllis has me beat when it comes to documenting her mischief.  I continue to kick myself becauseat her Surprise Party I completely forgot to take a picture of the Hundred People behind the Curtain.  I mean, I had the camera in my pocket!  Now that I think of it, they surprised me too!  I kept wondering while my students danced to the music where the heck everyone was.  I was almost as shocked to see that impressive army of people standing there as Phyllis which is pretty sad considering I had organized it.  I guess I never expected it to work so well!

Let's face it - I got caught up in the moment and forgot to take a picture.  Darn it!  Phyllis would NEVER make that kind of mistake.  For example, her famous stunt with the Beatles was a prime example of the perfect marriage of photography and frolic.

Beatlemania

I am sorry to say I missed the event that marked Phyllis Porter's shining debut as the Center of Attention.  Marla and I had heard about a "Beatles Concert" being held one night, but the Captain of the Rhapsody had gone out of his way to make friends with us.  As 'honeymooners', we and several other couples had been invited to dine with the Captain one night.  The Captain later invited us to visit him on the Bridge.  As much as I enjoyed my visit with the Captain, there is a part of me that still wishes I could have seen Phyllis and her big moment first hand.

It turned out the Beatle impersonators were pretty good.  They sang the same tunes that created Beatlemania back when I was a kid in the early Sixties.  Someone dared Phyllis to go up on stage.  Actually, there is some confusion about this moment.  Phyllis claims that The Great Gabino dared her to run up there.  But Stephanie Callihan was there as a witness.  Stephanie said that Phyllis turned to Gabino and asked "Should I run up on stage?"  I think I believe Stephanie's version. 

Steve thought this was a good idea.  Steve said he would give her a dollar if she would go up and kiss John L on the cheek. Phyllis took the bet.  Moving from chair to chair to chair, she inched her way closer and closer to the steps leading up to the stage.  Believe it or not, even Phyllis has fears of embarrassment.  She later reported she was pretty nervous about this.  She kept looking back at the group with a terrified look on her face hoping the gang would back her up if the stunt failed.  Meanwhile, since everyone in the SSQQ group knew what was going to happen, they watching Phyllis and egging her on.  Each time a song ended, they looked to Phyllis with rising anticipation.  When would she make her move?  Would she have the guts to go through with it?

And then it happened.  At the end of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", Phyllis rushed up the steps, ran onto the stage, threw her arms around John Lennon, and planted a big wet smackeroo on his cheek.  Wow!  Bold move!  If you look at the picture, he was clearly completely taken off guard!  Now a hush came over the crowd.  How would John react? 

Phyllis was very worried that the Beatles would not appreciate her mad rush to the stage.  Would he smile or call ship security?  Would Phyllis be forced to walk the plank or simply thrown overboard?  However all the worries turned out to unfounded. Fortunately John got a big kick out it.  He not only welcomed the attention, he hammed it up and played it for all it was worth.  John simply put his arm around Phyllis and kept on singing.

Then John surprised everybody when he proceeded to invite more of the group to join him.  Once
he said, "Everybody get up", the girls didn't need any more encouragement. They gleefully sprinted up there for the chance to join the Beatles and Phyllis on the stage.  Up on the stage went Gina, Maureen, Leslie, Eva, Stephanie and several others.  The girls all loved the men even more for giving them the chance to relive some precious teenage fantasies. Thank Goodness these guys were such good sports!! 

The band then ripped into a rousing and spirited version of "Twist and Shout".  Now the whole bunch of them started Twisting Away onstage like a bunch of goofy teenage go-go girls.  For many of the ladies in our group who had been Beatle-crazed teeny boppers in the Sixties, thanks to Phyllis and her chutzpah, this was a dream come true... singing and dancing on the stage with The Beatles, if only for an imaginary moment in time!

As the performance continued, Phyllis wrapped her leg around John. He continued to play up the joke.  He grinningly explained in a perfect British accent, "This is why I picked up me guitar in the first place!", a paraphrased quote which Lennon himself used in interviews.  At the end of the song, Phyllis gave John another big kiss and the ladies returned to their seats.

The band took an intermission before returning in "Sgt. Pepper" outfits to continue the concert.  The show ended with an enthusiastic standing ovation which led the the band to wave off the the cruise director not once but twice to play more songs.  The entire performance was such an obvious crowd pleaser! The band remarked that this the best ship crowd they had ever played for. This may have been part of their normal concert banter, but the people in our group believed they really meant it. After all, they had never played to a crowd of SSQQ dancers before!

Later Steve paid Phyllis.  He added it was the best dollar he ever spent. 

2005 Rita Rhapsody

As far as I am concerned, 2005 was the Trip Saved by Phyllis.   For starters, thanks to Hurricane Rita, the length of our trip was cut in half.  Furthermore, every one of us was depressed out of our minds.  Phyllis Porter, aka the Center of Attention,  put this cruise on her back and single-handedly caused more trouble than anyone could have ever have imagined.  Phyllis is not only a born trouble maker (in a nice way, of course), I discovered she is a professional agitator as well!!!  Actually, I have known this for some time.  There have been times in the middle of my dance class where Phyllis gets me so flustered I don't even have a comeback. 

I enjoy Phyllis far more when she aims her fire elsewhere.  On this trip
, I heard Phyllis had a ball heckling the Lounge-Singing Emcee.  Another time she bet a poolside bartender that a certain womanizer in our group would be with a different woman the next time he got in the hot tub.  Sure enough, via some backstage manipulation, Phyllis got her way and the entire hot tub group got a round of free drinks (please don't tell Royal Caribbean).  Of course no one in our group was surprised that Phyllis succeeded.  That is one of the things Center does best - she agitates!  If she isn't careful, that could become her next nickname - The Agitator!! 

When she wasn't busy harassing the crew, Center again proved incredibly adept at getting people in trouble. She is the ultimate tattle tale and will always provide a picture as evidence.  Please note in the picture to the left that she is carrying her beloved camera in her right hand.  She never wants to miss an opportunity to dish which is why I still think "Paparazzi" still fits.  Paparazzi, Center of Attention, Agitator, TROUBLEMAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE! 

Center of Attention continued to enjoy corrupting others. In the picture on the left, you can see Center is attempting to lure the lovely Gina Lollabridgida into another "drunk picture". Just look at the grin on Phyllis' face in the picture - she is so proud of herself!!  She loves getting people in trouble!  Bad!  Shame on you!   

A significant part of the previous 2004 cruise were the hot tub shenanigans.  Phyllis had played a big part in organizing a special activity known as Hot Tub Stuffing in 2004.  I have to believe Phyllis was just warming up in 2004 because in 2005, Phyllis got more human beings into that hot tub than was humanly possible.  But she did it!  The pictures don't lie.
I believe that 2005 was the year that Phyllis introduced her infamous Tequila Takedown Tour at Senor Frogs in Cozumel.  If you have the courage to LOOK FOR YOURSELF, you can see pictures of Phyllis luring one man after another into sin, drunkenness, and debauchery at the "Girls Gone Wild" bar. Maybe we should also call her "Circe" for her amazing ability to persuade men to head straight to their doom.  But the men always seem to enjoy it.

This was also the year that Phyllis was seen in some interesting shots of her own. Center of Attention never actually gets caught doing anything bad; she just spends her time getting everyone else in trouble, then takes their picture.

But in 2005, Phyllis
turned into something of a bad girl herself.  Believe it or not, Phyllis was photographed molesting a Mayan Statue!   She actually had the nerve to not only touch the soldier's impressive Shaft, but stroke it as well!  tsk tsk.

Thank goodness for Phyllis.  She singlehandedly caused so much mischief that people laughed.  Phyllis miraculously snapped the entire group out of their Rita Rhapsody depression.  She was clearly the MVP of this trip.

Phyllis is such a born mischief maker!  I visualize her childhood as one where she constantly tricked her brothers and sisters into doing stuff, then turned around and told her parents on them.  Now that I think of it, doesn't that sound like "Lucy" in the Peanuts cartoon?  Phyllis is EXACTLY the kind of person who would pull the football away just as Charlie Brown were about to kick it.  But Phyllis claims her career as a Troublemaker began with SSQQ so I take her at her word. That said, we owe her a debt. Phyllis was the Engine that drove this Cruise. Every time I turned around she was getting people to go bar hopping or setting hot tub stuffing records or helping her friend Alph flirt with the hired help.  You could ALWAYS count on Center to cause trouble wherever she went.  Phyllis was bad.  Phyllis was wonderful

 

2006 Rhapsody Reloaded - The Wildest Cruise Ever

We were so mad that our 2005 had been interrupted by the hurricane that we vowed to make up for lost time.  2006 was the wildest trip we have ever taken.  This was the year that Phyllis teamed up with her friend Mara Rivas (pictured right with future husband Bruce Hanka) to create the Magic Bus.  Almost overnight Phyllis and Mara sold out space on their bus ride to Galveston.  From all reports, the trip down was a fabulous success.

Both ladies took great delight in getting their guests smashed out of their minds.  What is odd about this drinking is that Phyllis rarely drinks.  I think she politely sips, but I have never seen Phyllis drunk or even slightly out of control.  I think could care less about getting drunk.  Phyllis gets her pleasure from getting OTHER PEOPLE DRUNK, then snapping their pictures and playing 'gotcha' when they sober up.  She would make a good blackmailer.

Witness the Wild Drinking Spree in Cozumel.  Phyllis got practically half the people on the cruise rip-roaring drunk!

Furthermore the Hot Tub Crowd in 2006 set a new record for Hot Tub ExcessPeople were so crazy this year that they made the old Roman Orgies look tame by comparison.   As I said, this trip was beyond a doubt the wildest trip we have ever taken.  EVER!!!  'Completely Out of Control' sums it up.

Meanwhile Phyllis just went about her business of stirring up trouble on a daily basis.  Every hour of every day Phyllis was up to something.  Her crowning moment was setting a Hot Tub Stuffing record that will never be broken. 

When it came to write about the trip, 2006 was the year that I first acknowledged that Phyllis the Center of Attention was makes these trips special.   Here is what I wrote about Phyllis:

Rhapsody 2006 was the third Rhapsody trip where the Center of Attention put her personal stamp of approval on every activity.

Phyllis is actually something of a riddle to me. She loves to stir up trouble, she loves to get people in trouble, she loves to create energy, but she never gets in trouble. How she stays so close to the fire but never lose control is quite an accomplishment. Phyllis is the consummate firewalker.

How she manages to avoid giving into temptation is beyond me. For example, when Phyllis gets in those hot tubs, I see pictures of her with a drink in her hand. And when she takes her friends on those drinking binges, I see her with a drink in her hand too. Phyllis is drinking right along with the rest of them. But while Alph gets up and dances on bars, Phyllis just smiles and take pictures.

Phyllis really feeds off of her friend Alph. They have a very strong relationship. Alph likes to get out of control, but I think she appreciates having Phyllis around to keep an eye on her in case she gets too close to the deep end. What an interesting pair those two are.

Ever since they first teamed up on Rhapsody 2004, Alph & Phyllis have dominated every trip with their shenanigans. Together they get all the parties started... and stick around to finish them too!

Another part of Phyllis that fascinates me is her amazing '
Center of Attention' personality. Me? Heck, I am content to stay in the shadows, but not Phyllis. She wants to be out there Center Stage with all eyes upon her. She was born for the spotlight.

And if the spotlight isn't on her, heck, Phyllis runs over to it and shines it on herself. One of Phyllis' most amazing stunts was the time in 2004 when she ran up on the stage and began kissing a Beatle Impersonator! Yes, this bold move was the start of the legend of the Center of Attention! The Faux Fab Four were up on stage singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

Phyllis figured if they could impersonate the Beatles, then she could impersonate an out-of-control Beatlemaniac! So up on stage she ran and wrapped herself around Paul. To her delight, he got a kick out of it and played along! What a great move.

Pretty soon the entire SSQQ Crowd was up on the stage dancing the night away. We loved it, the Beatles loved it, and Phyllis was now famous.

This Magic Moment was the beginning of the Center of Attention's notoriety.

And as this trip proved, the Center of Attention is still the Center of Attention. She hasn't lost a step. In fact, she has learned to advertise her importance.

What I would like to say is how lucky our group is to have Phyllis. If we can stop laughing for just a moment at her crazy antics and take a step back, we would notice what enormous contributions Phyllis makes to every trip.

In conjunction with her friend Mara Rivas, Phyllis organizes a bus trip to and from the Rhapsody. You have no idea how much fun these people have. The moment they hit the ship, things are never the same.

Phyllis in conjunction with her friend Alph makes the Rhapsody Hot Tub a burning lava pit of constant energy. I might tsk tsk and roll my eyes, but I know for a fact she has people laughing their butts off all day long in that hot tub. She is definitely the organizer of all kinds of mischief.

And yes, I look askance every time Phyllis does her "Circe Number" on the drinking sprees. She has turned more than one man into swine as she gets them drunk as a skunk. Then Phyllis takes as many embarrassing pictures as her camera will hold. Later she teases them about the pictures for the rest of the trip. She is the consummate blackmailer to be sure. "I'm going to give this picture to Rick!"

But you know what? Not one guy has ever complained. And why should they? These guys are having the time of their lives.

For all Phyllis' penchant for troublemaking, underneath it all she is a caretaker. I suppose she would rather I not point this out... (but knowing Phyllis, all attention is good attention, so why not?)... but Phyllis watches out for people. She makes sure that every stray gets included in the group. She takes a lot of guys and a lot of girls who are on the shy side and corrupts them immediately.

Once they start having fun, there go the old inhibitions. These quiet people are lucky to have someone like Phyllis to pull them out of their shell even as they kick, scream, and protest as she does it. Then at the end of the trip they tell Phyllis how grateful they are for her help in getting them into more trouble than they ever dreamed possible.

I think Phyllis is amazing. I am in awe of her prodigious talent for entertaining people on these cruises.

Thank you, Center of Attention. You were truly the MVP of this trip for the third year in a row.

The entire group is in your debt. You Rock, Phyllis!

 

2009: Let's Get the Party Started!

Phyllis has been at the forefront of everything we do for a long time now.  We may have switched ships, but Phyllis was at it again for Conquest 2007 and Conquest 2008.  She is simply remarkable when it comes to getting everyone stirred up. 

I stand in awe of Phyllis' talent.  I can get things stirred up too, but Phyllis has me beat.  I have my spots, but Phyllis can do it non-stop.  Phyllis is truly the Energizer Bunny - she's always there at the Start and she's still stirring up trouble at the Finish.  And she does it every time I see her.  Phyllis is always 'ON'.

Phyllis doesn't depend on the sea to get into Trouble either.  She can find plenty of trouble on the Land as well.  For example, I think she is on first-name basis with most of the Regulars at the Renaissance Festival.

Phyllis is also well known at the studio for her eccentric tee-shirts.  Thanks to her constant craving for attention, Phyllis always has something interesting to say with her chest. 

Considering how well her mouth works, I am not sure why she feels the need for backup in the Expression Department, but that's Phyllis.  Never a dull moment with Phyllis.

Linda Cook also likes to talk with her tee-shirts.  Someday I would like one of these women to come to the studio wearing something to clarify which woman was wearing sassy slogans on their tee-shirts first.  I actually don't know the correct answer.  But I bet they do!

The one thing I do know is that I love reading what each woman has to say. 

I have done my best, but I honestly don't know how to completely explain how much energy Phyllis has created over the years.  I just know that the studio would be very boring without her.  While it is true that Phyllis can get under my skin like no other, I am grateful to report she has eased up on me a little in the past year or so.  Maybe it is because I finally had the courage to get on her Magic Bus for Conquest 2008.   She worked me over pretty good.  Sure enough, Phyllis got me drunk out of my mind. I survived, but just barely.

The Latin phrase rara avis was definitely coined with Phyllis in mind.  Phyllis is truly one of a kind. 
Happy Birthday, Darling.  We Love You.

   
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