Good morrow, sir! Is this here yer ship? She’s lovely, she is. Oh cripes, but where are my manners? Matron would lock me in a dark room for a week, she would. Begging your pardon. They call me Alfred Poorboy, same as everyone in the orphanage, save for Alfred Oneleg and Alfred Watch-Out-He-Bites. Pleased to meet youse!

Say, what do you call this here place? The Port of Miami? I’ve never seen anything like it! Matron never allowed us to leave the orphanage yard, lest we get ideas or learn to read. You wouldn’t happen to have any gruel, would you? I haven’t eaten in six days, since Matron turned me out to make my own way in the world.

Crikey, thank you, sir! I’ve never had anything like this before. What do you call it? Fruit? Scrumptious! Say, yer ship here is a real beauty. What’s her name—Princess Jubilee, owned and operated by Carnival Cruise Line, LLC? That’s a gorgeous name, that is! Pardon me, good sir, but youse wouldn’t happen to have good, honest work for a lad like me? I’m a hard worker and don’t take up any space. At the home, I regularly folded my body into an empty twenty-eight-ounce Marzano tomato can to escape the other Alfreds. I slept in the oven for fourteen years and shared it with Alfred Watch-Out-He-Bites. I’ll do anything, sir. Does the captain need a boy? Oh no, you don’t have an orphan lad escaping a life of unimaginable hardship already, do you?

Full crew? Well, perhaps one more couldn’t hurt. How many men, twenty? Oh, 1,200? Well, I’m small, sir. Nobody would notice me. Do youse have an oven where I might sleep? I long to travel, you see. Matron didn’t allow us to read, but Alfred Poorboy loved to tell stories, and one time, before his parents were eaten by birds, he saw the ocean. Ever since he described it, I’ve known I’m destined to see the world! Say, where is this voyage going anyways? Treasure hunting? Exploring? The high seas?

Oh, the Dominican Republic for tax reasons? Crikey! I’ve never heard of it, on account of the reading thing, but as Matron always says, you don’t need to read to work. What jobs do youse need here, anyway?

What? Lawks, I’ve never made a bed before. But I’m excellent at repositioning oven racks. My hands are so burned, my skin works like a natural glove. The other Alfreds called me Runty Leatherhands the Bitten.

Lifeguard? Do men often go overboard? Well, good for rationing… What? People swim for fun? On a boat? How funny! Aye, but I fear I cannot swim. Matron thought swimming a violation of God’s natural laws. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have given us feet.

Excuse me, sir, “DJ”? What is a “DJ”? Don’t youse just need a good, all-purpose boy?

Sorry, sir, I’ve never heard of “work authorization” or “W2 forms.” All I have with me are these clothes on my back, the bloody handkerchief I was wrapped in when I was left on the orphanage steps in the dead of winter, and this introduction note from Matron. Youse can recite it aloud. I’ve no idea what it says on account of the… yes, the reading thing.

Ah. Well, I suppose it’s true, I am a “ninny-headed dunce with a possible case of rabies.” We were never sure if Alfred Watch-Out-He-Bites was like that naturally. But if I did have rabies, I’m sure a ship of such repute has a tried method of containing infectious diseases…?

I see. Well, thank youse anyways for yer time, sir. I suppose I’ll try the undertaker. Matron was right; nobody needs orphan boys willing to work for nothing anymore.

Hmm? No, I haven’t a clue what “minimum wage” is. I’d be happy to work only for gruel and a place to sleep.

What’s this? A “contract”? Alas, if only I could read! Promise me it’s just and fair, and I’ll believe youse, sir.

Lawks! You’ve changed your mind? I can work, cleaning the septic tanks? Thank you, sir! A broom closet to sleep in? By Jove, I couldn’t have imagined such luxury! You won’t regret this, I promise. Ah, I just know that Carnival Cruises, LLC is known the world over for their generosity and strong morals, or my name isn’t Alfred Poorboy!