(2 of 2)
The couple should not have eaten for 24 hr. before this workshop. The lobster is invisibly wired with a heat-sensitive sound device so that the creature "screams" each time it is touched. One claw is left unpegged, guaranteeing that both partners are pinched repeatedly. This workshop effectively exposes a couple's divergent moral compasses and the discrepancies in their survival instincts and, by extrapolation, the future incompatibility of their parenting skills, attitudes toward capital punishment and openness to unusual foods.
"They're Not Real!" An Aegean Cruise with Elderly Shipping Tycoon Dmitri Asoukapolis and His Much Younger Trophy Wife; Aegean Sea, Greece; Oct. 20-22
Each couple will be assigned its own stateroom aboard the 200-ft. luxury liner D Cup. All meals will be enjoyed with the host and his 22-year-old wife Annika, a former swimsuit model from Sweden. Annika will wear less and less clothing as the weekend progresses. All other women on board will be required to wear sack dresses sewed of a natural hemp material. Feelings of discomfort, inadequacy and envy should be stirred in both partners, leading to many arguments that promise to plague each couple at home in America.
AMMO guarantees that all couples participating in the vacation workshops will learn to flip their "quick switch," so they can access their natural reserves of discord. For those seriously endangered couples who can weather even the most awkward, uncomfortable or humiliating scenario without a hitch, AMMO will provide an in-house, highly trained marital-combat couple. These surrogate aggressors will perform demonstrations on such topics as "Did You Throw Out That Little Yellow Scrap of Paper with the Very Important Phone Number on It?" and "You Know I Prefer Merlot," and work individually with both members of the couple, helping them channel their rage and irritation toward the hard-fought-for state of nuptial bliss.
Heidi Julavits is a writer whose first novel, The Mineral Palace, is being published this month by Putnam