Vacationing is getting less and less pleasant every year. While I used to be able to peacefully admire the scenery, now I can’t even get to the scenic point because of hordes of people taking one selfie after another. They don’t even look at scenery until they get home and look at it on their iPad thingy. And They never leave. Never. What can I do? I want to see nature. Please help me with this. Other tips will be appreciated. Thank you.
– Amos Keeto
Dear Mr. Keeto,
I feel your pain. Why just last summer I had to . . . Whoops, way too public a forum. Deep breath. Ahh. I’m okay now. Here, dear friend, are some helpful hints.
1) Contact Paul’s Flying Squirrel Squadron before going on vacation. They will visit you on your trip and say many kind, encouraging words to you. If asked, they will also serenade you at night. Listen carefully, they have tiny voices. They will even have “chats” with the offending tourists. Best to stay inside until the “chats” are over.
2) Do you have a sonic obliterator? If not, you really should get one. They get rid of the selfie takers quite nicely. You’ll be able to walk up to the scenic outlook. You’ll be happy. You might even find yourselves smiling and isn’t that what vacations are all about?
3) Does the offensive line of a top-ten football team owe you a favor? If so, get it to run a flying wedge in front of you all the way to the railing. Sure, this will knock the selfie takers into the canyon far below, but their screams will be heard only for a moment.
4) The overriding virtue of tips 3) and 4) is that the bodies will be impossible to find or nearly so.
5) Don’t be so busy offing selfie takers that you forget to throw away your litter. No one likes a scofflaw.
6) For some reason, people think that if you can’t understand their language, you can’t hear them. It’s okay to place a glass dome over them and suck out all the air with a giant pump until they stop talking. Just make sure you do this when others aren’t looking.
7) It’s not okay, however, to assume that only foreigners talk so loud that they need the glass dome treat. Your fellow countrymen often shout when they travel abroad. And let me tell you, people of every nation have glass domes and giant pumps.
8) Employees in American visitor centers and toll booths do not carry sonic obliterators. This means drivers can safely engage them in conversations that make a reading of War and Peace go by quickly. I blame budget cutbacks for this. You’ll have to buy your own sonic obliterator. I cannot stress enough the need for proper planning.
– Paul R, De Lancey, The Travel Grouch
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.