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January 1, 0001

HumourList Package #72 - Travel Jokes

Hey all.

If you’ve been following HumourList over the last few weeks, you’ll know that I’m taking a vacation next week to the (hopefully) sunny state of California.

So, to get myself all psyched up for it, I thought I’d throw together a ‘travel’ Package. This header is short, ‘cause the Package is pretty long.

This Package is sent out a day early ‘cause I won’t be here on Saturday to send it then.

Opening header is Copyright 1998 by Ian W. Douglas; all rights are reserved, and no portion should be copied in any way or modified in any way without permission of the author. The remainder of this Package is absolutely free for distribution provided all of the subscription / back issue / help instructions remain intact at the end


The following are actual stories told to travel agents (and you wonder why US citizens generally score less than the rest of the world on geography)…

I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with “I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.” Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, “Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.” Her response: click.

A secretary called in looking for hotel in Los Angeles. She gave me various names off a list, none of which I could find. I finally had her fax me the list. To my surprise, it was a list of hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana. She thought the LA stood for Los Angeles, and that New Orleans was a suburb of L.A. Worst of all, when I called her back, she was not even embarrassed.

I got a call from a man who asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said, “No.” He said “But they look so close on the map.”

Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, “I heard Dallas was a real big airport, so I want a car to drive between the gates to save time.”

A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

A woman called and asked, “Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?” I said, “No, why do you ask?” She replied, “Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said ‘FAT’, and although I’m somewhat overweight, I wondered, is this any way to treat a customer?” After putting her on hold for a minute while I “looked into it” (I was actually laughing), I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage!

I just got off the phone with a man who asked, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, “I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them!”

A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. “Oh no I don’t, I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.” I double-checked, and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, “Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express.”


Two ladies were boarding the Concorde for the Atlantic Crossing. As the pilot greeted them, the one said: “Now don’t you go flying faster than sound the whole time – we want to talk some too.”


The Department of Agriculture declared that supermarkets can no longer call cold chicken “fresh.” Says Steve Voldseth, “Now, if they could just keep the airlines from calling it an in-flight meal.”

ShopTalk, Tuesday, December 24, 1996


Detroit, Michigan – An American Airlines flight made an unscheduled stop in Detroit Thursday after a passenger said she needed an aspirin so badly she could kill someone.

After the plane landed, police took the passenger, a 29-year-old California woman, into custody for questioning by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said Barbara Hogan, a spokeswoman for Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Flight 2074 had taken off from Chicago on its way to Newark, New Jersey, when the woman said, “Boy, have I got a headache. I need an aspirin before I kill someone,” Hogan said.

It was unclear to whom the woman made the comment, but it was quickly relayed to the pilot, who notified Detroit airport officials. Police were dispatched to escort the woman off the plane.

“The airline took it very seriously,” Hogan said.

She did not identify the woman, who had previously been under psychiatric care. FBI agents were still talking to her and had not decided on a course of action.

The flight resumed its trip to Newark after about 45 minutes.

WhiteBoard News for Friday, July 11, 1997


California Smog Test – Can UCLA?


Q. What’s the difference between a police officer in San Francisco and a police officer in Los Angeles?

A. A police officer in San Francisco will dance and have a few drinks when he says he’s going out “clubbing.”



Preparing for a summer vacation is far more enjoyable than actually taking one, so be sure to give yourself lots of time to get ready. Purchase a new road map and spread it grandly across the table, inviting your family to gaze upon it in all of its crisp, pristine glory. Get some of those little model cars and let your children push these around the map like Admirals plotting war in the Atlantic. This is the last time the map will ever lie flat – after you’ve re-folded it, you will have created several new mountain ranges across the continent and will never again be able to view a specific area of the country without repeatedly creasing and un-creasing the darn thing, usually while driving down the interstate highway with an 18 wheeled truck blaring its horn at you from a distance of nine inches off your back bumper.

Summer travel in the United States is bound by a singular, unavoidable truth: most of the water lies around the edges of the country, so in order to get there you must drive great distances through states where the most fascinating point of interest is that the rest stops are named after senators you’ve never heard of. Ah, but at this, the planning stage, the magic marker fumes filling your head with hallucinations as you trace your route, you actually believe you are going to take County Road 121 so as to see the National Beef Jerky Museum or the Potato Chip Gallery of Famous Persons. Hey everybody, should we take the scenic route through Nebraska? (Are you kidding? The SCENIC route?) Kids, how about a tour of a gravy manufacturing operation in Missouri? This is going to be GREAT!

Of course, you aren’t going to visit any of these places. Once inside your car you’re going to be held hostage to the odometer, which will tick each tenth of a mile so slowly you’ll begin to envy people who’ve been subjected to the Chinese Water Torture. All unnecessary distractions – museum going, scenery viewing, eating, urinating – will be sacrificed to the frantic need to finally GET THERE. But before that, before you slide behind the wheel and shout your gleeful “Lets go!” you must first face the nearly insurmountable task of packing the car.

Those of you who have been reading this column for awhile know that I subscribe to the theory that the human race is divided into two categories: (1) Fathers, and (2) Everybody Else. Case in point: packing for a vacation on the road.

A father prefers large containers. In fact, most fathers would agree that the best way to pack would be to put everyone’s belongings into a single suitcase, then have all the other fathers in the neighborhood come over and help lift it into the back of the station wagon, where it would stay until you came across a hotel with a forklift. Everybody Else, however, seems to think that the best way to pack is to load nearly everything in the house into individual suitcases and then, just when the last of these containers has been tied to the roof and the cars shocks have sunk to an all time low, start bringing out sole items. Like a set of curlers. A bottle of cough syrup. The dog bowl. A single tennis shoe. At this point, fathers begin muttering to themselves fiercely, and it is wise not to listen to what they are saying.

Fathers also believe that to insure that the family is properly outfitted for the vacation, there must be an ample supply of tennis rackets, canoe paddles, polo mallets, fishing equipment, chain saws, night vision goggles, and spelunking helmets to have a good time. Everybody Else, however, seems to believe it is far more important to make sure one is adequately clothed for the vacation, until it seems impossible that there is a single item of apparel left in the house. (Despite this, Everybody Else will need to spend at least 50% of the time on vacation shopping for clothing that they apparently forgot to bring along.)

Packing will take far longer than the time you’ve allotted for the activity. In fact, if you’re not careful, you’ll never actually go anywhere – you’ll spend your whole vacation in the driveway, first packing and then unpacking your automobile. After awhile you’ll begin shouting at Everybody Else. “That’s IT. This is the LAST THING I’M PACKING.” Naturally, Everybody Else will ignore this as effectively as they’ve ignored your timetable.

When you finally depart, hours late, your back aching from the strain of lifting an entire Boeing 747s worth of luggage into your car, you will reluctantly face the fact that the House Of Wax Museum of Pets Who Killed Their Owners is probably going to be closed by the time you get there. Your children will wait until your house has just disappeared from sight to announce they have to go to the bathroom. Your wife will worry out loud that she left the coffee pot on and that shortly your home will be on fire. (“Who cares?” you snap, “there’s nothing inside to burn anyway, its all packed in the CAR!”) Every pothole in the street feels like your car has been hit by artillery, your flattened suspension so overwhelmed that even running over a cockroach rattles your teeth with impact. A check of the gas gauge reveals you might actually be getting zero miles to the gallon. The air conditioning seems offended that you want it to work in this heat, and the transmission howls fiercely whenever you try to drive faster than 50. The sun becomes a laser and carves you a new cornea. Your oldest daughter begins shrieking that her siblings “Keep TOUCHING ME!” which is impossible NOT to do since you’ve wedged them in so tightly between the volleyball set and the inflatable kayak that their bare thighs make a ripping noise whenever they shift in the seat.

You wipe your forehead and concentrate on getting your first 100 miles behind you. The odometer clicks one agonizing digit at a time, and eventually they stop yelling in the back seat, possibly because they’ve murdered each other. You sigh and try to find something to listen to on the radio.

Its the best day of the trip.


America’s highways are bejeweled with sagging, dilapidated motels where rooms can be had for a reasonable price if you’re willing to forgo certain luxuries (like, towels). The first of these will lie just past the edge of exhaustion on your trip, so that you’ll groan with relief as you pull up to the front doors. You’ll tiredly inform the clerk of your last name and announce that you have a reservation. He’ll nod from behind his bulletproof glass and pass you over a registration form, scratching out the words “per hour” and circling “all night.” You are asked for your car license plate, which is a laugh because your rear bumper has been forced so low to the ground by all your baggage that the plate was worn down to a nub somewhere near the Kansas border.

The room is on the second floor, toward the back. Inside, the two beds have a distinctive concave shape, designed to roll their occupants together in the middle and keep them there until autopsy. Your children turn on the television set and stare at a rerun of “The Dukes of Hazard” as if receiving a rescue message from their home planet. “No,” you warn them, “first we have to get the Hotel Suitcase!”

The Hotel Suitcase is a mythical creature said to have the magic power to deliver from within itself all of a single night’s needs, so that it and it alone is the only bag which needs to be brought into the hotel room at night. Fathers believe fervently in the Hotel Suitcase, even though none of them have ever seen one. It turns out that despite careful instruction, the rest of the family has somehow failed to grasp the concept of the Hotel Suitcase, the result being that nearly every item from your car must be unloaded and carried up the two flights of cement steps to your room and dumped out on the floor.

This is the time when you realize that your son has packed his ant farm (though not the lid), that your oldest daughter has brought along her ankle, wrist, and hand weights even though she’s never used them before (I’m going to start while on vacation!) and that your middle child didn’t bring any underwear (on the plus side, she did remember to bring her fur-lined boots in case there is snow on the beach.)

You grit your teeth and invite everyone to change into swimsuits – this is a vacation and we Will Have Fun. Sensing that you are not willing to negotiate, the television is turned off and the entire family troops out to the pool. A trip to the hot tub seems like a good idea until, upon closer inspection, it looks to be full of something similar to turkey gravy. Your oldest daughter, wearing a swimsuit which must have been bought at a store called “Breasts on Display,” saunters over to talk to a group of young men who appear to be out on parole violation. Your son asks you to rate his backdive. Five hundred times. Your own dip below the surface fills your eyes, nose and mouth with Clorox.

When your daughter announces that the criminals she’s encountered want to take her “for a ride” you decide you’ve had enough and head back to the room. Everyone wrestles around in the tiny bathroom for a couple of hours and then gets into bed. The air conditioner wheezes like a walrus with asthma and produces a mist so humid you’re wondering if it will soon be raining inside. No one sleeps, particularly the couple in the room next door, who sound like yodelers in love. Directly over head, professional wrestlers practice for the world championship. A murder or two in the parking lot, several trains, a chorus of trucks firing up at five a.m., and it’s morning.

No one speaks as you load the car, which has had enough of your nonsense and refuses to take back all the stuff you removed the night before. No matter how you pack it, there doesn’t seem to be adequate room for everything and everybody. You contemplate strapping one of your children across your hood like a dead deer. Eventually, you get the job done, but it means that your daughter has to hold a Coleman stove in her lap.

“Only three more days until we get there!” you trumpet cheerfully as you steer out onto the highway. The expressions you receive in return look like the Manson Family at their arraignment. If you had any sense at all, you would turn around and head home immediately. Nonetheless, drawn on by pre-paid hotel rooms in front of you, you press ahead.


The final leg of your cross country drive finds you curiously divided between stupor and rage. You sit in a layer of dried french fries and eviscerated taco innards and listen dispassionately to the ongoing intellectual debate between your children:

“Could you PLEASE stop doing that with your lips?” “Stop doing what?” “Making those gross wet noises. You keep LICKING YOUR LIPS.” “You mean like this?” “DAD! He keeps LICKING HIS LIPS!”

Though your “good parenting” training calls for you to urge upon your children the adult traits of reason and compromise, your impulse is to open the back door and fling everyone out onto the pavement. How can it possibly matter that your son is licking his lips when the dog is riding with its nose sticking into the jet stream outside the window, sneezing so explosively every two miles that everything in the car has become covered with dog mist? And if you roll the window up, the dog whines, sobs, and ultimately barfs.

Your wife is no help in adjudicating the dispute: you’ve been having a raging argument with her for two days, though neither of you has spoken a single word to one another since East St. Louis.

Okay: just how much farther can it possibly be? That darn Jefferson and his stupid Louisiana purchase, buying up all this land between your house and the ocean!

“Dad, he licked his lips again!”

The maniacal glint in your eye shocks them into silence as you twist in your seat. “Stop licking your lips or I’ll rip them off!” you hiss. “And you, stop hitting your brother!”

“I’m not!” she protests.

“But you will, and when you do, stop it!” you snarl.

“Wow, Dad’s really lost it,” your son admires.

“Is Mr. Mugster in the car?” you demand for the hundredth time in the past hour. Mr. Mugster is a stuffed gorilla whose accidental abandonment at a Stuckey’s restaurant forced you to backtrack two hundred miles. These were hard, Missouri miles, where corn has overtaken all other life forms on the planet. You have the feeling that had it been you at the Stuckey’s, the vote would have been three to one to press ahead anyway.

It is with a sense of unreality that you finally pull into the parking lot of Big Al’s Beach Resort. After all these days of being propelled, your body can’t quite adapt to being stopped.

For some reason you were deluded into thinking that Big Al’s hotel overlooked the ocean. Perhaps you were misled by the brochure, which depicted a smiling and attractive couple completely unlike yourselves holding little paper umbrella drinks as they admired the view of what you now discover was the back of an automobile dealership. The only way Big Al’s will ever be on the beach is after three decades of global warming.

Maybe by then your automobile will be fixed. You admitted it to intensive care shortly after arriving at Big Al’s and from your room you can confirm that they haven’t done anything to it since. In fact, it appears they are using parts from your engine to fix other cars.

Should you be concerned that the name of the place is Jack Kevorkian Ford?

Well, you’re here. Time to relax, enjoy your vacation. Time to be spontaneous, to live for the moment. Naturally, this means you must immediately compile a list of Fun Things To Do.

This is what Dad’s do: make lists. No one reads the lists after they are made or listens to you as they are being written or notices that you are talking, or breathing, but that has never stopped you. When you pass on you would like your headstone to read like this:

  1. Live
  2. Die (Don’t forget!)
  3. Get buried here

Vacations make for particularly wonderful lists, but no one is listening except the dog, who has finished drinking out of the toilet and has come over to lick your legs. Your oldest daughter picks up the telephone to initiate what will become a six hour conversation with her best friend back home. She begins with the words, “you wouldn’t believe how boring it is here.” Your other daughter wants to go to the mall because, despite her three suitcases, she “brought nothing to wear.” Your son plops down in front of HBO, a study in Flatline Response Syndrome. Your wife, muttering, tromps off to find a washing machine so she can tend to all the laundry that has piled up over the past three days. You tell her you’d like to help, but it’s not “on the list.” Her look indicates that you’d better add “celibacy” to the list of Fun Things To Do. The mechanic from the car dealership sends word that you need to hurry right over to look at your vehicle’s transmission, “never seen anything like it since the war.”

You begin looking forward to going home.

The Cameron Column A Free Internet Newsletter Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1997

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