Post 86 / Hour 89: Lessons Learned from a Eurotrip, Once Upon a Time
By Tonnette dela Luna
[This story by Tonette received honorable mention in our fourth flash humor writing contest.]
Bad: Purchase every possible adornment the country is known for that transforms you into an walking tourism billboard.
Ugly: Continue to wear aforementioned ensemble upon returning home as a blatant broadcast of your travels, with the high probability that you’d be easier to find than Waldo in every photo you shove in people’s faces.
Good: Learn basic conversational phrases you can try with the locals.
Bad: Get upset when the locals don’t speak English and give them an impromptu ESL class.
Ugly: Forgo the effort and half-yell everything you say, stretching out each syllable for them like they’re children, because, obviously, a language barrier is the same thing as being hearing impaired.
Good: Don’t mess with local law enforcement of any kind.
Bad: Try and get, say, a castle guard, to break from his stoic position to pose for a picture with you.
Ugly: Park your car in a no parking zone to get that quick shot, forcing the guard to break his silence to firmly request that you park the car elsewhere, complete with a military stomp at the end. Twice. Because you’re still taking photos. And now taking photos of him talking. And laughing with your family that he hasn’t smiled yet. Make that three times, before the funny suddenly takes a turn for the awkward.
Good: If you’re nine years old at a castle, stay with your family, at all times. Safety first.
Bad: While asking your mom to pay for an overpriced souvenir at the castle’s gift shop, give in to your curiosity and wander off.
Ugly: You see the crowds trickling towards the exit. Your family is swept up in said crowd yet you find a different door left slightly ajar and think, Hey, I can get out much faster. You slip beneath a cordon and out the door–right into the middle of the changing of the guard. Nothing puts the fear in you of whatever higher power you believe in at nine than seeing really big guns with knives attached coming at you from both sides.
Good: Family trip to a famous wax museum.
Bad: Still reeling from the previous experience at the castle, you decide that sticking with the family is a better idea. However, you lose track of your family walking between waxy exhibits of Queen Victoria and Elvis.
Ugly: In those brief moments of panic, you back into what you think is a wax statue that turns out to be some random dude leaning against the wall and he suddenly moves, giving you the stink eye for giving him the stink eye when all you did was freak out that a statue moved and scared you. Family returns for you (or maybe it’s temporary PTSD from the castle incident) and you re-stink the stink eye and he’s still pissed. Also because you stepped on his foot.
Lessons learned. Three guesses on which ones were mine.
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