DURING a riverboat excursion, the weather turned cold and
rainy, and the passengers huddled together for warmth. The captain shouted down to the
crew's quarters, "Is there a mackintosh down there large enough to keep three young
ladies warm?" "No," came the booming reply, "but there's a
MacPherson who'd like to try."
AN IMPORTANT corporate client of the travel agency where I work had recently
to France. AS a Canadian citizen he had at that time needed a visa for entry, which we had
obtained for him. Shortly after his return, his new secretary on her first day on
the job called to say it was imperative for her boss to fly back to Paris as soon as
possible. Our agent began to book the reservations. Eventually the agent asked, "Does
he have a visa?" A long pause followed before she replied, "No, but he's got a
WHEN I was an inspector for Canada Customs, it was my duty to ask visitors whether they
were bringing any firearms into our country. One day an American car came through my line,
and its driver reported that the occupants were on their way to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.,
for a wedding. After the usual questions about length of stay and so forth, I asked if
there were any guns in the car. "No, no," said the driver, "it isn't that
kind of wedding."
I WAS concerned when an older couple who booked a trip to Italy through my travel
agency insisted on hiring a car to drive themselves around Rome. Nothing I could say about
the dare devil drivers and frenetic traffic could sway them from their plan. My heart was
heavy the day they came in to pick up their rental car vouchers until they assured
me that I had absolutely no reason to worry. They had spent some time down at the
bumper-car track located in a nearby amusement park, practicing their driving techniques.
A BAND of commuters were gathered at the railway station when the station master's
voice came over the loud speaker. The commuters braced themselves. Would this be the usual
announcement about a delay? "Because of circumstances beyond our control," the
station master intoned, "the seven o'clock train is running on time today."
MY HUSBAND was employed as a dealer in a casino. Late one night a player at the craps
table was having a run of bad luck. Desperate, he turned to my husband. "You work
here," he moaned. "What's the secret to winning at this game?" "What
day of the week is this?" my husband asked. "Saturday." "And what time
is it?" "About 3 a.m.," the player answered. "I'm here working on a
Saturday at 3 a.m., and you're here on vacation," my husband shot back, "and you
think I've got the answer!"
THE cruise ship my friend was working on docked at a Mexican port during a very high
tide. Everyone on board was forced to use the ship's narrow gangplank as a passageway to
the dock far below. The staff stood motionless when a passenger in her 70s appeared at the
top of the plank. There wasn't room for anyone to assist her, so she edged down slowly and
finally made it to the dock safely, to everyone's relief. As she stepped down, she turned,
looked back at the top of the plank and shouted, "It's okay, Mother, you can come
A FRIEND had left for the airport with barely enough time to
catch her flight. Finding herself held up in traffic she began to pray,
"Please, Lord, let there be a parking space near the door." The closer
she got to the airport the more desperate she became. "Please, Lord, let there be a
parking space as near to the door as possible." Finally, approaching the
entrance to the airport terminal, still feverishly praying, she noticed with relief that
there was room to park right in front of the door. "Oh, never mind Lord" she
prayed, "I see a spot anyway."
MY HUSBAND and I were intoxicated with the excitement of our
first trip to Las Vegas. We pulled slot-machine handles with exuberance, cheerfully placed
our money on the roulette tables and tried our luck with blackjack. After each thrilling
excursion, we would return to our hotel room to recuperate, $100 or so poorer. An
hour after our last mad gambling fling, I was ready to return to the tables. "Oh,
honey," my husband said, "I'm too tired to go again. Let's just send them a
Four strangers traveled together in the same
compartment of a European train. Two men and two women faced each other. One
woman was a very wealthy and sophisticated 70 year old lady who was decked out in the
finest of furs and jewelry. Next to her sat a beautiful young woman, nineteen yrs.
old who looked like something right off the cover of a fashion magazine.
Across from the older lady was a very mature looking man in his mid-forties who was a
highly decorated Sergeant Major in the Army. And next to the Sergeant Major sat a
young private fresh out of boot camp.
As these four strangers traveled, they talked and chatted about trivial
things until they entered an unlighted tunnel, and there they sat in complete darkness and
total silence, until the sound of a distinct kiss broke the silence; following the kiss a
loud slap could be heard throughout the cabin.
In the ensuing period of silence the four strangers sat quietly with their
own thoughts. The older lady was thinking, "Isn't it wonderful that even in
this permissive day and age there are still young women who have a little self-respect and
The young woman, shaking her head and greatly puzzled, asked herself,
"Why in the world would any man in his right mind want to kiss an old fossil like
that when I'm sitting here?"
The Sergeant Major, rubbing his sore face, was outraged that any woman could
ever think that a man in his position would try to sneak a kiss in the dark.
And the private, grinning from ear to ear, was thinking, "What a crazy
and mixed up world this is when a private can kiss the back of his hand and then smack a
Sergeant Major in the face and get away with it!"
WE WERE driving into town on the island of
Rico, one morning, and traffic had come to a halt at a road-construction site while a flag
man waved cars through. When our turn came, we were surprised to find the flag man, for
lack of the usual red flag, waving a branch of pink hibiscus!
FEELING newly prosperous after I was promoted, I bought an
interstellar-chronograph watch-a timepiece used by U.S. astronauts. Weeks later, while on
a business trip to Tampa, Fla., I noticed that the winding stem was missing. I looked in
the phone book for an authorized dealer and then dashed over to his shop. The jeweler,
however, was not moved by my anguish. He explained that he did not have a part that would
fit my model. "You don't have the part?" I asked incredulously. ''Why, this
watch went to the moon!" "That may be," the jeweler replied
patiently, "but it ain't come to Tampa yet."
A MAN who had just returned from a month-long, African safari
walked into his favorite bar and asked for a martini. "How was your trip,
Fred?" the bartender asked. "It was all right." "Only all
right? You mean no elephant trampled you, no leopard jumped out of a tree, no warrior shot
a poisoned dart at you?" Fred shook his head. "That's almost
unbelievable. Something must have happened." "Well, my buddy Ernie had an
unusual experience." "What was that?" "Let him tell
you," Fred said, reaching into his pocket and removing a small box. He opened it on
the bar and a man no more than eight centimeters high walked out. "Ernie,"
said Fred, "tell the bartender what you said to the witch doctor that made him so
AND then there was the commuter on the train who was looking
everywhere for his ticket - in his pants pocket, his jacket, his wallet. He was searching
with great frenzy, much to the amusement of the other passengers, who could see that he
had the ticket in his mouth. The conductor snatched the snip of paper, punched it and gave
it back. When he moved on, the commuter's companion said, "I bet you feel pretty
stupid sitting there looking everywhere for your ticket when it was right in your mouth
all the time." "Stupid?" replied the commuter. "I was chewing
the date off. "
A FRIEND of mine asked to borrow my 35 mm. camera for his
vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. While visiting one site in the area he
suddenly missed it, but remembered that he had placed it on the trunk of his car. He
hurried back to the parking lot but found no camera there. When he returned home he bought
me a replacement.
Several months later he received a letter from the provincial
police. It appeared that someone had found the camera and had the film developed. One of
the pictures showed his car with the license plate quite legible. With the assistance of
U. S. officials and the finder, the number was traced through the provincial police, and
eventually the camera was returned to him.
MY PHARMACIST is a friendly guy, but recently I wished he had
been a little less friendly and a little more professional. As I went through
customs into Mexico, I was escorted from the line to a small room, where I found myself
surrounded by grim faced inspectors. It seems they were quite concerned about a vial of
capsules I had purchased from my pharmacist just before leaving on my vacation. On the
instructions he had written: "Take one twice a day and have yourself a great
WHILE traveling by train from university in Ontario to my
home in Alberta, I sat in the observation car for the entire trip. Shortly after departing
Winnipeg two elderly women entered. Upon discovering they had never been across Canada by
rail, I told them that I found this scenery the best part of the journey. They stayed for
about an hour and then left. About noon they returned with their lunches, remained only
until they had eaten and then, shaking their heads, they left again. A few hours later
they returned for a third time and sat directly behind me. Then I felt a tap on my
shoulder. "Excuse me," said one woman. "Do you see something that we
MY FRIEND and I followed the call to "go west" and
seek our fortunes. We got as far as Calgary before our money ran out, and although jobs
were easy to get, the cost of living was high. It took us six weeks before we
scraped together the money to take a day trip by car to Banff. Returning home we nearly
ran out of gas but were able to coast into a garage outside of Calgary. Feeling
somewhat embarrassed, we asked the attendant for $2 worth of gas "just to get us
home." This was all the money we had left. While filling the tank he noticed our
Ontario plates and exclaimed, "Boy, do you get good mileage!"
THROUGHOUT our month long tour of Europe, my wife's only
complaint was that there was never enough time for shopping. Nearing the end of our trip,
we stopped for lunch at a pub in a small town near London. We wrote postcards and my wife
volunteered to take them to the nearest postbox while I made a long-distance phone call.
The British long-distance system defeated me until I was helped by an attractive
girl who was standing at the bar. Completing my call, I saw her with a suitcase standing
at a bus stop. I found out she was going close to our destination so I offered her a lift
and suggested she get in the back seat of the car. There was still no sign of my
wife, so I went to look for her. Ten minutes later, I found her in a store. She was
bulging with parcels. Giving me a big grin, she said, "That'll teach you to leave me
alone for a few minutes." It was my turn to grin as I said, "Wait until
you see what's in the back seat of the car."
MY SISTER, Sharon, lives in Oakville, Ont., and often drives
to nearby Toronto to shop. One morning she decided to take the Go Train into the city. It
had been a while since she had last used the commuter transit system. "How much
is a ticket to Toronto?" she asked the bored- looking attendant. "Two
dollars." "Two dollars! The last time I bought a ticket to Toronto
it was ninety cents!" "Wait till you see the tall buildings," he
I HAD not been on the ferry between the mainland and
Vancouver Island since the settlement of a labour dispute boosted the ferry rates. I
drove up to the toll booth and asked how much it would cost for me and my car. The price
had nearly tripled! I gasped. "That's highway robbery," I said. The
young man in the booth grinned at me and said, "No, ma'am, this close to the water
it's usually called piracy."
MOTORCYCLING from Sydney to Perth, my companion and I stopped
at the two-building outpost of Eucla on the Great Australian Bight. The nearest town west
is 800 kilometers away. To the east lie the Nullarbor Plain and 500 kilometers of dirt
road. We spent our evening in the bar in the company of miners, truck drivers and
tourists. Finally, well after midnight, the barmaid called, "Closing time. Everybody
out!" "What'll you do if we don't go?" asked one young man. The
barmaid eyed him sternly. "In that case," she said, "I'll call the police.
They'll be here in a couple of days."
A COMMUTER hopped on a train In London and gave the conductor
Crewe as his destination.
"We don't stop at Crewe on Fridays," the conductor said.
"But I've got to get off at Crewe," the commuter pleaded."
"Tell you what, mate, as we slow down at Crewe to go through the junction I'll
open the door and you hop off. Mind you, though, we're still going pretty fast, so
hit the ground running and you won't get pulled in by the train's wake."
At Crewe, the door opened and the commuter hit the ground running so fast that his
momentum carried him forward to the car ahead. There, another conductor opened the
door and hauled him aboard as the train resumed speed. "You're mighty lucky,
mate," he said. "This train doesn't stop at Crewe on Fridays."
WE WERE about to leave for Europe when my wife became ill.
She responded to medication, however, and her doctor gave the trip his blessing.
Off we went, and had a wonderful time. Back home again, she received this note from
a family friend: "Your daughter tells me that you hadn't been feeling well, and your
husband took you to France and Ireland. Please tell him that I'm not feeling well and I've
never been to Italy!"
BEING an expectant grandmother on two counts, I purchased a
lot of baby clothes on a bus trip to the United States. On crossing back into Canada, the
young customs official made a desultory search through most passengers' luggage until he
came upon my bag containing the baby clothes. Immediately his interest quickened,
and he examined each article while firing questions at me:
"How much did these cost?"
"Where did you buy this?"
"How many of these did you buy?"
"What size is this blanket?"
When he reached the bottom of my bag, he looked up with a boyish grin.
"My wife and I are expecting our first baby," he said. "I figured you would
know all about shopping for babies!"
ON A fairly deserted highway, I stopped to give a lift to a
young man striding along with a jerri-can. Assuming he had a car out of gas
somewhere on the road ahead, I asked him where he wanted to be dropped and was surprised
when he named a town some distance away.
"Why did you come so far to get your gas?" I asked.
"Oh, this isn't a gas can, it's my lift insurance," he replied.
Sure enough, the flip side of his customized jerri-can revealed it to be a neatly
hinged overnight bag. "Sure gets better results than a back-pack," he
ONE of the very best parts of our family vacations for me as
a child was my mother and her iron. Every year we would get far out of town, and she would
wail, "Oh, no! I left the iron on." Every year we would always turn
around and go back. But it was never plugged in. When I was about 13 years old, we
were headed for Yellowstone National Park and, sure enough, Mom gasped, "I just know
I left the iron on," My father didn't say a word, just pulled over, got out, opened
the trunk and handed her the iron. And every year after that, he made sure that the
iron was in the trunk before we left on vacation,
A MAN I know accomplished a long time goal - driving the
2450-kilometer length of the Alaska Highway. In a small Alaska town near the end of
his journey, he proudly boasted of his success to a service-station attendant. "I
guess that makes me almost a native," he crowed. "Not hardly,"
replied the attendant. "A native would've had more sense."
RETURNING from a day trip to the United States, we pulled up
to the customs officer at Niagara Falls, Ont. He asked if we had anything to declare.
Because my four-year-old daughter was next to me, I automatically spelled out my answer.
"Yes, we bought some t-o-y-s." Without hesitation he then asked,
"What is the v-a-l-u-e?"
AVID campers, my wife and I decided to take a look at an area
in Nova Scotia where we had heard a proposed campground was to be developed. We drove to
St. Peters and then took an unfamiliar, unpaved road. We found the area where the
campground was to be built and continued on the road to see where it went. After about ten
kilometers, we debated whether to turn around and retrace our route. Just then we noticed
a farmer and decided to ask directions. "If I keep following this road," I
inquired, "where will it take me?" "Vancouver" was his laconic
A LARGE plane was flying over the Atlantic
when the pilot announced over the intercom he had an important
announcement to make. "If you folks haven't already noticed, we are
losing altitude rapidly and I'm sorry to announce that we will be hitting
the water in about 15 minutes". The head stewardess ripped the
microphone from his hand and asked "Is there any good man out there
that could make me feel like a real... woman! A good looking young
man stands up, takes off his shirt and says. . . . . ."Here, iron
A FRIEND of mine has been on a travel binge since he retired.
"Since 1985, for example, my wife and I," he writes, "have visited China,
Scandinavia, Italy and South America. As I told our four sons, you won't inherit much
money but you'll get a heck of a lot of slides."