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Monday, October 17, 2016

Good morning crew,

Since I didn't plan this little European excursion myself, I didn't know exactly what we were getting into. As it turns out, what we were getting into was a bus, and we didn't get out of it very much.

After we arrived at Frankfurt Airport (and made a surprisingly easy passage through passport control) we met up with our tour guide and a quickly growing crowd of fellow travelers. As it turned out, this tour had just about 45 guests and I was beginning to wonder how they were planning to transport this small army half way around the continent.

When our complement was finally complete the tour guide, a somewhat mature but surprisingly sprightly woman from the Netherlands named Marijke (or Mary as she liked to be called), led us out of the airport in a long file.

Snaking our way beside the rows and rows and cars and taxis picking passengers up and dropping them off, we eventually left the immediate environs of the airport and after crossing a few lanes of traffic, a small field and a runway, we finally reached a satellite parking lot where a row of titanic tour buses were parked.

Our bus was a huge Mercedes-Benz touring coach, and my first impression was that it looked pretty comfy. What I didn't know at the time was that I was going to be trapped on that behemoth for most of two solid weeks.

The tour is designed to pack in as much of historic Europe as possible in 13 days. Western Europe might be compact compared to the wide open spaces of America, but packing in 13 cities in as many days means they have to put in a lot of driving.

The odd side effect of this was that we spent more time on the road than we did being tourists. It was not unusual to get on the bus at 8 in the morning, spend three hours driving to a thousand-year-old historic town or castle where we would spend one hour soaking up the sights and culture (and desperately searching for a bathroom), before getting on the bus again for another 3 hour drive to the next hotel.

On the plus side we did get to see a lot of very nice European truck stops, or motorway restaurants, as the tour guide liked to call them. And one thing I learned the hard way is to always carry plenty of change for the bathrooms.

Laugh it up,


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"The TSA is cracking down on the so-called comfort animals, the ones people bring on the plane because they claim to be too nervous to fly alone. The airlines have had enough and they only want trained service animals to be allowed on the planes. I don't blame them. Have you been on an airplane recently? It's like a Noah's Ark of Chihuahuas and Maltipoos. If you're so emotionally unstable that you need to hold a poodle to get on a plane, maybe you shouldn't get on a plane." -Jimmy Kimmel


"The NYPD is apparently teaching its officers how to be more polite. It's true last time I got frisked, the cop was like, 'Have you lost weight?'" -Jimmy Fallon


"Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature today. Dylan was like, 'This is the greatest honor I've ever received.' Or he might have said, 'Misses gravy's on her ivory steed.' It's impossible to tell." -Seth Meyers


So you want a day off. Let's take a look at what you are asking for:

There are 365 days per year available for work. There are 52 weeks per year in which you already have 2 days off per week, leaving 261 days available for work. Since you spend 16 hours each day away from work, you have used up 170 days, leaving only 91 days available.

You spend 30 minutes each day on coffee break, which counts for 23 days each year, leaving only 68 days available. With a 1 hour lunch each day, you used up another 46 days, leaving only 22 days available for work.

You normally spend 2 days per year on sick leave. This leaves you only 20 days per year available for work. We are off 5 holidays per year, so your available working time is down to 15 days. We generously give 14 days vacation per year, which leaves only 1 day available for work and I'll be damned if you are going to take that day off!

*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

A seven-year-old boy is sitting at the dinner table with his parents. Suddenly he announces, "Me and Janie next door are gonna get married!"

"Oh?" says the mother, amused. "And how old is Janie?"

"Six," replies the boy.

"Well," says the father, "what are you going to do for money?"

"I get 5 dollars a week allowance," says the son, "and Janie gets 2. We figured that if we put them together, we'll be okay."

"I see," says the father. "But what are you going to do if you have any children?"

"Well," says the boy, "so far we've been lucky."

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