Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Harry’s Unwritten Rule #002: Tour Buses and Old Men

Putting it mildly, that marketing company I worked for back in the 1990’s , employed some real winners. It is appearing that most of my unwritten rules are stemming from incidents that occurred while I was employed there. Sometimes, I wonder how they managed to stay in business this long. Imagine working for people with the last name of “Sunshine”.

Rule #002: Never get on the Laughlin, NV turnaround bus with the old men you work with. There’s a good chance, you’ll be sorry!

Why not get on that bus with old men? Steve, Bill and Glenn seemed nice enough, but that changed dramatically on the Laughlin trip.

One day during a lunch break at work, somebody suggested that we all take the gambling bus to Laughlin, NV. Sun Flair Tours had a turn around deal for only $5.00. The package included the bus trip, a free buffet and $20.00 worth of free play. We decided on the date and made reservations. You couldn’t beat the price.

This bus had several scheduled pickups across the valley and in Sun City. We would leave very early in the morning and return late at night. We all boarded the bus and took our seats. Steve, Bill and Glenn all had these ½ gallon Rubbermaid jugs. They made Bloody Mary’s for the road. By the time we got to Wickenburg, they were drunk but calm. I did not consume any alcohol on this trip.

We made it to Laughlin without incident and we wandered through the casinos and enjoyed the buffet. I was having a pretty good time. I put a few dollars into the nickel slots and managed not to lose too much money.

When it was time to get back on the bus, Steve, Bill and Glenn were all tired, cranky and broke. They still had some Bloody Mary mix left for the road. While they drank, I sat quietly and minded my own business.

By the time we were half way home Steve was getting out of hand. All three “gentlemen” were becoming rowdy and began conversing with other passengers. Soon, they were annoying the people seated closest to us. The nice little old ladies from Sun City were beginning to lose their patience.

As we passed through Nothing, AZ, Steve began shouting profanities at the nice little old ladies. Needless to say, they became upset and complained to the bus driver. The bus driver instructed Steve to settle down. Glenn became agitated as well, but managed to stay out of trouble for the time being.

It wasn’t 30 minutes later and Steve was cussing at the nice old ladies again. Another woman became very upset and screamed, “Stop the bus! Stop the Bus!” Needless to say the bus stopped and the driver walked back to calm the situation. One senior citizen said that she never heard such language before. Smart ass Steve asked if she spent her life in a convent. I tried not to laugh.

The driver got back in his seat and started back down US 93 towards Wickenburg. The three old men couldn’t seem to keep calm. The bus stopped one more time and all three of them were kicked off the bus. I sat there and pretended not to know them.

The ride from Wickenburg to Sun City was very peaceful. The people seated in front of me asked me if I knew them. I told them that I was their supervisor at work and this was the first and last time I would ever get on a tour bus with them again.

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” --Ernest Hemingway

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