Riddle me this, kids: When is a dreary, rainy Monday morning at the height of bus season in Niagara Falls anything but boring?
Why, when you mix two Japanese tours, two buses, two clueless Japanese tour guides and two black-as-the-ace-of-spades drivers with yours truly, of course!
Yes, this is going to be a culturally-honest-but-wholly-inappropriate post, thank you very much. (But to be honest, the one driver described himself and his partner in the aforementioned manner, so I’m merely repeating the term, therefore I am only an accidental racist.) Now sit back and enjoy, Poindexter.
So as you’ve already surmised, I had two buses of Japanese tourists to load up this wet Monday morning – and it went as well as one would expect considering my involvement.
Japanese bus travelers are ridiculously-particular when it comes to their luggage and 90% of them follow the exact same pattern:
- They place their bags outside the door long before the scheduled time.
- They acknowledge the bellman as he picks said bags up.
- They race down to the lobby and wait beside the bus as the bellman drops the luggage off with the driver.
- They have to psychically touch their bag at least one more time before it goes on the bus.
I have no idea what happens if that last step isn’t completed but I’ve seen tourists of both genders weep and shake violently if they fail to establish tactile contact.
And if you thought the guests were nutty… Their handlers redefine terms like “odd”, “high-strung” and “batshit crazy”. The two male guides I encountered this morning had every opportunity to organize their groups’ bags by bus before we headed outside in the rain, but did they do so? Of course not. Where’s the fun in that?
So there I was, standing like a tall drink of water in the falling water as two Japanese guides who were wound tighter than a air traffic controller after ten cups of java scanned four full luggage carts of hard-shelled luggage. In the rain. One of them finally pulled up his hood to shield himself.
ME: Oh, you’re getting wet are you? Good thing you have a hood!
GUIDE #1: Yes! Hood very good!
ME: Indeed! But you see… the thing is… I don’t have a hood!
GUIDE #1: No… you have no hood! You all wet!
ME: (Contemplating the public execution of this prick before speaking.) Yes… yes I am. So could we speed things up? Before I die of pneumonia? Because when I come to work I like to not die.
Yes, I’m a rascal, thank you ever so much for noticing. But I’m a choir boy compared to the large African-American drivers who found themselves behind the Eight Ball with these guides. You see, drivers like to load their buses quickly and efficiently, and that wasn’t happening. And so one of the drivers summed it up perfectly when I finally had the chance to unload the bags.
ME: These guys aren’t exactly organized, are they?
To which he responded:
“Organized? These motherfuckers is crazy!”
I have to admit, that one’s going to stay with me all week. At least.
My colleague had it worse, I’m afraid. When he lingered after unloading his cart, just to make sure all the bags were fully accounted for, Driver #2 was not impressed…
“If you waiting for a tip… see those assholes!”
Obviously all that sensitivity training they fill tour bus drivers with these days is paying off.
I’d be a fool to try to top that, right?
See you in the lobby, kids…