Please Stay at Home

Excuse me.  Sir!  You there.  I have a request.  No, not you nice man.  You go on about your day and enjoy your vacation.

I’m speaking to the other gentleman, the one who is so incapable of controlling his impulses that he just chucked that small boy overboard.  Oh!  That was your son, and you were just playing?  I see.

Well, I’m also talking to that lady over there who thinks it’s funny to draw a picture of a bomb on her friend’s suitcase.  You just shut down an entire terminal. Oh, don’t worry about us, there will be other flights just as soon as the snafu you caused clears up.

And you, the fellow using the bathroom in the middle of the aisle.  I have something to ask you as well. But first, please just get the attention of that other gentleman beside you. Yes, the one with the turtles and snakes stuffed down his pants talking to the nice TSA employee.  Is he a smuggler or is he just glad to see me?

And, finally, can you ask the young couple locked in the bathroom to listen up?  No need to open the door.

You don’t know me, but I have something to ask, a favor of sorts on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people who save up for their vacations and eagerly await their all too rare opportunities to travel, who venture forth from their homes for all the right reasons feeling privileged to do so. You see, we have all had our problems in life and we make mistakes too.  But we know how to act in public and we typically don’t manage to somehow foul up travel for all of the people in our general vicinity.

You, however, the group of you – well, you are another case, aren’t you? Come on now, fess up.  You don’t know how to behave in public, do you?

So we have a favor to ask.  We hope you don’t mind. Just one favor, please?

Would you mind terribly just staying at home?

Yes, I know I operate a travel website and, yes, indeed I do promote travel as a way of learning about new cultures and expanding one’s consciousness.  However, that only works for those truly capable of learning or who begin with some degree of consciousness capable of expansion. I understand that we all sprang from apes.  I’m just not certain that each of you sprang quite far enough.

Maybe unaccompanied travel just isn’t something you should be allowed to do.

I know, it’s a radical notion that some should be prohibited from planes and trains, but hear me out on this one.  You see, your way of behaving in public really might be cause to ban you from leaving home at all.  You inconvenience others, cause enormous upset and distress generally and, on occasion, even endanger large numbers of people.

If it was an occasional upset or occurrence, we could forgive if not forget.  But we seem to have a recent rash of unfortunate incidents:

All of the above took place in a short two or three week period this summer and the list is far from comprehensive.  In fact, it really is quite abbreviated.  It doesn’t even include  the hummingbird smuggler or the famous actor who urinated in the first-class aisle or the similarly bladder-challenged coach-class passenger who urinated on a little girl.

Now we know that you each want to travel, but we don’t really trust you any longer and would like to ask that you, well, that you not travel.  Yes, we are asking you nicely: Please stay at home.  Leave the traveling to people who are a bit more responsible, who won’t make the rest of humanity look quite so bad.

Breaking news:  we don’t want to travel with you. You do understand. Don’t you?

It’s not personal, it’s just that we sometimes travel to get away from people like you and having you show up on our vacations is, to say the very least, disappointing.

In your dishonor, Travelhoppers will be announcing your cute little antics on its Facebook page on a regular basis until you start behaving like responsible citizens of the world.  Please expect us to make a big deal of it.  It is, after all, your 15 minutes of fame and this is how you have chosen to use it.

So expect to see your name in lights on our PLEASE STAY HOME AWARDS.

Or, you could do yourself and each of us a favor.  Avoid the spotlight and choose a “staycation.” The world will thank you for it, and so do I.

To everyone else:  If you see a candidate for our PLEASE STAY AT HOME AWARD, do send us a link to their story and we will be happy to take your nomination into account. Let’s keep these miscreants where they can do the least amount of harm: at home, off the road, and away from our own journeys abroad.

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