Tourists. Tourasses. We’re talking about two different critters. Does anyone on this line love Roget as much as I? I must have half a dozen and all of them are tattered, beaten down, beloved and torn and not one of them lists tourass-a word, I guess, I invented so guess I’ll have to invents some synonyms.

Tourass: critic,  complainer, fogy, malcoontent, antagonist, back friend, rude, nasty, pushy-hey these are synonyms.

If they’re visiting your domain and trundle off the cattle boats, they usually waddle. I think all they do on those floating ghettos for the adventurously impaired, is eat, drink, eat, drink, party, dress up, show off  and throw up over the side or in their heads. I think they also weave baskets, play shuffle board and  learn to dance the funcky chicken.  They float around in over-size swimming pools, as the Captain of this ship of fools, who has to endure their company at dinner, hires gigolos to dance with the single old frumps, sails them in circles so they might bask in the sun. If a storm dare show up on a screen on the bridge, like a great galloping gooney bird in flight, he steers this floating nightmare for safe cover.  They trundle  around the world in great ugly cities, Las Vegas on high or low seas, never leaving home, they take it with them when they go, and, occasionally, when they stop in a foreign port, go ashore to grab some of the same kind of food and drink they ate or drank at home only it’s called something else, of course, and shop for trinkets made in China if they’re not in China.  If they’re in China the trinkets are made in Mexico.

Met a lot of them in a lot of ports and always wished them back wherever in the world they came from. “We’re the millionaires off the Whoever,” a gaggle of these wandering geese-and I’m insulting the bird- once brayed, pointing at the ugliest ship afloat, anchored in one of the most beautiful bays in the world,  “Show us around but we  gotta be back in  bed before the lights go out.”

Sometimes, quite often in fact, they end up with some ravaging, raging illness on board as the whole world watches, hoping none of them will bring it ashore in their port.

These critters also come in flying boxcars in which they are packed, belly to belly, like sardines. You find them filling in and out of airports.

They also, on sad occasions, manage to fall off a cliff or drown in the surf,  if they venture out into the real world, or get hit by a bus or a trolley, or get a ticket for speeding and then there’s holy hell to play.

I’ve actually seen, on friendly beautiful Kauai, bumper stickers that say IT’S OPEN SEASON ON TOURISTS  and I always want to get out and use my red pencil. The sticker should be bigger and it should read OPEN SEASON ON TOURASSES BEGINS TODAY.


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