My fellow lovers of adventure and all things travel, consider this your call to action!! The time has come for us to be heard! The time has come for us to say that enough is enough! My friends, the time has come for us to stake out our place in the world. Now, it is our time to take a stand and to be counted!
For years now, we travelers have had to deal with so much! We’ve had to deal with skyrocketing airfares, bogus baggage fees and fuel surcharges. We’ve had to deal with surly staff, fuller planes, larger passengers and smaller seats. And still, like the soldiers that we are, like the veritable Road Warriors that we’ve become; we have not only met these challenges with a sense of class, dignity and unshakeable self-respect, we’ve overcome them. But my friends, times are dark, and I fear that the future for our kind; the future for true lovers of travel everywhere is now more uncertain than it has ever been before. So it is with a great deal of sadness, regret, fear and trepidation about the future that I ask, “Why do travelers fear blow darts and cookie monsters?”
Last year, 16.9 million of our kind, 16.9 million classy, dignified, self-respecting travelers were welcomed to San Francisco. San Francisco, the home of rolling hills, cable cars, Alcatraz, America’s oldest Chinatown community and the Golden Gate Bridge; San Francisco, the city where the great crooner Tony Bennett once said that he left his heart. But now, where the ‘City by the Bay’ was once welcoming of travelers, it seems that things there have changed. I regret to inform you brothers and sisters and fellow travelers that recently, while visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, two of our own were attacked. The first victim was a male whose identity has not been released. He was walking along one of the bridge’s two pedestrian pathways when he was struck in the thigh by a 5 inch long blow dart. The blow dart, after savagely puncturing his skin, then traveled an additional 2 inches through his flesh before coming to a stop. Our brave brother, no doubt in shock but still standing strong, removed the blow dart from his leg and flagged down a San Francisco Police officer. Paramedics were then called. While this proud Road Warrior was being cared for, a second traveler, a sister whose identity has also been withheld, came over to the Police officers and the emergency medical personal as well. She then shared with them that she too had been brazenly shot in the leg with a blow dart; the projectile having been lodged into her knee cap. Both dart attack victims were treated at the scene for their injuries and then released. Clearly the animal that perpetrated these crimes didn’t know that we travelers are a hardy people. He or she must not have been aware of the fact that we travelers have endured much over the last decade, and that as a result we now have VERY thick skin! And I’m not talking figuratively here guys. No, I mean that we travelers literally have VERY thick skin. Skin that is too thick in fact for that pathetic animal’s little blow darts! Yet still I ask you people, in this day and age of enlightenment, why should have to fear blow darts in San Francisco?
Coast to coast now my brothers and sisters; coast-to-coast, we are under attack. In fact, our very way of life is being threatened by those who don’t travel or by those who hate those that do travel. Where we could once explore the U.S.; hell, where we could once explore the entire world with little fear of reprisal, today, we must be on guard. Whether or not it is from the sharpened tip of a blow dart in San Francisco, or if it’s from the flailing furry claws of fury being wielded by a berserker Cookie Monster in New York City’s Time Square, we must be ever vigilant. That’s right folks, it seems that Time Square’s Cookie Monster wants to devour more than just cookies. On multiple occasions since 2013, men dressed as the Cookie Monster (and other not-so-friendly characters) have been savagely pouncing upon unsuspecting travelers; people who have come to Time Square looking for nothing more than a good time, but who have left the city landmark beaten, bruised and battered.
A common racket that travelers to Time Square now encounter involves people dressed as either popular comic book characters or Disney characters approaching them, and then offering to take pictures with them. Once these unsuspecting travelers have had their pictures taken with these seemingly friendly characters of our youth, the characters then, in a very matter-of-fact adult tone, inform them that they are expected to pay for the privilege of having taken a photo with them. That’s right brothers and sisters, our people are being subjected to a good old fashion New York City shakedown; a shakedown that is being perpetrated by overly aggressive weirdos in ill-fitting, oft-times grungy, matted and pungently malodorous costumes. And when our fellow travelers don’t pay, huh, well lets just say that when that happens, things can get ugly and the fur sometimes starts to fly….literally! Maybe that’s why their costumes look so matted. Take the recent case of a 44-year old tourist who was maliciously detained and bullied by three costumed characters, including the Cookie Monster; characters that only released him after they had relieved him of the $10 in his pocket. Thankfully, a police officer who witnessed this case of “aggressive begging” immediately arrested the perpetrators. Or, consider the case of a tourist from North Carolina who was recently approached by a man dressed as none-other-than the Statue of Liberty. After approaching our brother from North Carolina, this sad sack, deadbeat, crossdressing Lady Liberty extended his arms out, or should I say extended her arms out to her side, blocking the North Carolinian’s path, all the while insisting that he take a picture with him; I mean with her, or with it, I don’t know…… I’m so confused. Apparently so too was our brother; therefore he both frightened and confused, took a picture with Lady Liberty, forked over $5 and ran for the hills. So my fellow travelers, it is with deep remorse and regret that I can now confirm for you that gone are the days when our people, the classy, the dignified, the self-respecting travelers of the world, could travel in peace. Gone are the days when we could travel without being targeted simply because we were tourists. What has the world come to when I’m left to ask the question, “Why do travelers fear blow darts and cookie monsters?”