Note: Bug Bytes are simple snippets, quick thoughts. Thanks for reading.
This blog is part of a series on a recent bicycle tour across Austria, along the Danube. To read from the beginning, click here.
I had to tell one more trip story.
In our family, we have a saying: Funny Before Feelings, or Comedy First. This means, if you see the opportunity for a good joke, even at someone else’s expense, you should go for it. Laughter rules. Your target will get over it.
Humor often trumps other things, like good sense and decorum as well. You need to know this to fully understand this little anecdote. You must also know my brother Allan is one of the tidiest, most organized, and respectful people I know. But he’s also one of the funniest.
On the train from Vienna to Budapest, Hungary, we learned quickly that we did not have assigned seats. Our group of 16 scattered, landing seats wherever we could.
At the first stop, we learned that oncoming passengers with reserved seats could bump us out of our seats, even if we were cozy and settled in them. Several friends got bumped at our first few stops.
Jacques and I were seated at a dining table with Allan and his wife, Jennifer. After surviving the first few stops in our seats, and learning we had about 15 minutes before the next stop, we decided to pull out our backpacks and have a lunch of bread, meat, and cheese.
We spread the goodies out on paper placemats on the table in front of us, worrying out loud about getting bumped at the next stop. As you might expect, we spilled some crumbs—bits of cheese and such—on our placemats. We also created a pile of empty wrappers and containers on the table.
As we pulled into the station, still obsessing about having to give up our seats, I began to clean off the table.
“No,” Allan said, actually adding a few items to the clutter. “If it’s a mess, no one will want to sit here, even if they have a reservation.”
We all laughed. Hungarian passengers looked at us as if we were stupid Americans as we cracked ourselves up.
Then Allan began to pour droplets of his wine onto the mess.
“That’s where I draw the line,” Jennifer said. “Nope. Stop.”
Of course, we did dutifully clean up the mess before we stopped. And no one took our seats.