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Tag Archives: Travel

A Tale of My Father: The (Almost) Burning Man

26 Mar

March 26, 2018

My father was a man who had quite a lot of stories, and I can vouch that they were true. Stuck in a rioting hoard of women on Black Friday, calling Macy’s to complain about their Santa at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or refusing to take off in a small plane from the shortest runway of an airport high on cliff, he had some interesting things to talk about. 

This one is short, and though it happened long before I was born, it could have had a dramatic impact on my life.

When he was younger, my Dad-to-be and some of his friends took a road trip. The details of when and where aren’t important and I’ve long forgotten them if I even ever knew them. I want to say they were teenagers but knowing Dad and some of his friends, they were probably in their twenties but acting like teenagers. 

So they were driving and it was getting late and they stopped for gas. One guy got out and was pumping while Dad and the others took the opportunity to stretch their legs. Well, they guy pumping the gas thought it would be a hysterically funny joke to turn the nozzle on Dad and soak him with gasoline. And another friend thought it would be even more hysterically funny to chase Dad around the car with a lit cigarette lighter. 

You can see where this is going.

Almost, almost!

Natural selection nearly took a hard left turn that night but either Dad was a faster runner back then, or his cries of “what the FUCK are you doing?” got through this friend’s thick skull and Dad escaped immolation and lived to laugh about it later.

It’s a wonder I’m here to write about this.

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Gilligan’s Island Sinks

23 Feb

February 23, 2018

Reposting a personal favorite.

As reported by the Associated Press, May 5th 1981.

 

Originally published May 26, 2015

Here’s a news story you may have missed:

Howell fortune

Here’s the text:

VOLCANO ERUPTS, SINKS GILLIGAN’S ISLAND
Thurston Howell III Fortune Feared Lost

AP News Service May 5th, 1981

A volcanic eruption which sunk a small South Pacific island may also have sunk the fortunes of one of America’s most celebrated millionaires.

After weeks of oceanic tremors, scientists confirm that a volcano erupted on the island of Palu Makalu, popularly known as “Gilligan’s Island” since the discovery and rescue of the survivors of the S.S. Minnow shipwreck in 1978. The island is now submerged in the depths off the continental shelf.

Among the survivors was eccentric millionaire Thurston Howell III, who made his fortune in the stock market in the post-war era. He later founded Howell Industries, which produced everything from ticker-tape to typewriter ribbons. Although profits had been declining in later years, due to the changing of technology, he recently doubled his assets after winning a bet on the Harlem Globetrotters to beat their robotic duplicates, in a match played at his resort on the island.

A spokesman for Mr. Howell released the following statement:

“The rumors of the loss of the Howell fortune are greatly exaggerated. When the island sank, it took with it 55 trunks of cash and bonds, which Thurston Howell III buried on the island to keep it safely away from the constant misadventures of Gilligan. However, Mr. Howell has invested heavily in new technologies, and we are confident that his acquisition of controlling interest in Betamax tape and 8-track cartridge corporations will position Howell Industries for future success in the 80’s and beyond.”

The other castaways, reacting to the loss of their island home of 14 years, universally blamed Gilligan for causing the eruption with one of his silly blunders.

In a related story, scientists say the Palu Makalu tribe of native headhunters may now be extinct.

 

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