Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Flinn's Funny Travel Tales

Every year, it returns: The Year in Review, the Top Ten Stories of the Year or some variation of that hardy perennial of journalism, The Year-End List. The question is not: Are you going to have to write such a story. The question is: How are you going to handle it when you draw this assignment?

This year, the San Francisco Chronicle's former travel editor, John Flinn, contributed a very funny freelance piece to the paper, published Dec. 26 (www.sfgate.com). Flinn is a funny writer and his "Top Weird Travel Stories of 2010'' is recommended reading if you want a good laugh.

One example:

"Watch what you say about the food on Ryanair, the Irish ultra-low-fare airline. In July, according to the Aviation Herald, a passenger was taken off a flight in handcuffs after he complained that a sandwich he bought on the plane "tasted like rubber.' The flight crew said he became unruly; police on the ground released him immediately with no charges.''

One more:

"In Liverpool, England, two women were arrested in April for trying to check the body of a dead relative in for a flight to Germany. Curt Willi Jarant, 91, was wearing sunglasses when his widow and stepdaughter rolled him up to the check-in counter in a wheelchair, according to the BBC. When the man couldn't be roused to answer security questions, the airline staff grew suspicious and called police. The women said they thought he was asleep.''

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