“Quaint,” “undiscovered,” “Old World charm” — you have seen all the descriptions in the travel brochures. An article appearing in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Dec. 29, 2002, by Eric Harrison provides definitions for such terms. The definitions were provided by Mac Seligman, veteran public relations man for the travel industry. With the travel season approaching, it is a good time to review the list:
All the amenities: free shower cap; gentle breezes: gale force winds; carefree natives: terrible service; plush: top and bottom sheets; convenient: bring bus fare; deluxe motor coach: bus with clean windows; unique: no one else would do it like this; quaint: run down; warmed by Gulf Stream: cold; off the beaten path: people have stopped coming here; remote: people never came in the first place; standard: substandard; deluxe: standard; superior: free shower; undiscovered: not worth finding; and authentic native dishes: inedible, but cheap.
The list goes on:
Playground of the stars: Smiley Burnett once stayed here; if you like being pampered: you can actually get waited on; exquisite cuisine: limited menu; choice of menu: chicken; Old World charm: no bath; sun drenched: arid wasteland; tropical: rainy; majestic setting: a long way from town; options galore: nothing is included in your itinerary; secluded hideaway: impossible to find; too numerous to mention: the writer has never been there; leisurely transfer: tedious bus ride; explore on your own: pay for it yourself; mystery tour: regular tour was canceled; steeped in history: old and backward; and much, much more: that’s about all there is.
Don’t expect this kind of verbiage from our travel gal, Karol Mayer. She tells it the way it is.
Harrison’s article also included comebacks for those bachelors who are repeatedly asked “Why aren’t you married yet?” I wish I had these retorts while I was waiting for Ann:
I was hoping to do something meaningful with my life; Because I just love hearing this question; Just luck, I guess; It gives my mother something to live for; I wouldn’t want my parents to drop dead from sheer happiness; My fiancée is awaiting parole; I’m waiting until I get to be your age; I already have enough laundry to do, thank you; Because I think it would take all the spontaneity out of dating; and I don’t want to have to support another person on my paycheck.
Roy Shaver writes a weekly column for the Daily News.