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Your Turn: Best Travel Nuisance Tales in 100 Words or Less

Battery by Battery
"Borrow boat for Houston to Florida vacation. 10 miles from home, trailer flat tire. 100 miles, broken trailer axle. Hubby does the welding while shop owner drinks our beer, then charges $500. Battery goes dead while driving. Buy one. Repeat. Repeat. Florida day one, steering cable breaks on boat. Battery dead on van. Buy new alternator. Give up, start home. Dead battery. Frustrated hubby kicks trash can. Breaks foot. Buy battery. Dead battery again. Hitchhike in 105 degrees to auto shop. Buy $5 part, fixes problem. 200 miles from home. Axle breaks in half on I-10. UNHOOK trailer. Head home." (100 words) -- T Red117

Two for One
"Ecuador: Robbed in the Guayaquil airport, chased down the thief who was led away -- as was I -- by soldiers with machine guns. Tried to tell my story to the authorities with my high school Spanish, told to shut up by the commandant, and watched the thief headbutted with a rifle when he interrupted. China: Shanghaied (in Guilin, not Shanghai) by a taxi driver who took me to the hotel of his choice, not mine. The manager felt so bad he gave me the honeymoon suite -- and then offered to join me for the night." (97 words) -- Lstrang1215

It Will Be Just a Few More Minutes, Folks (But Thankfully Not a Few More Words...)
"3:15 p.m.: Scheduled to depart Orlando. 3:20: Sitting in seat, all secured. 3:50: Still at gate. 4:10: Captain announces right-side engine won't start but mechanic is on his way. 4:45: Mechanic arrives, engine starts! 5:10: Captain announces no clearance until mechanic files paperwork with airport authority. 5:50: Taxi to runway. 6:05: Held on runway to allow severe thunderstorm to pass. 6:50: Captain announces we used up too much fuel waiting for storm to pass, must return to terminal to refuel. 100-word rule good -- next 100 words involve vulgarity!" (89 words) -- DRL1953

Don't Phone Home
"Back in the 80's, I was traveling alone through the Iberian and Italian peninsulas. One night I was in Lisbon, Portugal. I had a room in a fine hotel that cost me $50 and included breakfast. I called home for less then 10 minutes. The call cost me $51." (49 words) --Marty B.

Calling Kneeshot's Attorneys
"On a ski trip to the Swiss Alps, we spent an evening in Frankfurt where my wife lost $1,100 - $1,800 in traveler's checks. Due to the hour, we had to report the loss in Bern, Switzerland. On the way to Bern, I got diarrhea. The next day in Bern, I locked the keys in the car. Three days later on the slopes, my wife broke her leg -- in two places. The doctor who set the fractures said, 'Are you coming back to Switzerland?' I said I would be back in the summer. He said, 'Will you bring back the crutches?'" (100 words) -- Marty B.

All That For...
"Six kids and three adults travel to a wedding. Flight is canceled after eight hours of delay. No luggage -- it already arrived in Chicago. Stay overnight with 15 high school basketball teams who crank call your room all night. Catch 5 a.m. flight, arrive in Chicago. Torrential rains get you stranded in a bowling alley all night.

"You then find that your relatives' bedroom accommodations are flooded out and you have to sleep in their newly renovated living room. All furniture and rugs are stark white, hmm, six kids. OH NO. Wedding couple gets divorced one year later." (98 words) -- Nicoletto

Luggage Carousel Surprise
"You arrive in Lhasa, Tibet and discover that the live ducks that were loaded into the luggage compartment at an earlier stop were apparently placed directly over your suitcases, which are now covered with -- guess what? And it ain't feathers!" (41 words) -- CasaHoover

NYC Mascot Welcomes Us Home at JFK
"A 20-inch snowstorm back home delayed our departure from Cancun by six hours. We landed at JFK so late that we had to stand two hours before a customs agent could be found to process us all. It was 2:30 a.m. and 12 degrees when we finally stumbled out into an icy wind. As the automatic doors opened to the sidewalk, my husband almost tripped on a large white rat, frozen solid, mouth open, belly up. Here's the worst part: we were so tired that we didn't stop and take its picture!" (92 words) -- Joan of Whiting

Line-Cutting Karma
"You find yourself at Denver airport, flight eight hours delayed and a security line that wraps around the entire airport twice. You find a way to cut in front of the line, then yell at others why they shouldn't be cutting as well. You wait for only 15 minutes as opposed to three hours. You think you have won, only to find when you get back to Dallas at 3 a.m with your luggage missing in action, the morning of your grandmother's funeral, a week ago you had parked in the 'two hour parking only' zone. Thus, no car anymore." (100 words) -- Hoopsmj9

Double Jeopardy
"Worst ever -- fiancee and I pool all of our cash to take a world cruise. We reach Tahiti; the cruise company bankrupts, stranding all passengers in Tahiti. Find your own way home, just get off the ship, which was owned by a third party. By the way, the insurance company that sold the travel insurance was owned by the cruise company and, therefore, also bankrupt. So please, stop whining." (70 words including gratuitous advice) -- Wydde24

Guy Siphons Gas with Gob, Priceless...
"You're on a cross-country RV trip and it's your brother's turn to drive. He forgets to pull over for gas and you run out on the most desolate highway in Ohio. While your dad is out walking to the nearest gas station miles away, a truck driver offers to siphon his gas into your tank for 20 bucks ... with his mouth! Best 20 bucks I've ever spent!" (67 words) -- JTNY7373

And Finally, as Ever, Brevity Is the Soul of Wit
"My luggage was lost on a direct flight." (8 words) -- MMcKenzie

Tremendous thanks to everyone who wrote in response to our 100-word challenge; of course misery loves company -- and it's even better in small doses!

Go Anyway,
Ed Hewitt
Features Editor
The Independent Traveler

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