“Come! Where your bowels don’t stay full for long!”
This isn’t a real slogan, but Babel Travels, a company in the U.S. who are ‘offering packaged trips to war-torn and inaccessible countries’ have my permission to use it.
“Tired of coming back home from vacation with the same old 2 arms, 2 legs and a body void of shrapnel? Come see us for your next holiday adventure!”
They can use that one too.
This isn’t a joke, but a real company who will take you and your loved ones to a number of countries that have people waiting to kill you if you look them in the eye. Actually, that is a little misleading. They will also kill you if you just happen to get in their line of fire. You don’t even have to offend them by being a foreigner. It’s nothing personal.
On the menu for your choice of travel destinations are Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somaliland and Sudan, North Korea and they are gearing up to add Sierra Leone, Liberia and other hotbeds of frolicking family fun to their list. The travel agency is teamed with a noted thrill-seeker, Robert Young Pelton, an author and explorer who runs a website called Comebackalive.com.
Yes. That is a real website.
They advertise that this type of vacation is not for sissies: "This is a trip for those who 'do,' not watch". Only Schwarzenegger/Stallone type manly-men need apply, I guess. Or G.I Janes? I confess that I fall into the ‘watch’ category myself. I like to watch someone bringing me a birthday cake. It means I made it another year.
And what is the cost of this dip into Dante’s Inferno? A pittance really, a paltry $8,000 to $19,000 CDN (excluding airfare and insurance, of course) for a trip lasting 11 to 22 days. A bargain if you feel your life is worth a lot more than that. I wonder if it is customary to tip the waiter in these places? What happens if you don’t?
Taliban Dan (your waiter): And here is your dessert Mr. Infidel, sir. Let me just pull the pin. Have a nice day.
I bet their gift stores are interesting as well: bullet-proof vests, Depends adult diapers, Living Will Kits and T-shirts that say "THERE IS NO 'I' IN FEAR!" and “teRRoR! The Only 3 R’s That Count!”. They may even sell pretty little gift boxes just the right size for your finger or toe should your potential kidnappers want a ransom.
And you know those large cartoon paintings of people where the face is cut out and you stand behind it and put your face in the hole? There could be an execution scene where there a group of decapitated heads are on spikes and you can get a picture of your face in one! And your wife could show just her eyes in the little rectangle cut out for her in the head of the grieving wife in the background! The possibilities are endless. If only this company had been around back in the 40’s! They could have offered Jewish people a trip to Nazi Germany. What an adventure that would have been!
What’s next? A Weight Loss Spa?
“Come! Where gut-wrenching spectacles of public hangings, beheading and stoning help you kill that appetite!”
I personally would never dream of booking such a trip, but I know a few people who would buy their ex-husbands or ex-wives a gift certificate.
PS- I realize this commentary could be seen as free advertising for this company. But honestly, do you really care if anyone dumb enough to use it ever comes back?