Your Most Insane Travel Stories

Illustration for article titled Your Most Insane Travel Stories

Welcome to Pissing Contest, a weekly story sharing circle for the the ass-draggiest time of the afternoon on the ass-draggiest time of the last day between you and the weekend. Every week, we'll provide a prompt, you'll share stories, and we'll pick a winner that's featured in the next week's post. It's like a pyramid scheme of outdoing each other!


Labor Day weekend not only marks the unofficial end of white leisure suit season, it's also one of the biggest travel days of the year. And since a lot of us are going to be on the road, or in the sky, or on a train, or sailing the open seas on a rowdy ship of pirates, this week's Pissing Contest is about the times that travel plans went awry.

So were you detained by authorities in Thailand because you didn't realize that the decorative pipe you bought contained drugs? Did you have to exit a plane with one of those emergency slides? Did you catch a disease that made you hallucinate beautiful colors and patterns and also poop everything you'd ever eaten? Did you literally get eaten by a lion? Now would be the time to share.

But first! Winners of the last Pissing Contest, which occurred two weeks ago because last week I was busy driving up the coast of California in a red convertible and realizing, too late, that the Pacific Coast Highway is much much much longer than I thought it was. Live/learn.

I've got to tip my hat to living treasure-person Adultosaur's tale of jumping up and down with glee over the birth of a puppy. Also a round of applause to ex-Disney employee Rapunzel Fitzherbert's story (please write an entire book about this ASAP). But the winner is onthepigeonfarm, with a story that is literally a shitshow.

This story comes, as do most of my better ones, from my time working at Space Camp. I was working an adult weeklong camp during the off season and it came to the time of week when the campers participated in their extended mission which was eight hours long. I was working the SpaceHab area which is the self contained science/sleeping module that's carried in the cargo bay of the orbiter, basically helping the mission specialists with their science experiments.

A couple of hours into the mission I began to smell something funky and ripe, almost rotten garbage-y. I couldn't quite figure out what it was, but the aroma persisted for the rest of the mission, probably another six hours or so and was making me quite nauseous. It was a ton of fun working the adult camps, especially if you worked the night missions, which this one had been, because we'd often go out drinking at the Marriot hotel bar next door to camp afterwards.

We wrapped up and all the campers and counselors decided to go boozing. Most of us were just heading straight over to have a few because we had to be up early the next day. Working off season teams often meant pulling doubles because we were understaffed that time of year. Well, one dude who had been in SpaceHab with me said he needed to go shower and change.

Turns out this guy was one of our extreme space geeks who wanted to go full on authentic for his camp experience. Dude admitted he had worn an adult diaper that he had packed in his luggage specifically for this purpose because that's what real astronauts did. He had straight up pissed and shit himself. On purpose. And wore the diaper for at least 6 hours afterwards. I could have died. WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Not to mention, dude totally got it wrong! The astronauts remaining in the orbiter have access to the space toilet! It's the mission specialists on Extravehicular Activities who are suited up who wear the friggin' diapers. Just unreal and totally icky. Guy was a camp legend for quite some time afterwards.

Everyone knows you never go full astronaut. Never.

Blessings to you for introducing us to the phrase "full astronaut." And blessings to all of you in your travels.

Image via screengrab



By the time I was 6, I had two little sisters. We went on our first family vacation that year, and (now that I know what kind of hell it is to share a hotel room with children) my parents weren't exactly relaxing. By the end of the trip, their plan was to load up the car while we were all still asleep (when you're bouncing on hotel beds til midnight you sleep late), and then just dump us in the car in our PJs and feed us in the car as we woke up. They. Were. Done.

One problem. They loaded up our stuff. They got my sisters in the car. They drove away after checking out. I woke up an hour AN HOUR later, cozy in the white hotel sheets of the Ramada Inn. The maid woke me, to be exact, singing Afternoon Delight while cleaning the bathroom. Her name was Florence. She screamed when she saw me pop up out of the covers, and I screamed too. Once we calmed down (and I apologized for peeing the sheets in fear), she called down to the manager, who came up with a t-shirt to change me into and breakfast. Chocolate milk and chocolate chip pancakes. At that point, I had control of the TV, the best breakfast ever and no intentions of ever leaving this hotel. This was the age before cell phones, so we pretty much had to wait around for my parents to realize I wasn't in the car and come back, all panicked. While I'm enjoying VIP status, my parents realize their oldest child - the one they've known the longest and should miss the most - hasn't asked for breakfast. Then they realized I hadn't asked because I wasn't in the car. They pulled over and called the Ramada from a pay phone, and were assured they had me, and would they please come get me because I kept calling down for chocolate milk every five minutes.

They arrive, and I'm eating a BLT and watching soap operas. The manager says, "your parents are here," and I refuse to open the door. It took another hour and a to go small cheese pizza to convince me to leave the best place ever. Best part, my parents couldn't punish me for my bratty behavior because THEY LEFT ME IN A HOTEL.