Day 247: Dwight Plight

Laetitia took her group to Council Grove, Kansas, a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The name comes from an agreement that was made between the Osage Nation and Americans of European descent to allow settler’s wagons to proceed through the area on their way west. Near Council Grove is Council Grove Lake, where Laetitia’s group spent a few hours bird watching. That afternoon, the group continued north to Dwight, where they were spending the evening. The gossip of the day (and the limerick) was about George, whose penchant for gallivanting with loose women got him in trouble at home.

His penchant for girls of the night
Led George to a very sad plight
His clothes graced the lawn
When he came home at dawn
Now he sleeps on a park bench in Dwight.

Day 246: Refused, Not Amused

Laetitia and her group headed north to Emporia and then west to the Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. The park preserves a tall-grass prairie ecosystem representative of what once covered about 400,000 square miles of North America. The group spent the day in the park hiking and viewing the bison herd and other wildlife before returning to Emporia in the evening.

After arrival in Emporia and a walkabout, Laetitia’s group decided that they all wanted to go to happy hour. They were staying in a downtown hotel, so they simply walked down the street to a rather plush-looking cocktail lounge. At the bar next to Laetitia was a young woman who introduced herself as Gloria. They were just beginning to talk about the tours Laetitia was leading when a drunk named Bradley started pawing Gloria and making suggestive remarks. Gloria told him she was “not amused,” and called the bartender, who had the bouncer escort Bradley out. Laetitia said, “Your ‘not amused’ remark sounded like Queen Victoria, who allegedly said that from time to time.”

Gloria answered, “Well, as it turns out, I am writing a historical novel about her. She has the reputation of being a crusty old prude, but she had nine children. Since she was the queen, it seems unlikely that she would have sex with Prince Albert when she didn’t want to. It didn’t help her reputation that she went around in mourning clothes for 20 years after Albert died, but she reigned for more than 60 years. My novel will focus on when she was young and in love, before Albert’s death turned her outlook on life sour. If you ever lead a tour that has anything to do with Albert and Victoria, please let me know.” Laetitia promised to do so. The bar incident had provided the limerick of the day.

At a plush downtown bar in Emporia
A rude pass made by Bradley to Gloria
Was not only refused
She was “not amused”
Like that crusty old monarch, Victoria.

Day 245: Climax, Then IMAX

Sitting in the comfortable stuffed chair of the Emerald Victorian library beside a steaming cup of coffee, Laetitia thought about what to do for the day’s tour. One of her thoughts was to bring her group to Climax—the one in Kansas that Bailey and Hurst missed when they wrote Rude World. What stimulated the thought was the brochure that had been sent to the Mind’s Eye Limerick Tours central office. Someone in the central office—wherever that was—had forwarded the brochure to Laetitia.

Though it is a town of just 60-odd people, Climax had a tourist bureau. True, it was an all-volunteer enterprise, run, at that moment, by a single local retiree named Clarence, but with modern technology, one person can accomplish a lot. The brochure consisted of a picture of Clarence, a paragraph about the town’s history, some pictures of the town’s more interesting buildings and features, directions for getting there, and a limerick. The content of the limerick suggested that the brochure was targeted at group tour planners who might otherwise bring their groups to cities like Kansas City or nearby Wichita for their IMAX theaters and other attractions and bypass tourist treasures like Climax. Laetitia decided that she didn’t need to lead a tour today. She already had a limerick to post even though it wasn’t hers.

When you lead your tours, here are facts
On a much bigger treat than IMAX
For when all’s said and done
They will have much more fun
If you first bring them all to Climax.