Tour Guiding II: Cocktail Party Lifestyle

This is a series detailing my life as a tour guide in America’s most historic city. I say most historic, but I really mean most historic in all the same things that Boston claims that it’s most historic. Who is right?

I don’t know, but they are hashing out a law to make telling historical untruths to be a crime. I am not making this up. So all the things about freedom for all are going to have to be shit canned seeing as some of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. Not that I am bringing this up to slander them, it’s common knowledge so mentioning it is as controversial as saying that water is wet. Hell, our whole tour is basically a feel good sermon on America so I am guessing that “they” will have to re-vet the entire show.

“They” refers to our historic expert who gave us a page of information, to tell tourists that I have heard, is also inaccurate. Hell, the tour guide test is also wrong, the one they want licensed tour guides to pass. It says that Betsy Ross was a seamstress, but she was not, she was an upholsterer. It’s like saying the guy who washes the scrubs at the hospital is a surgeon because they wear the same clothing. Not a big deal in polite conversation, but no offense, but I don’t want scrub washing guy cutting into my brain. I don’t want the other guy cutting there anyway. I don’t want my brain cut at all.

I need my whole brain to be able to memorize the three page script that I was given when I started my job. I took the script home and spent every waking moment for a week memorizing it. When walking, when cooking, everywhere I recited the mantra of the history of Philly. So many people were looking at me on the street while I practiced. I felt bad about that. They should have been paying me for this, but they were getting it for free lucky bastards.

Finally, when it was time to do my first show, they made me a crossing guard. I didn’t have to speak at all. I wasted a week I could have been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer or learning Chinese radicals or making up angry speeches to tell off the administration when I get invited on the evening news sometime.

Also, the actual tour guides, the so called, “front” leaders, also didn’t know speak the script. They kind of made things up as they went along. Some of them knew speeches from other tour guiding jobs.

I wasn’t upset to learn this, though. I was proud of myself for learning the speech verbatim. Also, when I did get chosen for the prestigious position of front leader, the pressure was off because I didn’t have to really remember the whole thing word for word.

Overall, I can’t complain about this job. Tour guiding is fun and very relaxing. I feel like I’m at a cocktail party without the cocktails (usually) but I’m getting paid for it. So actually it’s better than a cocktail party seeing as most cocktail parties also have no cocktails. They are full of people who I don’t know who are trying to size me up for what I don’t know. I have conversations about stuff I don’t care about with people who will never speak to me again.

Come to think of it being a tour guide is more like what a cocktail party is supposed to be like.


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