Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: Humans: Getting by with the tools at hand


Last updated 11/5/2021 at 10:50am

Sometimes it feels good to know that in a variety of odd little ways people are doing the best they can with whatever resources they have available.

A bus tour business in Hong Kong called ulu travel needed to ramp up income hit hard by lack of tourism. In response the company’s marketing and business development manager, Kenneth Kong capitalized on an idea from a social media post by a friend who said he was stressed out and couldn’t sleep at night, but he could always fall asleep on the bus — and sleep well.

An Oct. 21 article from The Associated Press says that ulu travel started a new 5-hour bus tour around Hong Kong. Though the double-decker bus stops at scenic spots for non-sleeping passengers to take selfies, the company is marketing the tour toward people who need to get some sleep.

The article says the Sleeping Bus Tour ticket includes an eye mask and ear plugs. The first tour sold out at $13 to $51 per ticket with some passengers bringing travel pillows, blankets and slippers.

Personally, I’d pay extra for a reclining seat for added comfort and a sound system that played that road-hum noise when the bus was stopped, to help ensure I wasn’t disturbed.

An Oct. 1 AP article says a man named Beyhan Mutlu in northwest Turkey joined a search party in the woods without realizing that he was the person they were looking for.

And that’s all yucks and chuckles for a classic situational comedy scene, but in fairness to Mutlu, there is a rest of the story.

Mutlu and a buddy, identified only as Mesut, got away from their troubles one evening by heading out of town into the forest to drink. At some point the two men got separated, with Mesut going home but Mutlu wandering off and promptly getting lost in the woods. He found an abandoned house, though, and slept part of the night sheltered there.

In the wee hours of the morning, Mutlu’s wife figured out her husband was missing and called the police. Rescue teams immediately started searching the forest for the missing man.

One search team was joined by a guy who wanted to help but who had obviously had too much to drink the night before, They pressed on with Drunk Guy in tow to their designated search area at which point they started hollering for Beyhan Mutlu.

Of course, at that point the stale-booze, Drunk Guy stepped forward and said, “Hey, I’m the lost guy, Beyhan Mutlu!” But the search party was all, “Shut up and keep looking, Drunk Guy. You’re not funny.” He kept insisting, but they were having none of his nonsense so Mutlu, who was now more lost in the forest than he had been before, shut up and trudged along with the search party, who might not be able to recognize their quarry but they did know how to find home.

So laugh all you want at Mutlu, but I think this was remarkably reasoned thinking for a guy negotiating a still-too-drunk-to call-this-a-hangover morning.

The article says Mutlu was with the search party for more than 30 minutes before his buddy Mesut joined them and identified Mutlu.

The search party was all, “What? Obnoxious Drunk Guy is our man? Uhhhh, yeah, sure. Um. Yay! We found him. Go, us!”


We also have a man in Christchurch, New Zealand, who absolutely did not lose himself even though he lost his job as the official city wizard.

New Zealand news website Stuff reported Oct. 9 that the city’s council is not renewing its contract with the man known by his driver’s license name The Wizard — whose alter ego is Ian Brackenburry Channell.

The Wizard said the council had decided to stop paying him, after 23 years on the job, because he didn’t “fit with the modern image of the city.”

Council Assistant Chief Executive Lynn McClelland said the final payment under the $16,000 annual contract with The Wizard “to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services — as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch” would be made in December.

“The council has met with The Wizard and sent him a letter thanking him for his services to Christchurch over the past decades, and informing him that we are bringing our formal contractual arrangement to a close,” she said, adding that it was a “difficult decision.”

The city’s promotional programs, McClelland said, will increasingly reflect the city’s “diverse communities and showcase a vibrant, diverse, modern city that is attractive to residents, domestic and international visitors, new businesses, and skilled migrant workers.”

As if a wizard, The Wizard, doesn’t count as a diverse member of society in a city named Christchurch.

But The Wizard has vowed to continue his regular appearances at the Christchurch’s Arts Centre, interacting with tourists and locals.

“It makes no difference. I will still keep going,” he said. “They will have to kill me to stop me.”


Ironically, an exhibition of his life and work at the Arts Centre in Christchurch is supported by a council grant at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40 .


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