Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Raucous Road Trip Challenge

During Spring Break I was one of the chaperones or sponsors (or whatever you want to call it) for three busloads of middle-school kids who built a clinic building from scratch in a little town across the border from Arizona.

Coming home everybody was exhausted. People were sort of testy, and also there was that depression that sets in when a project comes to an end and kids who have had a week of semi-freedom realize they're on the way back to mama. It was the typical bus scene: Some guys talking, some busy with their phones, some keeping to themselves. There was even a little arguing and squabbling. A few guys were sound asleep.

In the midst of the general background noise a boy yelled out, "Look at that sign!"

We were literally in the middle of nowhere, nothing but desert hills on all sides. What the boy saw was a large billboard alongside the highway.

Everybody looked. Some saw what it said and others missed it. Some of the guys caught the hidden meaning right away and started laughing in an innocently smutty way. Then there were those whose minds didn't immediately pull them in that direction. They looked kind of blank.
The ones who "got" the joke looked at each other with a sort of "Hmmm!" expression on their faces. Conversation sprang up, laughter began, and soon the guys were going nuts, acting silly, razzing each other and making pointed remarks. Even the youngest, most immature little dudes soon got into the slight naughtiness of the moment..

The trigger for all of this was a Wienerschnitzel billboard displaying the statement, "World's Most Wanted Wiener."

For the next hour or more, our load of twelve- and thirteen-year-olds were announcing 
"I have the world's most wanted wiener." Or they were asking other boys,
 "Do YOU have the world's most wanted wiener?" And even, 
 "Who wants to see the world's most wanted wiener?"
 One kid was scribbling on a pad, and I can only guess what the art form might have been.

 They threatened (good naturedly) to strip other guys in their zealous search of the world's most wanted wiener. One boy yelled, 
"Nominations!..... Let's get 'em out and vote on Who's got the most wanted wiener!"
That resulted with even more explosive laughter throughout the bus. Everybody was so worn out that this unexpected entertainment just sent them into a level of hilarious catharsis. "The world's most wanted wiener" brought everybody back to life.

And me? I kept quiet, secretly enjoying the double entendre. Sensibly, I determined you just don't mess with a mass movement like a busload of middle-school boys trash-talking about the world's most wanted wiener!


  1. Makes me wonder if any of the boys gave those around them a quick little peek at what THEY felt might be the world's most wanted wiener. (I know how animated and filled with laughter a group of boys that age can get over something as 'suggestive' as that.)

    1. Your imagination has accented something the author never described to have happened. Please be mindful of what you say here too. it is a priveledge to share our stories here. This comment was delicately close to being dropped, and not printed.

  2. Well I hope I won't get called out like that. What I want to say, that was probably a bus load of very "good" boys (after all, paying their own way on a humanitarian trip like that). But boys will be boys, and it was so normal and so typical that the underlying meaning of "wiener" just cracked them all up. Nice story.

  3. i can relate to a bus load of middle age school boys on a school trip. I use to drive a school bus for many years. every time i had a bus load of middle age school kids there never was a dull moment on the bus. When they were screaming or shouting and laughing, I just sat up in the drivers seat and smile. I always looked forward to driving for the middle school children to a sport event or other events. Every time it was always different with each event. thank you for sharing your great experience.

  4. Oh, I can just see it, the whole busload of them using the word "wiener" and knowing full well they don't mean hot dogs! There would also be a little education going on, as those who are still innocent either suddenly realize for themselves the secondary meaning of the word, or receive a whispered sentence of explanation from a helpful bud... How their eyes would suddenly widen, or a mischieveous smile would play on their lips as the truth dawns! A delightful little tale.