The Touristsí Prayer


by Art Buchwald


Heavenly Father, look down on us, Your humble obedient tourist servants who
are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, mailing post cards,
buying souvenirs and walking around in drip-dry underwear.

We beseech You, oh Lord, to see that our plane is not hijacked, our luggage is
not lost and our overweight baggage goes unnoticed.  Protect us from surly and
unscrupulous taxi drivers, avaricious porters and unlicensed, English-speaking
guides.

Give us this day divine guidance in the selection of our hotels that we may
find our reservations honored, our rooms made up and hot water running from
the taps (if it is at all possible).

We pray that the telephones work and that the operators speak our tongue and
that there is no mail waiting from our children which would force us to cancel
the rest of our trip.

Lead us, Lord, to good, inexpensive restaurants where the food is superb, the
waiters friendly and the wine included in the price of the meal.

Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand.
Forgive us for under-tipping out of ignorance and over-tipping out of fear.

Grant us the strength to visit the museums, the cathedrals, the palaces and
the castles listed as "musts" in the guide books.  And if, perchance, we skip
an historic monument to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh
is weak.

(This part of the prayer is for husbands.)
Dear God, keep our wives from shopping sprees and protect them from "bargains"
they donít need or canít afford.  Lead them not into temptation for they know
not what they do.

(This part of the prayer is for wives.)
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing
them to us.  Save them from making fools of themselves in cafes and
nightclubs.  Above all, please do not forgive them their trespasses for they
know exactly what they do.

(Together.)
And when our voyage is over and we return to our loved ones, grant us the
favor of finding someone who will look at our home movies and listen to our
stories, so our lives as tourists will not have been in vain.  Amen.





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