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Stupid Questions to Never Ask a Tour Guide

Updated on May 23, 2014

Female tour guide explains an artifact to visitors


Tour guide explaining beer-making in a brewery

Dedicated to a tour guide named, Robin

Tour guides have it tough. Have you ever personally ever dreamed of leading hordes (depending on the popularity of the tourist attraction) of people you will never see again on a tour that you could do in your sleep? And maybe you have at some blurred stretch of time.

I have been on many tours across the span of my life. Silver Springs, Fla., Ruby Falls, underneath Look Out Mountain, Chattanooga, Tn., and Mud Island, Memphis, to name a few. And how could I, a sensible ex-tourist ever forget the multi-tours I took of Shiloh Battleground in Hardin County, Tn.

Out of my lost respect for Elvis Presley, my brother-in-law, Tim Winsett, (his real name), and I toured Elvis’ birthplace, a shotgun-style house in Tupelo, Ms., His birthplace, to me, was more in the vein of a chicken coop it being so small. But I never heard “The King” use any disparaging remarks about the placed where he entered the world.

One tour will always stand-out in my memories. And I am repeating here, but it was the tour my wife, Pam, (who would kill me for publishing her name here), and daughter Angie (see verbiage next to Pam’s name), age eight, when we toured Silver Springs, Fla., What a scorcher of a day that was. Sweat was everywhere and on everyone including the fake alligator that welcomes you to the tour. And if you can convince a family member (who doesn’t get out much) that the gator isn’t real, they can snap your picture sitting on this iconic statue.

We had never rode in a glass-bottom boat. Never even heard of one. But on this certain scorcher of a day in summer, we faced a glass-bottom boat and a pretty college freshman named Robin (her real name and I forgot he last name. I drank a lot in those days).

Early-on, I could sense that Robin’s mind was elsewhere. How can a man who (used to) love cold beer on vacation sense such sensitive things about another person? It was easy, man. She was staring out in space and quoting her tour monologue from memory. I was severely-impressed and this is not tongue-in-cheek either.

Robin was cute in her stylish, but outdated sailor suit consisting of the color green. I am no fashion guru, but isn’t blue the Navy’s brand of color? We’ll do that one another time. She even had white stripes around the hem of her semi-mini-skirt, sleeves, and collar of her top. But her pigtails really got to me along with my heart breaking for her as she stood up giving us trivial-facts about fish growing to be nine-foot long in the lake we were covering with the glass-bottom boat.

Robin’s sad face summed it up pretty good. She must have had a disturbing phone call from her jerk boyfriend prior to our tour, for I could see the trails of her tears. But by Ned, she did the tour like a trooper. And thanked us all for coming, like all tour guides are trained to do.

I just had to ask, “is this what you are going to do with your life,” before I stepped off the boat back into the hot, white sand.

“No, sir,” she said. “I am doing this in the summer and going to The University of Florida in the fall to major in Animal Husbandry.” Then I almost cried at her wonderful attitude.

And it was there, at Silver Springs, Fla., I think in 1986, I became a fan with a deep-sense of respect for tour guides everywhere.

Tour guides are found world-wide

A tour guide demonstrates to this youngster how law-breakers used to be punished


Please, everyone on this hub tour, pay attention

I wonder where Robin is today, Friday, May 23, 2014?

But with that being said. Please forgive me for going on and on about Robin and our tour, but I wanted to give you the “full” glass of facts, and not just a sip here and there.

My title today is: “Stupid Things to Not Ask a Tour Guide,” and for good reason. At the end of our tour with Robin, she, like most tour guides, asked that always-interesting question,” Are there any questions?” And from the back of our small group came a middle-aged man’s voice, “Uhh, miss, is the water in this lake real water?”

Stunned, Robin fielded this excessively-stupid question, “Yes, sir. Courtesy of Mother Nature,” and moved quickly to the next question.

So now, I want to share with you, “Stupid Things to Not Ask a Tour Guide,”:

  • Do you like to get naked and do tequila shots in weird places?
  • Will I get killed if I jump off of this 500-foot wall?
  • What does this sign mean: “Do Not Touch: High Voltage”?
  • Will you sign my Bret Michaels tee-shirt that I am wearing?
  • Do you still live at home?
  • Has anyone ever told you that you look like Barbara Walters?
  • My wife, “Zelmer,” and little “Fudd,” our little boy, are from “Rooster Neck, Arkansas—have you ever been to our part of these here 48 states?”
  • You want to hear my grizzly-bear impression? It sounded good a ways back there in that cave.
  • Can we drink beer on this tour?
  • Will you tell my girlfriend here that you and I aren’t seeing each other?
  • Do you have an attraction for loggers?
  • Did you know that this makes my 400th tour? Yep. Pretty much all I do.
  • Miss, I got me some cotton candy on my lips, would you lick it off for me?
  • You don’t allow illegal drugs on this tour?
  • Can I drive this little bus we are on? I got my license back just last week.
  • Miss, do you care if I hang my head out like a dog and yell at people?

Dear Robin,

Other Hubs You Might Find Interesting:

  • "The Benefits of Roughing it"
  • "How to Screw-up Any Camping Trip"
  • "Hope to Cope With The Addictive-Borrower"
  • "Beware of These Tourist Traps"
  • "Signs That a Motel is Bad"

I hope that my now, you have put your education you received from The University of Florida to good use and are running your own pubic relations firm or even a successful law firm.

But if you chose to use your education to buy and operate a hot tourist attraction where we met, I pray to God that you do not get any tourists who even dare any any of the questions above.



A tour guide talks about this spectacular building



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    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago


      You are so kind. Thank you for the suggestion and comments. I value both so much.

      Here is wishing you a peaceful day.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      Thanks for this story about Robin and the questions. I am sure there are many Robins around there and many additional stupid question to as as well. Plenty of material to refresh this hub and maybe even to expand it to full length novel?

      Thumbs up!

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      Nikki, dear Nikki,

      This is purely tongue-in-cheek and I think you knew that. What the premise for this hub was seeing myself in the role of a "Doofus" who keeps tormenting a certain tour guide and finally I get thrown out.

      There is just something about laughing at myself that I enjoy.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago

      Nikki, dear Nikki,

      This is purely tongue-in-cheek and I think you knew that. What the premise for this hub was seeing myself in the role of a "Doofus" who keeps tormenting a certain tour guide and finally I get thrown out.

      There is just something about laughing at myself that I enjoy.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 3 years ago from Louisiana

      Thanks. I don't think I'll be asking anyone those questions ever lol

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great hub! You are right, tour guides don't always have an easy job. I always wonder how some of them feel to walk around a museum or any other place with a giant bright flower or any other curious big object so we can find them easily :-)