Bus man's holiday

Dear Valued Employee:

As you know, it is the ongoing mission of LYNX to create and maintain a world-class public-transportation system, one that any recent immigrant would be proud to take to his or her minimum-wage job. And as you are a hard-working member of our team, your input is crucial in making that seemingly lofty goal a reality.

Recently, our organization has taken some flak over our behavior at the American Public Transportation Association Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. We won't belabor the whole sordid business here, though we will allow ourselves a moment to state unequivocally that we as a company had no idea games of chance were legal in Nevada. Information received from a rogue, out-of-town transportation provider indicated Vegas is an outsized religious retreat frequented by disciples of the late Aimee Semple McPherson. As such, it seemed the perfect host site for a sober, serious-minded discussion of issues facing our industry today. (That's the last time we take advice from some smart-ass San Francisco trolley conductor, we can tell you.)

But that's all in the past. To make sure that no such PR gaffe will ever again befall our fine operation, we are soliciting your suggestions of a scandal-proof location for our next organizational meeting. Some ideas have already been volunteered and tendered, though most have been rejected for reasons enumerated here.

The Disney Magic -- One employee felt that a few days aboard the disease-ridden cruise ship would be a publicity windfall; a visible penance, if you will, for past misdeeds. While the logic of this argument cannot be faulted, the petitioner slightly overstated the amenities that would be available to our party aboard the vessel. With one quick call to Disney guest relations, we learned that the evening entertainment does not include the singing of "It's a Mild Infection After All," nor do on-board acrobats array themselves in a human pyramid referred to as the Tower of Tetanus. And no voyage on the Magic's itinerary is part of an ongoing anniversary celebration titled "100 Years of Diarrhea."

Branson, Mo. -- The pitch: It's Vegas without the risk. The squeaky-clean entertainment capital promises diversions aplenty, while reducing into nothingness the temptations to blow one's salary on Keno or consort with transgendered prostitutes (an aspect of our recent working vacation that thankfully remains undiscovered). The idea, however, proved a textbook case of too much too soon: Top brass ruled that the prospect of seeing Glen Campbell and Andy Williams share the same stage would induce severe culture shock in Orlando-bred visitors unaccustomed to such sophisticated amusements.

Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa -- Who could ask for a more comfortable hostelry? The Palace offers top restaurants, meeting facilities, lounges and personal-care services. The proposal seemed ideal, until one of our cafeteria workers pointed out that the resort is not serviced by any LYNX line. We don't need to give our detractors that kind of ammo.

Number 49 outbound -- The most creative suggestion received thus far is for all of us to pile onto one of our evening buses to Pine Hills, doing our business right there in the seats (so to speak). This proposition certainly sounds like a potential winner, recalling as it does the "party bus" concept that has proved so popular to rock-music fans and other fixtures of the mass-transit demographic. But a decision is on hold until we can nail down certain ambiguities, including correct departure times, on-board security measures (if any), reliability of shock absorbers and tendency of drivers toward narcoleptic fits. Let's call this one a work in progress.

We need your help, people! Submit your best ideas to your supervisor by the end of the week or before the next fare increase (whichever comes first). Together, we can find new and better ways to take Central Florida for a ride.

The Management


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