Page No 60:
Bill Bryson says, “I am, in short, easily confused.” What examples has he given to justify this?
Bill Bryson claimed that he was easily confused. Many times he went looking for the lavatory in a cinema and ended up standing in an alley on the wrong side of a self-locking door. He said that his specialty was returning to hotel desks two or three times a day and asking what his room number was. That is why he said that he was easily confused.
What happens when the zip on his carry-on bag gives way?
When the zip on his carry-on bag gave way, the side of the bag flew open and everything within fell and scattered on the ground. These things included newspaper cuttings and other loose papers, a 14-ounce tin of pipe tobacco, magazines, passport, English money and film.
Why is his finger bleeding? What is his wife’s reaction?
His finger was bleeding as he had gashed his finger on the zip of the bag that he was trying to open. His wife looked at him with an expression of wonder and said that she could not believe that he did that for a living.
How does Bill Bryson end up in a “crash position” in the aircraft?
Once when he was travelling in an aeroplane, he leaned over to tie a shoelace at the same moment when someone in the seat ahead of him threw his seat back into full recline. That was when he found himself pinned helplessly in the ‘crash position’. He had to claw at the leg of the man sitting next to him in order to get himself freed.
Why are his teeth and gums navy blue?
Once in an aeroplane, Bill was writing important thoughts in a notebook. He was sucking thoughtfully on the end of his pen. Later when he retired to the lavatory, he discovered that his pen had leaked and that his mouth, chin, tongue, teeth and gums had become navy blue.
Bill Bryson “ached to be suave”. Is he successful in his mission? List his ‘unsuave’ ways.
No, Bill could never manage to be suave in his ways. He would rise from a dinner table without looking as if he had just experienced “an extremely localized seismic event”. He would get in a car and close the door leaving fourteen inches of coat outside. He would wear light-coloured trousers discovering at the end of the day that he had at various times sat on chewing gum, ice cream, cough syrup and motor oil. He tried to be suave, but it was not to be.
Why do you think Bill Bryson’s wife says to the children, “Take the lids off the food for Daddy”?
Bill Bryson’s wife asked the children to take the lids off the food for Bill because if Bill had tried to do that himself, then he might have taken it off in such a manner that the lid would be flying away to some part of the plane and the food might spill all over the place.
What is the significance of the title?
The title ‘The Accidental Tourist’ signifies the accidental nature of Bill Bryson who was a frequent flyer. He travelled a lot to all parts of the world. However, he always managed to cause some kind of an accident on the way in the aeroplane. Once he leaned over to tie his shoelace at the same moment when someone in the seat ahead of him threw his seat back into full recline. That was when he found himself pinned helplessly in the ‘crash position’. He had to claw at the leg of the man sitting next to him in order to get himself freed. On another occasion, he knocked a soft drink onto the lap of a lady sting beside him. The flight attendant cleaned her up and brought him a replacement drink. He knocked it onto the woman again, who of course was very angry and annoyed. On yet another occasion, his lips, gum, mouth, chin, tongue, and teeth were covered with navy blue ink as he had been chewing on the end of his pen that had leaked. He realized this quite late. Not only in the plane, but he was also prone to accidents otherwise. He always forgot his room number and went to the hotel desk again and again to enquire about it. He was so prone to accidents that when the food was delivered on planes, his wife asked their children to take the lids off the food for him. When travelling alone, he did not eat, drink or lean over to tie his shoelaces. Thus, he travelled a lot for his living and was accident-prone, hence justifying the title of the story.