Gadling take FIVE: Week of Dec. 6-12

Humor is a great travel tool, particularly if you’ve had a bit of bad luck like I did when I was pickpocketed this week in Copenhagen–or if the tide is high and the streets have flooded, such as what has happened in Venice. In Venice’s situation, as Jeffery points out, there’s hope in boots.

Or, perhaps that travel companion you thought you were in love with has turned out to be a bust. Brenda has a few tips to prevent that from happening. But just in case you are stuck with Ms. or Mr. Dreadful, a laugh can help.

Whether you’ve had some bad luck, or you just want a reason to smile, here are some of the stories this week that have a humorous edge.

  • Scott’s post on learning British accents in 7 minutes may help you speak like a Brit, or not. The guy in the video does present various sayings you may not have considered before.
  • Aaron’s post on Steven Colbert’s chat with TSA critic Jeffrey Goldberg provides a humorous look at how airplane security is currently a waste of time.
  • Although air rage is not a funny matter, particularly when it’s happening to you, the behaviors Abha describes in her post on what happens when people do get surly on board have a certain chuckle factor. Plus, reading about how badly other people have behaved makes me feel better about my own tense moments. At least I’m not that bad.
  • The picture alone in Mike’s post on the Babykeeper Basic made me smile. When I read his description of how the contraption also keeps a child from absconding with belongings while you pee, I laughed.
  • Then there’s Annie’s post with the video of a slowed down version of an in-flight safety video. Smoooooookinggggg is noooooooottt allooooowed. Clever.

Here’s hoping there’s fun in your life this weekend.

Cell phone down toilet. It happens. A lot

This was a stay-in-the-car-until-the-last-line-was-finished type story. I was listening to “All Things Considered” on the radio on my way home. The theme was cell phones dropping down toilets and what people will do to get them back.

Several phones that made the big splash were dropped in a toilet while the owner was in transit. Airplane toilets, train toilets, bathroom stalls, port-a-pots. . .name a toilet-type and it’s a guarantee that a cell phone has landed in one.

One story involved a train in France. The owner went after the phone when it dropped down the train’s toilet. Instead of retrieving the phone, his arm became stuck. To get him out, the whole toilet had to be removed from the train at a later stop.

Another guy dropped his phone in an airplane toilet and was able to get it back. Unfortunately, even though he cleaned it, dried it off and then washed, and washed and washed his hands, there was a slight problem when he showed up at his business meeting. You see, after the plane landed, he made a phone call and unwittingly deposited a blue streak across his face. He found out about the streak when someone at the meeting asked about it.

One story that brings to mind Mike’s post about the Babykeeper Basic that hangs a baby from a wall of a door stall is the one about the woman who lost her phone while she was changing her baby in a port-o-pot. She could see the phone, but there wasn’t any way she was going to go after it.

Here’s the link to text of the NPR story. Along with being entertaining, it’s informative. Cell phones down toilets are considered to be acts of negligence by insurance companies. I call it bum luck. I’ve never had a cell phone land in a toilet, but I still have a vivid image of my car keys catapulting out of my hands on their own volition.

Babykeeper Basic hangs your baby close while you pee

I thought writing product reviews couldn’t get any better than Skymall Monday. But then a product comes along that is so patently amazing that it takes my breath away. I stare at my computer screen, mouth agape, and wonder how I ever lived before experiencing such wonderment. I can only imagine that this is how one would feel upon encountering a unicorn in a meadow filled with daisies and trees that fruit lollipops. Ladies and gentleman, I am pleased to introduce you to The Babykeeper Basic.

Traveling with kids is hard. Or at least that’s what people tell me. I’m single and childless (as far as I know), so I just throw some underpants and toothpaste into a bag and off I go to my next exotic destination. But I imagine that when you travel with kids, you can get a tad flustered. You have your luggage, the kids’ luggage, diaper bags, purses, stuffed animals and other nonsense to carry. That’s a lot to handle. And, at some point, you’re going to have to use the bathroom.

Well, you can’t just ask some stranger, or worse, your spouse, to hold your child while you urinate (or defecate, your choice). That’s where The Babykeeper Basic comes in. Simply select the lavatory of your choosing, place the hooks over the stall divider and overcome the stage fright that you will inevitably encounter as your child stares at you judgmentally while you try to relax and let the river flow. Nope, nothing to see here. Just a baby hanging precariously from the wall of a bathroom stall while you empty your bladder and/or bowels.

Look, I’m not saying that you should just put your kid on the bathroom floor while you do your business. That’s foolish. Your child could then easily abscond with your luggage while your pants are at your ankles. What I am saying is that hanging your child from the bathroom stall in some medieval harness might not win you Parent of the Year at your church’s next family fun day.

For our readers in Japan, I have great news. You can save $25 and just use the amazing public restrooms in your forward-thinking country. They have the baby seat built right in.

[Via Buzzfeed]