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Introducing: Surrogate Vacation Man

■ 21 August 2012 by James Martin

I have a great idea I want to share with you. It will make me rich.

I’ve figured out that I’ve been approaching the idea of a guy who vacations for a living from the wrong perspective. You see, I thought I could wander around Italy, find little gems, tell you about them, and, with the addition of some advertisements on the site, get compensated for my work so I could do more of it. But this approach doesn’t function as well as you might think. You see, Google, who bestows you with its clicks, the only clicks in a quantity that matter on the web, doesn’t bestow so many clicks to places that not everyone goes to already. So if you don’t know Sassoferrato, you don’t search for it. I get no hits. Then, I starve. Or, I have to write 213 more articles that are lists of “the ten best free things to do in Rome”. Ick.

So here’s the new scheme. I vacation for you. I’ll be your surrogate slave. For a fee, of course. When you think about it, non-experiential travel is the way to go! Just think, no jet lag, no cover charges, no exchanging money, no expensive passports, no bidets…the list is almost endless.

You see, Americans don’t really have enough vacation days to do Europe right, much less Italy. Besides, they’re working harder than ever to support their new and improved gods, the rich. I don’t know where they signed up for this, but there you have it.

So, just pay me a little (less then you’d pay for a “real” vacation) and we’re set to go. I’ll send unique, custom picture postcards from anywhere you want, anywhere you told your loved ones and your enemies you’ll be traveling to. Since I’ll already be in Europe (and I have lots of pictures everywhere), you don’t have to pay those silly and exorbitant airfares. We both win. Your Aunt Dearybottom will rejoice that you’ve been on “the tour” and might inquire about your steamer trunk, but otherwise you’re covered.

So, I’ll hit you with some of the big benefits, the ones you’ve probably not thought about.

Make Them Think You Are Visiting Places you Never Wanted to See

Let’s say your mother, coworkers, and the check-out babe at the supermarket are always blathering on and on about how you should go to Florence and stand in front of Michelangelo’s Davide and be moved deeply, just like everyone they know. You know this hunk of marble is just another bit of salacious art done by someone who didn’t follow God’s carefully rendered sex advice, so you never, ever, want to see such a thing lest it turn your mind to mush. Still, you don’t want to hurt their feelings, expecially the check-out babe’s. Well, I have the answer for your: just pretend you are on vacation! I will send them all pictures of people weeping in front of statues of their choice as if taken by you as you weep for conformity’s sake, too! For a few extra bucks I’ll enlarge David’s “equipment” via PhotoShop for the check-out babe, just so she gets the hint.

Exactly match your preconceived ideas with “proof” of their existance in Europe

Say you’ve never been to Italy and have absolutely no experience whatsoever on Italian roads but you can’t help telling all your coworkers idiotic things like “them drivers in Italy are crazy!” It’s not like you need evidence when you say things about Italian drivers, everybody knows that! The problem is, maybe they believe you and maybe not. It’s hard to tell, isn’t it? Bump up their perception of your worldly charm and wit by having each of them receive a post card picturing a humongus autostrada crash! Everybody likes that kind of picture (as long as they’re not in it of course).

Or, if you just can’t stomach health care for all and happen to work in an office stuffed with slimy liberals, I’ll pose a picture of sick people stacked like cordwood in front of an Italian hospital and send it to each of your friends in a postcard! Even if the hand-chosen “sick” people demand money for posing in such a rediculous picture, I’ll stand with your preconceived ideas under (darned near all) circumstances! As in politics and television advertising, truth need not be a part of our contract! I promise not to mention that Italians live 2 years longer than Americans. It can be our little secret.

See Your Inability to Plan a Vacation Become an Asset!

Maybe you’ve tried planning a European vacation and have proudly put your itinerary on the web for comment. Perhaps people have laughed so hard their keyboards have shorted out because of the salty and mucusy outpourings, all because you think you can “do” 12 countries in 14 days. Well, I’m here to help! I will send them a postcard each day depicting a new country! Heck, send me more money and I’ll do it twice a day! That should shut them up! (Bad for the keyboard industry, but the chances of you working in that industry are pretty slim I figure.)

And Finally, You Don’t Have to Eat the Stupid Food!

If you love the idea of Italy but are afraid you’ll show up to a street festival in which some swarthy dude with his right index finger missing will stick a fork in a boiling pot and bring up something you taste and find marvelously flavorful and uber-delicious until he informs you that you’ve consumed the better part of a pig’s ear. No need to barf over the idea of food you arbitrarily hate; I can eat for you and send picture postcards of the food to your friends. I’ll only eat “normal” food. Promise.

My work is guaranteed to please, of course, how could it not?


So, Wadda ya think? Am I on the right track?

Introducing: Surrogate Vacation Man originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com Aug 21, 2012, © James Martin.

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