photo by Douglas B. Davis
It's always fun to visit sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor to see what tourists have been saying about us. Sometimes my name will even come up, as in this real review on Trip Advisor..
“Fun-packed tour” 5 of 5 stars
"Highly recommend this tour to see the sights of SF. Even better if you get Dave as your live tour guide - he provided a fun-packed commentary which had us laughing all the way round for 3 hours. The driver was also good. The 48hr ticket is great value for money and we learnt a lot about this fab city that we wouldn't have got from a guidebook." ~ Kateb901, Warwickshire
Thank you Kateb901 of Warwickshire! I'll have to visit Warwickshire someday, despite the scary name.
What I find interesting about these reviews is that we seldom see three-star reviews where someone found the tour to be "okay." They either give it four or five stars, or they hate it so much they give it one star and call it something like "The Tour From HELL." They usually exaggerate quite a bit and the only reason they give one star is because the system requires it. I'm sure if they were allowed to take away stars they would, and then they'd sharpen them and throw them back at us after first tying us to wild boars.
"THE TOUR FROM HELL!!!!!!" 1 of 5 stars, begrudgingly given
"This tour is HORRIBLE, don't do it!!!! The guides are mean and covered in donkey snot, plus they seem to know very little about San Francisco. The one we had talked endlessly about his favorite gum and then looked at my daughter funny. He was rude to my Aunt Mabel and she didn't even take the tour, she was back in Saginaw!!!
The driver was worse, because he wasn't even human, he was a demon spawned from the mouth of Hades so he was on-fire the whole time like Nicholas Cage in "Ghost Rider" except he wasn't battling bad guys as an ironic superhero. Instead he drove us backward over the Golden Gate Bridge while singing the theme song to "Gilligan's Island" but in a screechy, metallic voice reminiscent of Alice Cooper on meth. Also, he looked at my daughter funny.
Both the guide and driver spent the majority of the tour hustling us for tips and when we were back in our hotel room later that night they showed up in my dreams and continued hustling for tips, but now they looked like Steve Buscemi and were licking maple syrup off my boobs. The guide said if we didn't tip him he'd send Bruno and "Tiny" to Saginaw to break Aunt Mabel's thumbs.
This company says their buses always come around every fifteen minutes but we waited two and a half days in the pouring rain on a perfectly nice afternoon, while other tour companies passed us every seventeen seconds. Their tour guides all looked like either George Clooney or Scarlett Johansson, and they'd wave at us as they went by and quickly give us the history of The Palace of Fine Arts and it's contribution to San Francisco's economic and artistic development. Their buses are made of real gold and the Clooney/Johansson guides flung Ghirardelli Chocolates at us.
When we called the office of our tour company to complain about the donkey-snot guides and the driver being on fire, like, all the time, we found out the manager-in-charge only speaks in tongues and he couldn't give refunds because they'd already spent the money on a pizza for the upcoming employee party. The pizza has pineapple, anchovies and cocaine on it (yes, on the same pizza!) Then he looked at my daughter funny.
All in all I'd say don't take this tour! Also if you're walking through Union Square and one of their buses passes you, run as fast as you can back to your hotel and shower for a couple of hours, being sure to scrub real hard with Brillo pads and bleach. Then take a tour offered by any of the competing companies because their guides will rub your feet while singing you French Lullabies."
Generally speaking, people who post these reviews took the tour on busy days and either couldn't get a good seat, were spoken to tersely by an employee or a guide made a stupid joke. Sometimes all of those things may happen to a person, but really, we only have one driver who is the spawn of hell and the buses can't go in reverse clear across The Golden Gate Bridge because the transmissions would disintegrate. Also, the competition's buses are only gold-PLATED, not solid gold. Again, transmissions would disintegrate.
But it's still fun to read these for the entertainment value. That's what happens when you have a medium where any goofball can write anything and have it read by potentially hundreds if not thousands of people.
Currently this blog is read by ones, twos or possibly even fours of people, but this goofball will keep on writing anyway. Vive la Internet!