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1. Give a few instances of Bryson’s confused acts.
In a cinema theatre Bryson would always be
confused to locate the lavatory, he would end up in a wrong place. He very
often forget the room number of a hotel where he was staying and asked the
2. What were the contents of the bag?
The contents of the bag were:- newspaper
cuttings and other papers, a tin of pipe tobacco, passport, English currency
3. Describe the fluttery cascade of things tumbling from the bag.
A hundred carefully sorted documents came
running down in a fluttery cascade.
4. Why did the author’s concern over tobacco shift to his finger?
First the author thought of the tobacco and the
price he must pay to buy new tobacco. But suddenly he realized that his finger
was caught in the zip and blood was flowing out freely.
5. What happened to Bryson when he leaned to tie his shoelace?
When Bryson leaned to tie his shoelace, just at
that moment the person in the seat in front of him threw his seat back into
full recline. Bryson was pinned in the crash position.
6. How did Bryson free himself from the crash position?
When the seat ahead of Bryson was thrown back
fully, Bryson was caught in a crash position. He managed to catch hold of the
leg pf the man sitting near him and got himself free.
7. Give a brief account of the embarrassing situation of Bryson when he knocked down the drink.
Bryson’s worst accident was this: when he was
writing some important notes, he was sucking into his pen and at the same time
chatting with a young lady for 20 minutes with many jokes. Then he went to the
lavatory and discovered that his mouth, chin, tongue and teeth were in a
scrub-resistant navy-blue which would remain there for a few more days.
8. What was Bryson’s worst accident on a plane?
Bryson wished to avoid the following:
i. to rise from the dinner table with shaky movements(as if an earthquake had occurred)
ii. to close the door of the car with 14 inches of coat outside
iii. to sit on chewing gum, ice cream, cough syrup or motor oil and stain his trousers.
9. What did Bryson wish to avoid in his life?
Staying away from liquid mischief would cut down
on laundry bills.
10. How would staying away from liquid mischief benefit Bryson?
The ticket was in the name of B. Bryson and the
card was in the name of W. Bryson. So the clerk said that Bryson was not
entitled to flyer miles.
1. Why doesn’t Bryson seem to be able to do easily what others seem to? Give a few reasons.
Living in the real world was a big problem for
Bryson. He was not able to do what others did easily. He would forget the way
to the lavatory in a cinema or forget his room number in a lodge. The reason
is: “I am easily confused.”
2. What was the reaction of Bryson’s wife to his antics?
Bryson’s wife looked at his antics with an
expression of wonder she said: “I can’t believe you do this for a living”
3. Briefly describe the ‘accidents’ encountered on the flight by Bryson.
Once on a flight Bryson bent down to tie his shoelace. At the same time the person on the seat ahead threw his seat back into full recline and Bryson was caught in the crash position. Another time when he was writing some notes, has entered into conversation with a young lady. He was biting his pen at the time. Later he discovered that his mouth, chin, tongue, teeth and gums had become a striking scrub-resistant navy blue.
1. ‘To this day, I don’t know how I did it’ - What does ‘it’ refer to?
*(There is no such line in the prose!)
2. ‘… But, when it’s my own - well, I think hysterics are fully justified’ – How?
At the Logan Airport at Boston, Bryson tried to
open his bag. The zip was jammed. With great effort he managed to open it, but
the zip gave away. The side of the bag flew open and everything within -
newspaper cuttings and other papers, a tin of pipe tobacco, passport, English
currency, film - was ejected over an area about the size of a tennis court.
First he thought of the tobacco and the price he must pay to buy new tobacco.
But suddenly he realized that his finger was caught in the zip and blood was
flowing out freely. Now, Bryson says that he would never fight with anyone and
wound or kill anyone; he would not shed anybody’s blood. But when it was his
own blood, his mad action drew a lot of blood. He was unable to help himself.
He goes into a panic mood. That’s why, he says “1 think hysterics are fully
3. Bring out the pun in the title ‘The Accidental Tourist’ (one who happens to travel by accident or one who meets with accidents often on his or her trips!).
The Title “The Accidental Tourist” plays on the two meanings of the word “accident”.
i. The word “accident” means chance happening. “I met my classmate by accident.” “It was an accidental meeting.” “I met my teacher accidentally”. Here “The Accidental Tourist” means he travels by chance, an unexpected event.
ii. But that is not the meaning here. The tourist (Bryson, the author of the essay) meets with accidents while travelling by plane.
Some accidents are
· At the Logan Airport at Boston, Bryson tried to open his bag. The zip was jammed and finally gave away. He gashed his fingers on the zip and it started bleeding profusely.
· Another time Bryson got himself in a crash position when he leans to tie his shoelace on a flight.
4. Can a clumsy person train himself/ herself to overcome shortcomings? How could this be done?
Clumsy behaviour is sometimes the result of
absent mindedness. The person’s mind preoccupied with some other thought or
plan that he/she forgets to do a thing or does a wrong thing. Such a person is
often confused. A clumsy person can train himself to overcome shortcomings. He
should follow certain unwritten rules that dictate the way we behave in public
places. He must be always thinking about the present situation and his own
position and do anything carefully and correctly. He can note down what he has
to do in public in a notebook and follow them patiently. Relaxing
himself or having a sound sleep is also another factor to overcome his
5. As a fellow passenger of Bill Bryson on the flight, make a diary entry describing his clumsy behaviour during the trip and the inconveniences caused to others as a result of his nervousness.
I was travelling to Florida. On a plane I was
sitting next to Bryson on the seat. Suddenly Bryson bent down to tie his
shoelace. At the same time when the person sitting ahead threw his seat to full
recline. Bryson was caught in a crash position. He struggled to get free. He
caught hold of my leg and freed himself. But I lost balance and I was about to
slip off my seat. I became frustrated since I was sitting beside him. At the
end I shouted at him. Then he changed his place.The behaviour of Bryson caused
inconvenience to other passengers.
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