Do Not Think About Bog Bodies While Driving


Here is a guy who loves his job. See how happy he looks? Yes, his eyes are closed, but that’s only because I asked him to smile, and he couldn’t smile, take a picture of the damage I caused to the rental car, and keep his eyes open. A person can only multi-task so much, people.

Have you ever dinged (or destroyed) the rental car while on vacation? This was maybe the third or fourth time for me. It can really add a lot of stress to an otherwise cool adventure experiencing new cultures and meeting interesting people. In this scenario, I was in Holland driving in the countryside in search of bog bodies, and I was a little lost.

Anyone who’s ever been to Holland has probably seen the solid metal posts that seem to rise from the street, usually at a corner, forcing an unsuspecting driver to swing wide at the turn or crash. I have no idea of their purpose or even what they’re called. Maybe they’re for tying up small dogs while one browses inside the cheese shop. Whatever the rationale, they are apt to crush fenders, doors, and rocker panels if one happens to blink while rounding the corner. I had my mind on cadavers, and I blinked.

The dead bodies we went to see were located inside a church in a village called Wieuwerd, near a city named Sneek. It’s probably more accurate to say what we saw were mummies, not bog bodies, but bog bodies is so much more fun to say. Try it yourself at home. Bog bodies. See.

Anyway, the corpses. They were found in a crypt at the Hervormde church in 1765, and were almost perfectly preserved. They aren’t exactly sure why, but clearly the ambient surroundings (science nerds will know the answer here) played a part. Now I’m wondering what made me drop a few Euro to see dead bodies, and I was especially bummed when I crashed the rental car into one of those freaking guard posts, but how else could I have experienced the magic of the moment?

Like when we got back to the rental car return, and I was on the verge of a panic attack when the time came to fess up. Honestly, I thought of every possibility that wasn’t telling the truth: 1) Trying to fix it myself, as if out of the country auto bodywork is something I know how to do. 2) Saying someone ran into it. 3) Blaming it on a car wash somewhere.

I chose to take the path of least resistance and begged my traveling Buddy to deal with it while I stood outside with the suitcases, because I am an asshole like that. Turns out, it wasn’t that big a deal. My credit card insurance covered the repairs and I got a story out of it. Plus, I got to meet a cool guy named Felipe who loves his job, but can’t smile and keep his eyes open at the same time.

Has this or something like it happened to you on vacation? How did you handle it? Was the truth involved?

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