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Viktor was seated in a crowded train headed for Budapest. He was one of the leading bee experts in Hungary and he was transporting a box of bees, which he had placed under his seat. He was enjoying the passing scenery and the cool breeze coming from the open window. As he was talking to the passenger seated next to him, he felt something crawling up his leg. Then he felt two and then three somethings crawling up his leg. As he pulled up his pant leg and looked down, he discovered that his bees had escaped from the box and were beginning to crawl up his legs.

Being a bee expert, he was not panicked, but he was afraid of the possible danger to his fellow passengers, so he calmly suggested that the other passengers leave the car while he recaptured the bees, which would involve a bit of disrobing as well. He was a modest man, as well.

After the other passengers cleared the car, Viktor began taking his pants off. Just as he had pulled them free of his legs, an express train passed, and the sudden draft from the open window blew his pants back into the corridor where they wrapped around the head of a conductor. A startled onlooker pulled the emergency brake. As the train lurched to a halt, somehow a fire started.

When other train officials rushed to the tragic scene they discovered Viktor, minus his pants. They assumed he must be an escaped mental patient, so they bundled him off to the nearest mental hospital, where it took Viktor 3 days to convince the doctors he was sane.

Viktor certainly had a bad day, and I am sure that several times that day, and the days following, he repeated the question, “why me?”


Source: Based on story in “Bizarre World” by Bill Bryson

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