The F-Bomb Heard Around the World (Heritage Site)

Travel Cartoon of Petra

Allow me to set the scene for you:

“Petra by Night” is a thrice weekly event with performances by Bedouin musicians and storytellers held at the iconic Treasury in southern Jordan.  Brown paper sacks with candles placed inside are used to illuminate the ancient ruins and create a stage area for the performers.

As Kristi and I hiked through the candle-lit canyon on the way to Petra, we lingered towards the back of the large group in order to have moments of peace by ourselves. As a result, we were the last to arrive. Mats were spread out around a rectangular stage area for spectators to sit on. When we arrived, all the mats were occupied, so they had us sit on the steps of the great building. We were essentially on display for everyone to see.

The below photo will give you an idea of what the event looks like, except that on the night of our visit there were a lot more people and the crowd extended around all three sides of the candles. (photo courtesy of Colby Brown)

0aPhoto

As you can see, we were perched above the crowd, on display for everyone.

Petra Travel Cartoon

As we watched the gorgeous ceremony, I set up my flimsy travel tripod and took some photos. The tripod I was using magically telescoped from the size of a pencil to about 4-feet tall. It was super light-weight and functional, but it was about as sturdy as a newborn giraffe.

1Petra-JPG

After performances by the musicians and storytellers, the emcee of the event then called for a two-minute moment of silence.

I was getting hot so I decided to take off my rain jacket.

2Petra-JPG

I was slightly sweaty and my jacket clung to my skin.

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I struggled to free myself from the jacket, but instead I became further entangled. The nylon jacket made ungodly noises in the quietness and drew the stares of many people.

Kristi glared at me disapprovingly.

3.1PetraJPG

In the deep silence, the jacket sounded like a loose tarp on a semi-truck flapping in the wind on a highway.

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In my epic struggle with my rain jacket…

Travel Cartoon Petra

my foot slipped and accidentally bumped the camera…

4.2Petra-JPG

which tumbled forward and scored a direct hit on one of the candle-sacks.

Travel Fail Cartoon

It extinguished the flame and sent up a plume of smoke.

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And made a loud “BOOSH’ noise, which drew the stares of hundreds of people.

Travel Fail Cartoon Petra

What happened next was nothing short of mortifying. Without thinking, I SHOUTED (spontaneously and appropriately I might add),

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Travel Cartoon Fail

My F-Bomb boomed throughout the crowd and echoed in the narrow canyon.

Travel Cartoon Fail

It wafted out and into the ears of nearby Bedouin shepherds…

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to the crowded streets of Cairo…

Travel Cartoon Cairo

through Al-Queda terrorist camps…

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and throughout the Middle East.

Travel Cartoon Middle East

I felt the warm tingle of adrenaline course through my veins and felt the weighty stares of hundreds of people upon me.

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Then, spontaneously and in unison with Kristi, I began to giggle uncontrollably. There was nothing else to do at that point.

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Luckily, my camera was unharmed.  But, to this day, I still have red sand in my camera that shows up on low-light photos and I am sure that there are people all around the world that still talk of the time that a guy dropped an F-Bomb during the moment of silence at Petra by Night.

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41 Comments on “The F-Bomb Heard Around the World (Heritage Site)

  1. Oh my gosh! I am laughing out loud as I sit at the Sonic. People are looking at me strangely (my window was still down from ordering!). My tears of laughter are threatening to become uncontrollable! Only you my son could make that sound like an experience worth having!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. I love all the above comments .. and agree with them. I’m hoping they remember you .. not what you said. Really enjoy your writing, pictures and graphs.

    • I think Petra is still my favorite ancient site in the world. It was like hiking in Utah with 2000-year-old ruins scattered about. A truly unique place I thought.

  3. Totally hilarious!! I am dying to go to Petra and loved your (one) photo … but really REALLY liked your funny illustrations. My own F-bomb story came in the middle of a Denny’s restaurant on a Sunday morning before CHURCH (when it was packed with senior citizens, of course) with my then 2-year old daughter who for some reason, watching the table next to us get served their waffles, yelled, “Hey… where are my F***ing pancakes?” I don’t swear and I had no idea she even knew the word, but boy howdy, did we get the horrified stares. I tried to punt — saying loudly, “Oh you’ll get your BUCKWHEAT pancakes, honey!” — but nobody was buying that. At least we were in America, though! You WIN!

    • I think you might win there. That is awesome! Where are my _____pancakes!

      Petra is pretty amazing. It is like hiking in southern Utah with 2000 year old ruins all around. Incredible. Thanks for reading and I’m glad you were entertained.

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  8. You are hilarious and quite the story teller. You had me laughing out so loud that my 3 year old son was like, “What’s so funny, Daddy?” The comic illustrations are priceless! Thanks for that well described and well illustrated story. Definitely following your blog now.

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  13. You crack me up! I can’t believe that you actually draw all these pictures in Paint–that’s a lot of work. I don’t know if you have ever tried it, but you should give the Drawing App in Google Docs a try. The polyline and curve lines as well as the ability to copy/pate objects, reposition/resize items and edit anchor points are going to rock your world. I highly recommend it. Please let me know if you ever give it a try!

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  15. I’m late to the party, but I’m so glad I found this post. Whenever I read or see anything on Petra I’ll think of you.

  16. If I were on the scene, I would have become one of those people who would tell everyone about the story of ‘that guy who dropped the F-bomb at a supposedly magical place’. But then you seem like a good guy, so if I do find myself in similar situation, maybe I’ll just think ‘oh what a poor guy!’ instead of judging. 🙂

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