Karen and I like to take a tour or two when we move to a new city to learn some of the history and be able to point out major landmarks to our visitors. Sunday ((8-13-17) was overcast and iffy for most outdoor adventures so we opted for the FUNNY BUS tour of downtown Charlotte.

The 90-minute tour offers comedic history. Tours come in two flavors, PG- and R-rated. We took the R-rated tour that allows BYO beer and wine and a bathroom break in a local brewery.

Our stand-up comedian encouraged the group to shout “church” and sample their libations each time we passed a religious edifice. We soon learned that there are a tremendous amount of churches in Charlotte. The humor was not too blue, but kids were not allowed. Tourists are encouraged to participate in the banter. Kanika told me she used to drive a school bus. I asked her, “What’s harder, driving around school aged kids or drunks?” Her instant reply, “Kids!. Drunks are more fun and cause far less trouble.”

J.D. Cowell told the jokes and supplied local history. Kanika drove us safely around town.

The Funny Bus is not the tour you’d take to gather information for a serious documentary. The history is delivered wryly and many of the landmarks J.D. emphasized are probably not in the City’s official brochure.

Charlotte’s “Sky Lines” viewed across the railroad yard with the City in the background.

Charlotte is experiencing rapid growth, but not everyone is excited about that. The owner of the Thirsty Beaver Saloon refused to sell his property when the developers for a high-rise apartment complex came calling. After much haggling, the developers built around this feisty dive bar.

Two years ago the Thirsty Beaver Saloon was surrounded by open lots. This is resistance to development at it’s finest. The bar’s owners believe everyone should be welcome here and local folks in the community are more important than big money.

Halfway through our Charlotte indoctrination the bus stopped at the Heist Brewery. A surprising amount of Brewery patrons had no idea what the Funny Bus was about. However, there were quite a few folks who claimed people shouted “Queens” when the bus passed them on the street.

Karen won a “Queen’s Crown” for answering a trivia question on the bus correctly. She wore it proudly.

It was interesting to learn that vinyl is readily available in the Queen City. Most tours probably pass this landmark without mention. Having been raised with the hiss and pop vinyl offers and suffered through the endless problems with dust and scratches that affect needles, I don’t miss LPs.

Lunchbox Records provides vinyl albums as well as music CDs and videos.

I accepted an official survey form from J.D. upon exiting the Funny Bus. I promised to fill it out completely and be honest about my opinions.







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