“Is this for real?” I wondered when I first saw the contract for the bus tour. The contractor was Das Frachtgut which seemed like an odd name for a tour company but what really caught my eye was the vomit clause. We owed them $500 for the two hour bus tour but it would cost us an additional $300 if anyone threw up on the bus.
A week later, Bob and I were in San Francisco for the annual Sustainable Biodiesel Summit and were getting ready to board a Biodiesel powered bus labeled “Teacher With the Bus.” I couldn’t help wondering what kind of outfit this was and whether or not our group of biodiesel enthusiasts would come out clean.
The tour turned out to be one of a few highlights of our trip. First off, we soon realized that the seating arrangement was very conducive to friendly networking. As soon as we began moving everyone began talking.
German-born Jens-Peter Jungclaussen, the sandy-haired driver and owner was quite proud of the seating design. No matter where you sit, you have your choice of six people to yak with. And if none of those options suit you, you can just get up and move.
As Peter explained it: “Say you’re sitting up here beside the not so pretty girl and you really want to be sitting by the pretty girl further down the bus. How easy is it to get up and change your seating in any other bus? But the way we have our seats laid out, all you have to do is stand up, wander down the aisle and plop down beside whoever you want to talk with!”
Peter seemed very comfortable talking about his company, so I asked him about the name on the contract. It didn’t match the name on the bus, for one thing. Apparently, the bus used to have Das Frachtgut on it but that was too confusing to the American Public. So they searched for a name that would be easier to understand without flagging them a party bus.
Which brought us to the vomit clause. Peter was happy to fill me in. He said they didn’t start out with that clause on their contract but after three or four incidents, they decided to encourage people to treat the bus with more respect.
Peter pointed out that other party bus companies have the same clause in their contract. And then he confided in me that some of those companies encourage their clients to vomit by keeping the bus windows closed and turning up the heat.
At the end of the day, we all had a great time and didn’t have to pay an extra $300 clean up fee.