Don't mention it

By Joyce Renee Lewis
This item appears on page 21 of the January 2022 issue.

This month’s winner is JOYCE RENEE LEWIS of Camano Island, Washington:

As a longtime backpacker, on both short and long trips, I suddenly had an epiphany and asked myself, “Why am I hauling around my dirty panties?” From that date, I started saving my old panties for future trips, and each night I would toss the used pair in the campfire (back when you could have a campfire, which dates me considerably). 

As an inveterate traveler, I decided to do the same, just throwing the old pair in my hotel room bathroom’s trash each morning. All went well for many years until 2008, when I biked France. 

In Lyon, just as I swung my leg over the bike to leave, I heard a voice: “Mademoiselle, mademoiselle!” And I turned to see the maid running down the street behind me waving my panties in the air. 

From that time on, I buried my panties in the bottom of the trash.

Tell us about something humorous that happened to you while traveling outside the United States. There are no restrictions on length. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing or billing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.