A magical bus tour – and a pragmatic one

It was tempting to wonder if the Tennesee Department of Transportation (TDOT) was seeking to commemorate August’s re-release on DVD of The Beatles’ 1967  Magical Mystery Tour  film about the ‘Fab Four’s’ exploits on a bus journey. After all, roughly at the same time as this announcement came an invitation to “roll up” to a week-long bus tour of key Tennessee infrastructure projects.

But on closer inspection, the tours appeared to have little in common. The 1967 tour involved such bizzare episiodes as a love affair between Ringo Starr’s “Aunt Jessie” and a strange character named Buster Bloodvessel, an animal mask-wearing scene, and a visit to a theatre in a tent in the middle of a field at which a strip show is witnessed.

By contrast, the TDOT tour was not a mystery – a very long and detailed schedule was clearly drawn up well in advance. Moreover, it did not appear to be particularly magical. Among the highlights were a visit to see bypass resurfacing on the SR22 north of Shiloh Road in McKenzie, and a trip to a “mechanically stabilized earth wall demonstration” in Memphis.

Not all bus tours, it seems, are exactly the same.