In Competition No. 2397 you were invited to supply an acrostic poem, the first letter of each line to spell out TRAVEL TROUBLES.
I had my share of these recently. The Saturday flight to Milan was cancelled. Our tickets were adjusted (incorrectly, it turned out) for Sunday. On Sunday the flight is cancelled again, but a bus is promised to take us to Milan with a free overnight stay at a hotel — subito! Finalmente a bus appears and after a nine-hour journey deposits us at a frightful hotel at 3 a.m., where we are told that we shall be alarm-called in one hour’s time for further bussing to an airport 50 kilometres away. No apologies, no explanations, no food. I was tempted to make the acrostic DON’T FLY ALITALIA but thought better of it.
£30 to Godfrey Bullard and £25 each to the other prizewinners printed below.Tired of our weather, impatient for sun?
Restless, frustrated and wanting some fun?
Are you demanding a cure for the blues?
Voyage away on a tropical cruise!
Errors abound, though: insurance not paid,
Luggage unlabelled or tickets mislaid:
Threats of disaster encompass each trip;
Ruinous storms may imperil the ship,
Odious passengers, cheery or crude,
Ugly bacilli that lurk in the food …
Berthing at last! Joy is swiftly diminished:
Luxury quarters? They’re barely half finished.
England’s the place for the bored and depressed;
Sensible people remain here and rest!
The desk clerk had no record of my booking.
Rude as he was, I’d no choice but to leave.
A hotel was my goal, so I went looking.
Violence was what the town had up its sleeve.
Enter, stage left, two opportunist muggers
Looking for easy pickings — which was me.
They took my wallet and my phone, the buggers;
Rough welcomes seemed to be my destiny.
On to the plod-shop, where two lazy coppers,
Unshaven and indifferent, took my name,
Behaving as if I were telling whoppers.