As my dear old dad used to say, it’s time for another “trip around the world for nine pence.”
I cannot for the life of me find the origin of that phrase, so maybe he actually coined it. Who knows? However, what it is supposed to convey is a series of events leaving you feeling you’ve traveled a great distance, either physically or mentally, only to arrive back at the original spot, having achieved “two penn’orth of naff all.” In other words, tuppence worth of nothing.
Oh dear, I’m scrambling your minds with imperial currency here. To Americanize it for you, let’s put it this way: a trip around the world for a quarter, achieving a dime’s worth of zilch.
Sir had such a day this week. His electronically delivered newspaper – The Kansas City Star, not this erudite publication of course – hadn’t materialized, so he was on the phone at 6.45 ready to do battle with – and I use the term loosely – customer service, which evidently didn’t materialize until 7 a.m.
Long story short (is there ever a short story in which Sir is involved?), after gnashing of teeth and trying to make himself understood to this particular resident of somewhere in Far East Asia, he finally got his paper, but is still waiting – several days have now passed – for the confirmation email.
He then discovered our payment for telephone, television and internet service had rather enhanced itself, having evidently patted itself on the back and given itself a nice raise. Nice work if you can get it.
Sir, now wearing his teeth to much-gnashed nubs, ventured forth bravely into the next telephonic customer service nightmare, which we shall call, as in columns past, boop boop bi di boop boop.
Now adjusting his speech and hearing to accommodate his Sub-Continental newest best friend, he was assured of a reduction in price and that all would be made good and fine and would be confirmed by a callback. You got it. He’s still waiting.
Deciding a trifecta was in order, Sir, on remembering that an acquaintance had just returned from a trip to Iceland for only $350, decided that I might like a surprise trip, and so was going to scout around for the best deal from the newest airline to grace KC with its presence – Icelandic Air.
Naturally he tried the website first, but it seemed to be broken, and so did the next best thing and he spoke to the airline’s customer service, this time he thinks in Europe, and so thence verbally flung himself onto another continent. After much to-ing and fro-ing, and thinking of yogurt, the northern lights and the proud home of the world’s oldest parliament (established in 930 in case you were wondering), he was somewhat staggered.
Here we have an international airline, much touted of late in KC, and the only day – and I mean it, the one day, count them, one, that we could fly from KC to Reykjavik would be Sept. 9, 2019, returning Sept. 13, 2019. All for the princely sum of $1,100 a pop.
Um. Takk, en nei takk, as they say. Thanks, but no thanks.
Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.