WC Fields as “The Great McGonigle” in THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY.
I like trams. I like riding on them, and seeing them in movies. I was a little perplexed when Edinburgh decided to get a tram system of its own, since we already have a very good bus service. Advertisements for the imminent new transport system couldn’t quite explain what it was going to bring to the table. Maybe it would be more environmentally friendly? Unfortunately, the unexpected amount of time the project has taken to be completed means it’ll be all but impossible to offset the carbon footprint of five years worth of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction. And nothing can offset the damage done to businesses by closed roads, and to quality of life by all the roadworks.
I attended Marvelous Mary’s annual William McGonagall Dinner, in celebration of the world’s worst poet (a Scotsman, naturally), and was asked to write something about the trams, on the grounds that McGonagall always liked to get his teeth into a good rail disaster. So I did. If you survive to the end, the last word will give you a free lesson in Scottish slang, which may come in useful someday, who knows?
THE GREAT EDINBURGH TRAMS DISASTER
(after William McGonagall)
Though the people of Edinburgh had their qualms
It was decided that they should ride about in tralms
Which would convey them about the town
With half going up and the rest of them going down
From the airport to the town beneath
All the way down to the Port of Leith
So the roadworks began and ripped up the roads
While the people were disturbed by the sound of drilling outside their abodes
And this went on for years and years
But still, the people said, “No tram appears!”
Just perpetual inconvenience and obstruction
Caused by all the digging and construction
Accompanied by runaway expense
That made the costs become truly immense
So that finally, to save some loot
The council decided to shorten the route
So it led from the airport to the centre of town
Which left those in Leith feeling rather let down
But no inquiry could place the blame
For what became known as Edinburgh’s Shame
And still there is no sign of trams
Because Edinburgh Town Council are a load of bams.
Bams = idiots