With today’s world getting more and more digital, lots of people don’t use travel agencies the way they once did. But people do still visit travel agents sometimes, especially when they’re planning more complicated trips or need some guidance about their travel options. So I was thinking (careful – I think in an odd way… ;-) ), what would happen if some famous fictional sleuths visited a travel agent? Now, before we go any further, you may want to put aside that heavy burden of disbelief for a short time. That said, here are some…
Trips These Sleuths Will Probably Not Take
Travel Agent: How may I help you?
Client: Ah yes. I would like to plan a holiday. London, it is not pleasant at this time of year.
Travel Agent: How right you are! Well, we’ve a marvellous new travel option. I’m sure you’ll find it delightful. It’s our special Australian tour.
Client: Australia? That interests me greatly. I have never been there.
Travel Agent: Wonderful! Let me tell you about the tour. Fourteen days in Australia’s Outback. You’ll get to see some rare and wonderful animals and plants, hike around in some of the world’s really beautiful country, and stay in some delightful encampments, just like the local Aborigines do. You even get to visit the famous Ayers Rock formation! The natives call it Uluru, I believe. You’ll have your meals outdoors in the open air, and …well, it’s a true back-to-nature holiday. Shall I arrange it for you?
Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie): Erm….perhaps not.
Travel Agent: Good morning, what can I do for you?
Client: Good morning, Rra. I would like to plan a short holiday. I have been working very hard at my business these last months, and it is time for a rest.
Travel Agent: You have come to the right place, Mma. We at Super Excellent Tours are here to serve you. Now, what sort of holiday interests you?
Client: I have heard some good things about America.
Travel Agent: Then I have the perfect holiday for you. A week in Las Vegas is exactly what you need. Just imagine! All kinds of nightclubs where there is exciting music and dancing that you would not believe! There are wonderful restaurants and casinos too.
Travel Agent: Oh, yes, you can gamble all night long if you want, and there are beautiful waitresses who will bring you as much to drink as you want. I went there myself. I have never seen so much neon and glitter in my life. A true playground for adults. Now, shall I book you on our extra-special Las Vegas Dream Trip?
Mma. Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith): Well…perhaps you can show me something else?
Travel Agent: Hello, what can I do for you?
Client: I’d like to plan a getaway sort of trip. My boss and I have been awful busy lately, so I’m thinking he needs a break. So do I.
Travel Agent: I know just what you mean. So let’s see… here’s something interesting. How about our Grand Canyon Tour? Can’t get much further away from it all than there.
Client: Never been there, but I’ve heard the weather’s great.
Travel Agent: Sure is! Never rains there or anything. Gets hot in the summer, but hey, that’s how it is all over the place, right? Let me tell you about the tour. A week at the Grand Canyon. It includes a great mule-ride trip into the canyon and out. And you camp in the canyon for two nights. Oh, and there’s a visit to a local Indian Reservation too. Your boss’ll love it!
Archie Goodwin (Rex Stout): Y’know, I don’t think he will…
Travel Agent: Good afternoon, how can I help you?
Client: I’ve got a couple of weeks of holiday time coming up, and I thought I’d make use of them. Think it’s time for me to get away for a bit.
Travel Agent: Well, then, let’s get started with your planning. What sort of trip did you have in mind?
Client: Definitely out of the UK. Maybe a visit to France, that sort of thing?
Travel Agent: Got it. I have just the thing for you. Forget the Chunnel and a few days on the other side. Let me tell you about our exclusive Riviera package. It’s really quite elegant. It costs a bit, I’m afraid, but you do get what you pay for. This one features a stay at a lovely place in Monaco, where you get to gamble with the rich and famous. And there’s a fabulous yacht dinner option that is absolutely out of this world. If I might say so, we’ve had several celebrities that I’m sure you’ve heard of take this tour. State dinner chic, bluebloods and enchantment all the way, so you’ll want to bring your best clothes (pointed look at the client’s outfit). What do you say?
Barbara Havers (Elizabeth George): Umm…maybe not…
Travel Agent: Hello, what can I do for you today?
Client: I promised my teenage daughter we’d take a trip together. My job keeps me busy and we don’t get to spend the time together that I’d like. So I told her we’d go away somewhere special.
Travel Agent: What a great idea! Did you have a particular place in mind?
Client: Not really. Just somewhere different – somewhere exotic maybe.
Travel Agent (snapping fingers): I’ve got it! Have you ever been to Hong Kong? It’s beautiful! Lots of wonderful restaurants, world-class shopping, exotic places to visit, a great climate, the whole thing. Oh, and I can arrange for you and your daughter to take a special guided tour of the city – even to places the tourists don’t get to see. (Noticing client’s facial expression) And don’t worry. It’s perfectly safe.
Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly): Maybe someplace a little less exotic…
Travel Agent: Hi, there, how can I help you?
Client: I’ve been feeling the need for a break. You know how it is. So I figured it’s time to get away.
Travel Agent: Of course. Everyone needs a break sometimes. Now, what sort of trip did you have in mind?
Client: Well, I’m not a hundred per cent sure, but I was thinking maybe a cruise.
Travel Agent: That’s a great idea. There are a lot of wonderful cruises that leave from this area. I’m sure we can find one that suits you. Hmmm…(clicks on computer keyboard for a moment). Here’s a terrific one! It’s a special ‘Gourmet Cooking’ cruise to Hawai’i and back. The whole focus is on preparing and serving fine food, so some world-class chefs will be along to give classes and demonstrations. And of course there’ll be plenty of delicious meals too.
Client: Hmm…I’m not sure about that. What else do you have?
Travel Agent: Let me see… Oh, here’s our ‘Runway Runners’ cruise. It’s a sort of preview for the fall and spring fashion seasons. There are designers from all over the world who show their creations, and one of the big features is the ‘Catwalk Contest’ where passengers create their own designs. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Kinsey Millhone (Sue Grafton): Uh…maybe I’ll just take a drive up the coast…
What’s next? Will Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse be urged to go to Disney World? ;-)