Not Always Right on Facebook Not Always Right on Twitter Not Always Right Unfiltered on Tumblr
Featured Story:
  • Got Him Out Of A Pickle
    (3,178 thumbs up)
  • October Theme Of The Month: Coupon Complications!
    Submit your story today!

    In A Muddle Over The Mobble

    | Wales | Extra Stupid, Funny Names, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (Most of our visitors are from England, and although we’re familiar with the ‘tourist’ pronunciations of a lot of town names, sometimes they manage to pronounce something so crazy that we have to ask them to spell it, which for us, usually spells trouble…)

    Customer: *a smartly-dressed older lady* “Hi. I want to get to Mobblegarnith.”

    Me: “Mobblegarnith? I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of it. Did you perhaps mean [Town Name In Cheshire]? It’s a good two-and-a-half hours from here.”

    Customer: “It must be near here; I think we passed a sign for it on our way in.”

    Me: “Well, the nearest town to here that begins with ‘M’ is [Town Name].”

    Customer: “No. Not there.”

    Me: “Well, how about [another nearby town name that begins with 'M']?”

    Customer: “No. Not there either.”

    Me: “What about [town that doesn't begin with 'M' but roughly rhymes with the 'garnith' part]?”

    Customer: “No, no, NO, stupid! It’s not there. It’s Mobblegarnith!” *slowly and louder* “MOBBLE. GARNITH!”

    Me: “I’m ever so sorry, but could you spell it for me? Or perhaps tell me a name of another town you passed by where you saw the signs?”

    Customer: “Oh for crying out loud. M. A. C. H. Y—”

    Me: “Oh! You mean Machynlleth?! That’s a good hour from us, and it’s back the way you came from [Their Hometown].”

    Customer: “Yes, finally! Mobblegarnith. I don’t get why you Welsh people have to pronounce it differently just to wind us English up. It’s CLEARLY Mobblegarnith.”

    Me: “I assure you it’s not deliberate. The Welsh alphabet is just a tiny bit bigger than the English one. We actually have 28 letters versus your 26, so we have to combine some of the letters in the alphabet to finish making up our alphabet. The pronunciations are all right once you get used to them, though.”

    Customer: “Don’t lecture me, young lady! Your alphabet is nothing more than silly lies; if you’d been properly educated you’d know how to pronounce all these places. Now, could you please, very kindly, if it is not too much trouble, tell me how to get to Mobblegarnith?”

    Me: “Right, okay. I can print you some map directions if you like?”

    Customer: *sarcastically* “Thank you, you are most kind.”

    Me: *prints maps and hands them to customer* “Here you go! Road directions to Machynlleth. Since you had such trouble getting here, I’ll waive the printing fee.”

    Customer: “For goodness sakes, girl, say it PROPERLY.”

    Me: *dying a bit inside* “I hope you have a safe journey to Mobblegarnith.”

    Customer: *gives a satisfied nod, and turns on her heels to leave*

    Has No Reservations With Her ‘Babies’

    | Wales, UK | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Tourists/Travel

    (As part of the tourist information service, we offer to arrange accommodation for visitors. Mostly these people turn up on the day, but occasionally we do get a few phone calls ahead of time. Usually these callers are elderly and therefore without Internet to look for their own accommodation.)

    Me: “Bore da, Canolfan Groeso [Town]. Sut ga’ i helpu chi? Good morning, [Town] Tourist Information. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Oh, yes, please. I need a bed and breakfast for a week.”

    Me: “Sure, I can try and find you vacancies. I can either pass on accommodation details or complete the booking for you, for a small fee deductible from the overall accommodation cost.”

    Customer: “Great. I’d like to book through you if I can.”

    Me: “Well, I’ll do my best. I’d like to know a little more about your itinerary if I may. I’ll need your name and phone number first of all, and then the dates you’d like from and to, as well as the number of your party.”

    Customer: “Well, my name is [Customer] and my contact number is [Number]. I’d like anything for a fortnight in August, really. And there’s seven of us.”

    Me: “Okay. I will just let you know now, that I may have to call you back the following day, rather than within the hour, unless you’re willing to compromise. Most accommodation for [Town] gets booked up over a year ahead. Placing seven of you for a fortnight may be difficult. If you don’t mind self-catering I can see if any of our larger registered properties have had cancellations.”

    Customer: “Oh,dearie; they’re only small.”

    Me: “Wait a minute… the seven. Asides yourself, are the other six in your party adults or children?”

    Customer: “It’s me and my six babies.”

    Me: *nearly choking since the customer sounds to be in her 70s* “Excuse me, just to clarify; you did say SIX babies?”

    Customer: “That’s right, dearie. They’re only small. We’d all fit in one room. I usually let them sleep in my bed.”

    Me: “Um, ma’am, just so you’re aware, most accommodators will not take more than two children per adult, particularly with infants, since if there were unfortunately a fire it might be that you could not get all of your children out safely. I really think you’d be best off searching for self-catering in a bungalow or chalet where it’s all on the ground floor.”

    Customer: “Nonsense, dearie; their little legs work just fine. I often get a wrenched shoulder when I take them for walkies.”

    Me: *twigging* “Ma’am, when you say seven in your party, do you mean yourself and six dogs?”

    Customer: “Of course I do, dearie! But not just ANY dogs. They’re Westies you know. They’re all so sweet.”

    Me: “I appreciate that they probably are, ma’am, but I can tell you now that none of the accommodators in [Town] will take six dogs. We have to push to get them to accept two or three per room. I honestly feel you’d be better off trying to self-cater. We have some farm accommodation that runs bed, breakfast ,and self-catering. You could try booking into a self-catering for a fortnight and then paying for breakfast by a separate arrangement?”

    Customer: “What do people have against my babies? They’re all so sweet. How could anybody turn them down?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I am sure they are great dogs – and please do not take offence – but I’m afraid not everybody is a dog lover, and some people have allergies. I also think that the majority of B&B accommodators may worry about noise with that many dogs. If you self-catered you’d have a whole cottage or bungalow to yourself. If you booked into a farm then you could leave them in the apartment whilst you went over for breakfast. Some of our farm accommodators even provide dog food for your stay, for an extra charge.”

    Customer: “Nobody will hate my babies! Leave them in the apartment? No! They must have places at the table for every meal! EVERY meal!” *click*

    Me: *down the now dead phone line* “Oooookay, then. Good luck finding somewhere.”

    (She never called back, I’ve yet to hear from any of our accommodators as to whether she tried to book!)

    Pales In Comparison To Wales

    | Wales, UK | Geography, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I work in a tourist information centre in a Welsh town. As well as its regular Welsh town name, the town has an anglicised version since it is a popular seaside destination for a large swathe of people from central England. The anglicised name sounds similar to another popular seaside resort that actually IS in England, but it’s a good 350+ miles away from us.)

    Me: “Bore da, Canolfan Groeso [Welsh town]. Sut gallai helpu chi? Good morning, tourist information [Anglicised name of Welsh town]. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “Yeah. I want sailing times for the ferries to the [island near the English town].”

    Me: “I’m afraid I don’t have that information to hand, sir. I can either give you the phone number for [English Town]‘s tourist services or I can pop you on hold whilst I look it up.”

    Caller: “But people sail from [town not far from English town] all the time. Why haven’t you got it to hand? I could look it up on the Internet myself!”

    Me: “We are [Welsh town], 350+ miles from [English town]. We tend to only provide information for [Welsh town] and the surrounding county.”

    Caller: “I don’t understand.”

    Me: “You’ve called Wales, sir. The services you want are in England.”

    Caller: “Wales?”

    Me: “Yep, Wales.”

    Caller: “So you’re not [English town]?”

    Me: “Nope, we’re [Welsh town].”

    Caller: “Well, what’s the point of that? Why would you do that?”

    Me: “Erm, I’m really sorry but I don’t follow?”

    Caller: “Why would you be in Wales?”