North of the Old Merry, the unremitting grimness of the Scottish winter can sap a fellow's motivation, rendering them hopeless alcoholics, gluttons and/or dope fiends. A simple solution to this problem is to give oneself a little something to look forward to. Like a coach trip somewhere scenic.
So it came to pass that Mammy Trombones, just before Christmas, popped down to the local travel agent to make a reservation. She proudly announced, handing me the brochure, that she had booked herself on a "Mystery Tour". The tour would be "somewhere in Scotland".
I studied the brochure and guessed that, balancing up price and duration, three other destinations in the brochure would most likely feature, with less probable but still possible 4th, 5th and 6th destinations included, with a slight chance of several other places featuring on the tour. Mammy Trombones initially dismissed the idea, but having chewed it over, conceded I may have a point, but as she hadn't been on the tour and didn't know for certain it would still be a "mystery".
Anyway. She's just returned from her wintery Scottish tour and she tells me that, yes, all three places I'd guessed featured on the surprise tour. She now accuses me of ruining the surprise, saying I am too clever by half.
I have helpfully suggested she asks for her money back, as clearly the term "mystery tour" is in breach of trading standards laws, in this case...
Having pondered some more, I added the possibility that if a fourth destination were added as a possible stop in the mystery tour would this render the tour less of a surprise? Why not add a 5th, 6th, etc possible destinations (they wouldn't even have to be in the brochure). What about 27 possible places; or 127? I contend the surprise would be spoiled whatever the number of possible places you add to the list. And given the fact that the number of places to visit in Scotland is finite, I'd conclude that there can never be a surprise, ergo it can never be sold as a "Mystery Tour". I'm sure she would win her case if it went to court.
I can't help but think Mammy Trombones is being unfair at laying the ruination of the surprise at the slippery feet of her number one son, banana.