Weird smell, bee on the line, ugly hats – train companies announce new season of delay excuses

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Train companies have announced the new list of excuses for delays to services during the coming season, including weird smell, ugly hats, a bee on the line, ennui, and an unstable black hole.

“I think it’s important to give passengers a firm idea of the excuses they will be hearing this upcoming season,” said Jeremy Lunchbox, a spokesperson for the industry.

“We’re pleased to say that these are all new excuses. All last season’s excuses –ghosts, bears, bear ghosts, alien invasion, an unstable government, an apple on the line, the ravages of time, a disturbance in the force, Iggy Pop – all of those excuses will be retired. The excuses we use will be 100% brand new this season, which is the first time we’ve ever achieved that.”

A particular highlight in the new season of excuses is ‘disappointment with the lack of young British tennis players making a significant breakthrough’.

“Yes, I think that’s something that’s really going to hit the service hard over the coming months.

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“You’re there, in the cab, you’ve performed that normal safety checks and are about to move the train onto the mainline and into the station, and then you realise that Emma Raducanu hasn’t really pushed on from her astonishing success at the US Open.

“I don’t think any reasonable person could expect that service to now run to its timetable, so hearing ‘This service has been delayed due to disappointment with the lack of young British tennis players breaking through’ will be something that commuters are likely to hear quite a lot.”

Other new excuses include mouldy vegetables, a wave of mutilation, dinosaurs, Sir Geoffrey Howe, vampires, a really big hole, poor skiing conditions, the Proclaimers, a leaky flask, Thanos, and not enough pie. The full list can be found online.