POEM: Vouch for My Surname

This poem is dedicated to my friends Chris Turner and Ashley Bristowe, who took on Air Canada’s ridiculous travel voucher transfer policy and kicked them hard in the ‘nads.

it was quite the Turner of events
that made me bristle for a Bristowe
when Air Canada told a Calgary writer
they couldn’t picture his wife on a flight
with a coupon he copped by dropping
off a plane to take one later
so later on when he tried to give
his valid voucher to his wife
who kept her surname after nuptials
sir named the miss
the airline wished to take on his missus
and made no mistake when
he chose to take them on a journey
via the digital airwaves

waves created by his entreaties
pooled at the base of Air Canada’s rep
though their rep on the phone
was a consummate professional
such ridiculous policy could only
result in its perpetrators being dammed
all the heat evaporated any goodwill
residual in their public relations trough
while the firestorm ignited via twitterverse
an expression of the perverse curse
of being a national airline that floats
buoyed in the molten miasma of public scorn

certain kinds of heat piled on
only flow downhill when a stink is created
and this steamer plopped on
the front doorstep of a domestic giant
is the product of an elephant
that lives in the corner of an echo chamber
but saw just enough daylight
to reveal the antiquity of inner workings

Air Canada
you cannot expect Canadians to join you
on this flight of fallacious fantasy
expect faint criticism for fanatically
framed folly as you feign fidelity
to a fictitious familiarity with the reality
of twenty-first century family function

Air Canada
on the plane of believability
your credulity-stretched explanations nosedived
while the black box of digital memory
recorded every misplaced word that crackled
through fibre optic cable to land
with documented disbelief and scorn
on the desktops, tablets and laptops of a nation

Air Canada
this issue has runway from you
so a return to the hanger to store
this sexist, impractical policy –
a historic avionic miscommunication –
was the only possible retreat before
the story changed from a missed connection
to something potentially more terminal

fair recognition of the nature of modern families
with their various surnames and lineages
will in future prevent such bull-headed responses
from companies who fail to relate to new relations

our primary passports
will always be our surnames
and any airline worth its wings
would be wise
to unfailingly stamp approval
whenever we present them

the best ticket to future success
is to Turner over a new leaf
and Bristowe upon the paying public
a modicum of respect
for the ways we choose to express love
in names that vouch for the identities
we provide with pride at the gate.

© A. Gregory Frankson, 2014. All rights reserved.


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