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Spectator competition winners: William McGonagall on Magaluf

18 August 2019

9:03 AM

18 August 2019

9:03 AM

Your latest challenge was to imagine William Topaz McGonagall’s poetic response to Magaluf.

McGonagall was much taken with the town of Torquay, and wrote a poem singing its praises. But what would the Tayside Tragedian have made of Shagaluf? He took a dim view of alcohol, if these lines are anything to go by:

Oh, thou demon Drink, thou fell destroyer;
Thou curse of society, and its greatest annoyer.
What hast thou done to society, let me think?
I answer thou hast caused the most of ills, thou
      demon Drink.

Some of you clearly reckon, though, that beneath the teetotal, god-fearing façade lurked something altogether wilder. Commendations go to Nicholas Hodgson, David Shields and Adrian Fry. The winners, below, pocket £35 each.

Basil Ransome-Davies
Let me invoke my muse to describe and explain
What a wonderful town there exists on an island
      of Spain,
Where in general the natives speak Spanish
And visitors can make their troubles vanish,
Thanks to the magnificent Spanish sense of
      hospitality
And famous, hot-blooded Latin vitality.
In beautiful Magaluf the sangria’s strong on brandy
Giving rise to opportunities galore for
      hochmagandy
For British tourists who are so astonishingly
      uninhibited
That extremes of audacious behaviour are
      frequently exhibited,
Such as falling over and throwing up in the gutter.
Though ’tis not respectable, my heart is aflutter
To witness scenes that remind me of Auld Dundee
On Burns Night, when the booze and crack
      flowed free
Small wonder that Magaluf’s praises are sung.
Now tell me why depravity should be only for the
      young.


Chris O’Carroll
Discriminating travellers, get ye to Magaluf, which
      is by far superior
To all other holiday destinations in sunny Iberia.
On the well-known Spanish island of Majorca this
      beautiful resort is located
And seldom if ever has a town been more
      sublimely situated.
The white sand of its beach and the turquoise
      water of its bay
Make it a most attractive spot for visitors to frolic
      and play.

Among British tourists, one very popular form of
      recreation
Is swimming to a nearby island famed for its black
      lizard population.
This swim of just 400 meters frequently follows a
      binge of drunken revelry,
Which, I regret to say, greatly increases the danger
      of drowning in the picturesque sea.

Visitors to Magaluf have also gained notoriety
Due to brawling, public nakedness and other
      manifestations of insobriety.
Alcoholic beverages are sold there at an
      astonishingly low price,
But to partake moderately is my solemn and
      heartfelt advice,
For the antics of reeling, roistering holidaymakers
      are a great international disgrace,
Detracting from innocent enjoyment of this idyllic
      place.

Alan Millard
Of sunshine Scotland doth not have enough so
      some say
And would prefer for to go to Magaluf and stay
On an island which did form off the Spanish
      peninsula
150 million years ago and was quite insular
Till came the Carthaginian then, in 123 BC, the
      Roman
Which for building roads was a very good omen.
But tak care afore ye do go for certain seers do
      foretell
That the future of Magaluf doth not bode well,
They say marauding drunks will despoil the place
Bringing upon the town very dire disgrace
And that one will fall from a high balcony one day
Like those who on that Sabbath of 1879 fell into the
      Tay.
But ye who do fear such a future can relax,
Because of the Balearic Isles’ unpopular tourist tax
There are some who do believe that one day,
      happily,
We may again choose to holiday in beautiful
      Torquay.

Bill Greenwell
I recommend the charming seaside village of
      Magaluf,
Which is famed for its sports, appealing to those in
      the flush of yoof,
And which is the jewel in the navel of Iberia,
For no hedonist has ever found anywhere superior.

The clubs of Magaluf are filled with antics most
      charming,
And the house music does make the young people’s
      heads ring,
After which they paint the town and the beach with
      a purgative yellow
With our native fish and chips, and sometimes
      Balearic paella.

Near Magaluf is a Wave House, a most interesting
      watery Xanadu,
And an infinity pool that is always a deep shade of
      blue,
Although sad to say, it is not popular with the local
      population,
Who do not understand our enjoyment of chemicals
      and copulation.

Hie you there, for Magaluf is full of libations and
      their vendors
Who encourage the stags to engage in most
      wholesome benders,
And where the Carthaginians conquered, led by redoubtable
      Hannibal,
Tourists will find their skins are very easily tannable.

Your next challenge is to submit estate agents particulars as they might have been written by a well-known author (please specify). Please email entries of up to 150 words to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 28 August.


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