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Wed, Sep. 24th, 2003, 01:17 pm
There's a kind of hush...

And so, bidding a fond, indeed slightly over-gay, thanks to Codekeeper Vanthal, here comes the second attempt at this "blog" felafel, and I'll try and do it properly this time. Initially, at least.

Rather fantastically, the main news story this morning was about a chatroom closing down. The main news story! Of all the World! And as a result the World has a spring in its step today. Not because it's nice not to have Bad Things Upon Us, although it surely is, but rubbish, monumentally unmomentous news helps us feel that little bit more important in this great big scheme we call things.

Case in point - last week there was another great main story, that postal workers were not going on strike. That's something NOT HAPPENING as the most important thing in the entire world, that day. Frakes! At the precise moment the funny man on the radio read that out, I was grilling blue cheese on a variety of bread products. Thus I felt immediately thrice as important as the postal workers. Here I was, doing something to their not doing something! And after the grilling was completed to my own personal satisfaction, I had another scheme in mind, namely to move to the nearest of my two settees and devour the basic yet finely-rendered snack with gusto unbound. So here was an actual news story of something happening, with a follow-up scenario which could afford endless speculation for the appropriate pundits. How long would the eating process last? Would there be a liquid accompaniment? And if so, spillage? What if - and I don't want to arouse undue panic among the populace here - I were to choke on a stiltonian nugget? All these possibilities and more could be outlined by a powerfully gimacing Andrew Marr in front of my residence, bald of pate and crazed of gesture, while Huw rocked his patented solemn/intrigued look back at base. A most excellent infotainment on all counts, I'm sure you'll agree. Beat that, Balzac!

This lunchtime (note to non-Londoners - lunchtime begins at 2.05PM) I shall see if I can't trump this feeble chatroom story with a shenanigan of my own. Of what stamp I am as yet undecided. All I can say at the present time is, M&S, prepare the escalator!

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2003 05:56 am (UTC)
vanthal: Take action!

What you should do, my long-haired friend, is become the head postman. Then you could totally rally your troops - for troops you would have - and get my post delivered nicely. "Come on, you workshy slugs!" you might bellow, "Stop doing nothing and let's deliver some mail for these people!" And make sure you modernise the dress code while you're at it, because our postie this morning was in short trousers. He must have been freezing!

Realistically, something needs to be done about the so-called "Royal" Mail (as if you can expect Prince Philip to be jamming free RSPB pens through your letterbox). The post has barely ever arived by the time I leave for work, so I've nothing to put behind a clock on the mantelpiece, and at any rate what does arrive is a sickening mixture of promotional literature and begging letters from assorted utility companies. I never see a saucy postcard or perfume-scented billet-doux from an anonymous admirer fluttering down onto my doormat, and frankly, I blame the postal service. And where are the whistling postmen we were promised in the TV drama of our youth? Did I grow up for nothing?

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2003 06:17 am (UTC)
paisleypeter: Re: Take action!

Sir -

Your Swiftian postal scheme has much to commend in it, but I fear I am not the right man for the job, being as averse to filling positions of authority as I am to the broad bean.

I would favour a "People's Post", whereby once a letter is written and addressed, a compass bearing of the general direction of the addressee is taken (with Global Warming Satellites this should by now be a veritable parkwalk) and an arrow drawn on the face of the envelope pointing toward its intended recipient. Then - TAKING THE UTMOST CARE NOT TO ALTER THE ORIENTATION OF THE LETTER - the letter would be passed from the writer to the first person he meets while travelling along the direction of the arrow, who would then check the envelope to see if he was the addressee, and if not, repeat the process to find the next person down the line, and so on, until the intended recipient is reached.

The sense of community and opportunity to make new friends across short distances would be mighty, you must agree.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2003 06:35 am (UTC)
vanthal: Take action!

Indeed, you scheme has much to commend it; for why should I entrust my postal missives to the blue-shirted footsoldiers of the Royal Mail any more than to my fellow civilians? The presumably short distances each participant is required to travel would no doubt negate the need for monetary compensation for the time taken, and the money previously used to line the fat wallets of our now redundant postmen could be redirected into more worthwhile endeavours, such as reviving the good name of Amicus, the finest of the British horrow anthology studios.</p>

I also have little doubt that, as the scheme flourished, the pace would pick up considerably; and imagine the serendipitous delight of delivering a missive to your target, only to discover that they are bearing an envelope with your name enscribed thereon. Plus, of course, you would have ample opportunity to tamper with other people's mail, which is always welcome.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2003 06:50 am (UTC)
paisleypeter: Re: Take action!

THere is, i'faith, the odd flaw here or there - f'rinstance, if, say, Alistair Cooke wanted to send one of his fabled Letters from America, all would proceed as happy as dandy, until the last person on the American mainland was reached. You would have to entrust that person, armed with merely a rowing boat and a half-loaf of Sunblest (no butter), to endure many weeks of solitary rowing across the storm-tossed Atlantic to deliver a missive to someone to whom he, more than likely, has never been formally introduced. But since most coastal folk have hearts as big as their ruddy noses, I can't see this proving a sticking point. The great mass of humaity irons out such creases in the bigger picture - for every anti-social lout who would sooner spit pips at a dying Pope than help their fellow man - Coldplay, for example, or David Aaronovitch - there's some lovely old tramp who just loves to love around the corner. Such is society. I'm off for a sandwich.

Wed, Apr. 28th, 2004 08:11 am (UTC)
paisleypeter

Alastair Cooke has, of course, died now. I was at home at the time, in front of several witnesses.