Thursday, August 24, 2006


There is an old engineering proverb that reads something like: “If all else fails, read instructions.” Sometimes these old world homilies need to be remembered.

Only yesterday I wrote a little diatribe complaining that these words of wisdom penned here often came out with the wrong date. Recalling the aforesaid proverb, I found that, had I read the instructions, I could have adjusted things to conform to my “WET” status, which, you will remember, (and you have to keep up with these acronyms nowadays to get anywhere in life), stands for Western European Time.

A few strokes of the keyboard and, voila, there’s the right date and time at which I pen these immortal words. Now you would expect me to be deliriously happy over this technical achievement, but there’s a downside to everything. Even Archimedes found that, having shouted Eureka and rushed off to tell his neighbours, when he got back his bath water had gone cold. And so it was with me in this instance, although this was nothing to do with baths.

It concerns the little matter of truth, which, in little matters of truth, is usually referred to as “fibbing.”

You see I have long propagated the image that I rise at crack of sparrow’s to put my thoughts on paper. Now I am going to be exposed as a pious fraud, for henceforth you will see that, from the date and time stamp, rather than writing this with my first sip of coffee, the whole thing is often delayed until after the eggs and bacon or, sometimes, the croissants, and, on especially difficult days, the gin and tonic.

But never mind. What’s wrong with a few fibs? Politicians have never let truth get in the way of their careers and it is comforting to think that Tony Blair and pals have their writing date-stamped “BST.” I’ll let you figure out that acronym to suit yourselves.


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