Saturday, March 07, 2009
lecture, crier, relief
"...The subject of my talk to day is 'quantitative easing...'"
In the pantiles is a portly man in 18th century clothes - red, braided jacket, breaches, white socks, a tricorn hat with a cockade. He holds a hand bell, which he rings from time to time. He is a town-crier. Suddenly he begins to cry: "O yea! O yea!" He has a good voice but his articulation is poor. "O yea, O yea" he repeats, and follows it by something, which is lost in the wind ... or two intervening centuries.
An email transmitted to a friend is unanswered. It is a reply to an email of the previous day. It hasn't arrived, but ignorant of its loss, because my "sent file" confirms its dispatch, I wonder whether it has been received. That's two people wondering if they are being ignored and what errors of etiquette or tact they may have unknowingly committed. Days pass. There is a reluctance on both sides to chide or complain of neglect. Relief all round when communications are resumed and there is a resolution in future to ask the brutal question : "Did you get my message?"