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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Without prejudice, well maybe a soupçon.

There's a few rules I adopt when communicating with people, some of which I have learnt with the inset of the internet. When I worked for Ford Motor Company back in the 80s we occasionally used something called Telex (an international system of telegraphy with printed messages transmitted and received by teleprinters using the public telecommunications network). It was a bit like sending a telegram but automated. You had to be succinct because messages produced a waste product called ticker tape. Ticker tape was famous for being chucked out of tall buildings especially in America specifically New York. A ticker tape parade was a parade event held in a built-up urban setting, allowing large amounts of this tickertape to be thrown from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a celebratory effect by the snowstorm-like flurry.

From then we progressed to fax machines. Remember the old thermal ones? For a while I managed an office next to a council carpark. My colleagues who worked in the office had a nice little scam running. The first person to arrive in the office would dart up to the office with their new ticket which was printed on thermal paper, run said ticket through the thermal fax machine (in copy mode) 8 or 9 times then run back to the car. Subsequent staff would do the opposite. Park their car and dart into the office first, looking for a ticket. Wrong but enterprising.

From all this we ended up with the awful email. Imagine taking a holiday and returning to email hell. I had a policy of answer, ignore or repeat. Some I simply ignored. Like a phone call if it’s important it'll reappear. If not, not. Another strategy was to ask for more information or elaboration. Often with the same results. It’ll re-appear or not. That left those that warranted an answer.

The ones I particularly disliked were the ones where the writer exhibited the email equivalent of verbal diarrhoea, where a disproportionate amount of time was spent exploring all the arguments and justifications for a relatively small investment.. I would read it all.....or some of it anyway and reply “go ahead" or “not at this time" or a similar brief response. I like succinct responses.

In the last couple of days we have been unable to raise our heads above the parapet without experiencing some of the Markle Debacle. Clearly you can’t surmise on the colour of baby because it’ll cause the monarchy to fall and the all heirs to be forced, no doubt with a knee on their neck, to publicly apologise for having an unfortunately pink skin.

After 1,000s of hours of air time, and 1,000,000s of words of indignance. A word to the wise, if you partner up with a mixed race person you’ll get a mixed race baby. It could be called baby roulette. It’s the same if you allow a ginger into the tribe. (Interesting that ginger is an anagram of.......)

Anyway the world seems to have been waiting for a grovelling apology from the palace. The baying mob really wanted a head on a pike at the gates of Windsor Castle. Any old royal would do. But no, the world deserved something far more measured and regal. The world, in response, got 61 words. Here it is;-

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members”.

20 years ago this would all be read on “tomorrows chip wrappers”.

It doesn't matter how many republic seeking MP's with a slim majority want a formal enquiry or (AKA head on pike) how many minor (unheard of) American celebrities want an apology (AKA head on pike) or how many do gooder campaigners want fundamental societal change and more people to blame (AKA heads on pikes). What they all got was 61 words. Incidentally these pair of Netflix contractors have yet to visit Mr Markle since he had his heart surgery at the time of their wedding and he’s only 70 miles away. Maybe they’re simply not nice people, I hadn't really considered that.

They all only deserve 61 words.

Now can we get back to covid? Something we're all impacted by and to be honest far more interesting.

Happily you deserve 780 words!

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