Thursday, August 30, 2007

More from Over the Wall

In response to massive and insistent popular demand I have been persuaded to release a further piece from Horsley's popular Over The Wall magazine. This one dates from July, 2006: (names have been changed to protect identities)

Nowadays it seems that just about everyone has 'a great idea for a web site'.

It's pathetic. I mean to say - who do they think they're fooling?

Now Omnivorist - on the other hand - has a truly great idea for a web site.

Brace yourselves, fellow villagers, to be the first to hear about:

As a client of this bold and truly unique enterprise, you simply register (for a small fee) the names, addresses and dates of birth of your dearest friends and relatives, together with a short psychological profile of each. And, having done that, you just sit back and leave everything else to us.

We will commit to sending greeting cards and gifts, on your behalf, to all registered individuals at appropriate times throughout the year.

No more worries about missing the birthdays of obscure nephews. Banished: the purgatory of the Christmas card list. Gone: the fear of waking up in a cold sweat with the realisation that you have overlooked your own 10th wedding anniversary.

We at will look after everything.

All cards will bear a personal message written in a hand indistinguishable from your own. Gifts will be selected to delight or dismay the recipient, in accordance with your confidential wishes. We'll even forward you a picture of the ghastly tie you have just 'sent' to Uncle Norman.

When it comes to Christmas cards, why not surprise your friends with that 'hand-made' ("Oh my God, how do they find the time?") look. Courtesy of our affiliates in the Philippines, we offer two separate styles at very reasonable rates:

Option 1: Infant school 'pathetic'. Glued pasta and glitter.
Option 2: 'Sensitive, enigmatic'. Frayed linen, dried leaves, etc.

A modest additional monthly charge will bring you the benefits of our five-star service, including:

Flowers seemingly personally delivered (inexpertly wrapped, left on doorstep in the rain)
Other people's wedding anniversaries (clients will be required to undergo a short counselling session prior to selecting this option)
Gifts incorporating references to shared experiences (e.g. "How well I recall the wonderful spring we spent together in Budapest!")
Valentine cards with authentic 'tell-tale' postmark.
Easter bunny service.

Of course, it might all come horribly unstuck - but hopefully, by that time, I will be well away.

Local politics

It's election time here in Horsley and it seems the Green party candidate has a real chance of being elected to the local council - having come within a whisker of taking the seat from the Conservative the last time round.

There's only one small problem - a good proportion of people who might have been relied upon to vote Green are off on holiday at their second homes in Tuscany and Provence.

Maybe ultimately it doesn't matter too much. The wealthy and privileged sectors of society (within which I place myself, I should add) have never been very good at initiating massive social and technological change. And if we are to survive the imminent change in climate with anything like our present way of life, enormous adaptations will surely be necessary.

No, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that, whatever the Guardian weekend might say on the matter - when it comes to living a green lifestyle, limited resources and a general lack of opportunity both make for a pretty good starting point.