Saturday, October 24, 2020

Batten down the Hatches, Cap'n

 I am rather nervous at the moment. At any moment my entire world may be disrupted. Precautions must be taken.

The source of my discomfort is an email from my internet service provider, who I shall not name (unless offered suitable financial inducement). This was the heading that literally froze every nerve in my body the instant that I read it. 1

Prepare to be blown away, Anthony

And there I was about to set out for beautiful Ruislip on an errand. Prepare to be blown away! Pretty strong stuff. Would I find myself whirled along the pavement to end up gasping and dishevelled outside the newsagent? Or might the winds snatch me into the skies, Dorothy-style, to leave me abandoned in a strange new world confronted by mysterious creatures and threatened by monsters almost beyond imagination?2

How should I prepare, exactly? The email does not say. Instead it blathers on about some pointless awards. Since Ramblings is not on the short list my interest in this part waned rapidly. I turned my thoughts to the packing of rucksacks, water purification tablets, emergency bars of chocolate and whether my papers are in order. Stout boots, wearing on feet for - check. Walking stick, beating off importuning natives for - check.  Short wave radio, home communications keeping up for, er, with - nope. Haven't got one. Maybe my mobile will still get a signal, better charge it up now.

Nothing on the radio about tornados in the Greater Ruislip Metropolitan district. A conspiracy by the authorities to lull me into a false sense of security? No, maybe the email is a part of a conspiracy to lull me into a false sense of panic? Or is it in code? Does "blown away" mean, in marketing-speak, "We've got another dreary and pointless PR announcement to make, please read it, please, we only get paid if enough of our customers read it and we've all got spouses, children, fashionable SUVs with stupid names and second homes in Marbella to keep up, oh go on, we were up all night polishing this heading to try to get your attention".

I have decided, after considerable reflection3 to ignore the exhortation in this unwanted missive. I shall not do the slightest scrap of preparing for any form of blowing, other than perhaps pursing my cheeks to emit the odd raspberry. My stout boots, etc, may remain in the cupboard until genuinely needed. Sorry, PR guys, try something more truthful next time. "We've got some awards that we've invented to create some spurious interest in our business, do please cast your eye over this email if you've got nothing better to do" would certainly fit the bill. I commend it to you. Might even be in the running for a Ramblings award of some sort.


1.  [A little poetic licence is always allowed in these pieces: Ed]
2. Insert your favourite Hayes reference here
3. See 1.