September 20, 2011

Word to the wise

A LETTER cunningly scratched on toilet paper with a burned stick says:


O wise and wonderful one, O great font of wisdom and truth, O shining example of grace and goodness, I humbly bid you good day on behalf of the millions — nay, billions — of members of Vigor’s Silent Fan Club.


As everybody knows, members are forbidden to contact you, or praise in any way your unmatched wisdom, your gracious manners, and your unrivalled literary skills. Because membership is automatic until a member is expelled for overtly admiring you, you have the biggest fan club the world has ever known.

Unfortunately, however, and despite my best efforts, the number of your so-called Followers has steadily increased over the years until it now stands at nearly 60. And, by the rules of the club, Followers may be expelled for the implicit admiration they display.


If I may say so without appearing unduly immodest, I have done exceedingly well to keep the number of Followers down.


Early on, I took the precaution of removing the Followers widget from your blog page. I have made it as difficult as possible for anyone even to know what a Follower is, let alone become one. But your popularity is overwhelming. Despite all the odds, a few determined fans — bursting with admiration for your sage-like utterances, your ready wit and charm, the subtle thrust-and-parry of your sparkling repartee, and the wisdom, Solomon-like, that graces your princely brow — somehow still manage to sign themselves on as Followers.


O Wise One, the time has come for action,


Apparently, these misguided creatures are heedless of the fact that their actions could result in instant expulsion from Vigor’s Silent Fan Club, a misfortune almost beyond contemplation. They will never learn the secret handshake, the shortcut to Nirvana, or the one and only guaranteed way to cure weather helm.


In the past I have appealed to you, Honorable Sir, to lower your standards a little, to tone it down a bit, lest a further sudden onrush of Followers should ensue. I surmised that perhaps a little more mediocrity would help. Some spelling mistakes, maybe. Less brilliant discourse and more fuddy-duddy boredom might be the answer. It seemed to me that if you could just deliberately dim your shining talent, it would serve to fend off would-be Followers and keep up the all-important numbers of your magnificent Silent Fan Club whose conscientious members never dream of praising you, fawning upon you, or even mentioning your name.


But you have not been able to dim your talent sufficiently. Nothing has worked. The number of Followers still increases. I therefore officially give up. I have enabled the Followers widget and now display for public shame their names, and many of their faces. These, Sir, are the renegades, the law-breakers, the turncoats whose peppercorn contribution to society deems them ill equipped to be members of your venerable club. They, Sir, are not fit to kiss your little finger, and I hope they will serve as examples to other would-be miscreants fired with thoughts of offering you praise or any form of recognition.


Yours Humbly and Obediently,


IVOR TUNGIN-CHEAQUE


(Chairman, Vigor’s Silent Fan Club)


PS: Please excuse my writing. Very hurried. They only undo the strait jacket for 10 minutes a day.


Today’s Thought
Of every noble work the silent part is best
Of all expression that which cannot be expressed.
— W. W. Story, The Unexpressed


Tailpiece
“Did you hear that Mary got dressed up as a boy and joined the army?”
“But she can’t get away with that ... wait till she her first shower with the men.”
“Yeah ... but who’s going to tell?”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

3 comments:

Micky-T said...

Despicable, truly despicable Ivor for you to assume that "this" is why we come here.

" Despite all the odds, a few determined fans — bursting with admiration for your sage-like utterances, your ready wit and charm, the subtle thrust-and-parry of your sparkling repartee, and the wisdom, Solomon-like, that graces your princely brow — somehow still manage to sign themselves on as Followers.

Matt said...

Whew! Finally I can come out in the open to confess I am a long-time blog reader and have actually purchased TWO of your books.

The Ratline said...

your fan base if growing in south africa !