February 4, 2016

Silent Fan Club paradox

A LETTER FROM Ivor Tungin-Cheaque, Chairman of Vigor’s Silent Fan Club, says:

Honorable Sir,

A dilemma of considerable proportions has raised itself in regard to membership of your Silent Fan Club. As you well know, members are forbidden to contact you or praise in any way your unmatched wisdom and unrivalled literary skills. Because membership is automatic from birth, you have the biggest fan club the world has ever known.

But a recent newspaper article has given me cause for concern about the exploding world population. The article said that the Real Madrid soccer club is claiming to have 45 million fans. This is nothing compared with Vigor’s Silent Fan Club, which numbers its fans in the billions — but the implications are alarming

Since enrolment in your honor’s club is automatic, there have never been never been more members of Vigor’s Silent Fan Club. Nor has there been so great a demand on our administrative services. Never before have we struggled so valiantly to  keep track of new members and expel those few who break their vows of silence.

It is obvious, however, that the more the world population grows, the greater the chance that some members will break their vows of silence by reading your columns and publicly praising you. They will then have to be expelled.

This means that as the club grows, so its numbers will decline. This is a vexing paradox.

My humble suggestion is that you should immediately start toning down the the cleverness of your columns and the skill with which you wield the editorial pen. If your fans find less to admire in your writing, the less likely they will be to give in to their instinct to burst into ill-considered praise.

I shall, of course, keep you informed of developments.

I close 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.

Yours Humbly and Obediently,

IVOR TUNGIN-CHEAQUE (Chairman, Vigor’s Silent Fan Club)
PS:  I hope this makes sense. They’re replacing the padding in my cell and it’s very distracting.

Today’s Thought
To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man.
— Marcel Marceau, US News & World Report, 23 Feb 87

“My husband is so careless about his appearance. He just can’t seem to keep buttons on his clothes.”
“Maybe the buttons weren’t sewn on properly in the first place.”
“Oh, you may have a point there. He’s terribly careless with his sewing, too.”

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


Alden Smith said...

I think the letter was written by one I.P.Knightly who given to "Taking the Piss".

John Vigor said...

Nice one, Mr. Smith. It took me a minute or two but it hit me eventually.
John V.

Jarm said...

Wait, if the president of the silent fan club just publicly praised your writing, does that mean that he's kicked out?

John Vigor said...

Um, Jarm, you are imposing logic in a scenario designed merely to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative. Logic and veracity are not applicable in the case of the president of the Silent Fan Club. Somebody has to be the exception otherwise the whole darned thing collapses. And, as you must surely know, it's the exception that proves the rule. Okay?
John V.