Thursday, 7 June 2007

A lost Word and a good deed

I have somehow made the Word icon vanish from the line-up on the computer.

My wife, who understands these things, is at present walking towards Pamplona. By way of her mobile, she made several suggestions. "Click on that, drag that, open that, close that." All no good. Then she said, crossly, "What have you done to it?" She often says that, at times like these. It was, I suspect, a rhetorical quesion.

But not always.

It reminded me irresistably, like the boy Proust with his wretched biscuit, of an incident many years ago on the Daily Mirror in London.

Late one night, after closing time, a small copy editor (the editor was small, that is, not the copy), whom we shall call Bob, was walking down Fetter Lane to get his train home, to Bexley Heath, or some such suburban journalists' ghetto. (The ghetto was suburban, not the journalists) As he passed The Printer's Devil, he came upon the inert body of one of his colleagues, whom we shall call Mike, in the gutter. The night was dry and Mike, a big man, appeared comfortable enough and was not dead. Bob nevertheless felt obliged to help his pal get home.

A pasing cab was hailed, and after a spirited discussion involving extra money "for the bleeding aggravation, Guv," Bob and the cabbie hauled Mike on board and headed for the station. There, after yet more money passed hands, a porter and Bob loaded Mike onto a train. At Bexley, or wherever, a similar pattern ensued, but in reverse. Eventually, Bob and the Bexley cabbie manhandled Mike up to his front door. Bob, reduced to penury by this point, paid off the cabbie, propped Mike against the wall and rang the doorbell.

After a few minutes, Mike's wife opened the door. She took in the scene at a glance. "What have you done to him?" she said.

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