The phone rang just as I sneezed. Great, I thought, a snifly croak of a voice with which to answer. There was a slight delay when I picked up the phone, no more than half a second, but sufficient to tell me that a call centre somewhere on this globe was on my case. The male caller mispronounced my surname. I stiffened. Jumping straight in with his pitch, he asked me if I had read the Times recently.
"Nooo," I averred.
The caller persisted, seemingly oblivious to the tone of my response, telling me of the paper's "merits".
"Which paper do you normally read?" he chirruped.
"The Guardian," I said.
Warming to a theme that had started to buzz around my brain, I casually informed him that I hadn't read the Times for many years.
"Oh, any reason for that?" he bubbled.
"Rupert Murdoch," I said, the syllables of the name being enunciated with audible disgust.
The penny dropped. He remarked that a lot of the people didn't seem to like Murdoch. You don't say, I was tempted to comment, but didn't. He quickly bade me farewell.
"Have a nice day," he whimpered.
"You too," I smiled before replacing the receiver.
The hot weather has coincided with a plethora of English flags. Otherwise sane individuals have succumbed to the infantile orgy of nationalism. England's first game this afternoon saw them labour to a single goal victory over the mighty Paraguay. The ruddy featured John Bulls grunted & belched their relief at the final whistle.
Across the pond the influence of the bloggers continues to rise exponentially, as confirmed in today's New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/10/us/10bloggers.html ).
Writing in the same edition, columnist Maureen Dowd freely confesses her mixed feelings at the bloggers convention in Las Vegas.