E-mail from my Brother: Overload, Paddington Bear Stare, Record Breakers and Letter v Email

Hi Fay,
Mark here with your usual load of nonsense.  You may have noticed I commented on your blog this week about why your referral letter hasn’t been sent out via e-mail.  E-mail overload was my point and it’s why I believe if you want to get someone’s attention send them a letter.  E-mail is a couple of notches up from a Tweet, a letter is a couple of notches down from having words chiselled in stone.

I believe there’s a sliding scale of importance for the written word depending on the medium it’s presented on.  If the Ten Commandments were on a Post-It note I don’t think many people would’ve taken much notice of it.  Likewise if the American Declaration of Independence was an e-mail I’m thinking it might have lost something if it had been sent from a company e-mail account and had these words at the end; 

“Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.”

Here’s e-mail overload … Juliette’s Hotmail account currently lists over six thousand unread e-mails which must mean Norris McWhirter is going to come back from the dead to give her an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Actually now that I come to think of it I’ve just half remembered Norris McWhirter having a bit on Record Breakers where Roy Castle would take a microphone around the audience and the kids would ask Norris questions about who was the tallest-what-ever and who sat the longest in the bath full of so-and-so and Norris would answer and everyone would clap like he was amazing.  Thing is, I don’t actually remember there being some sort of check on Norris’ answers.  He could have been making stuff up; 
“Yes, well, the first person who climbed Mount Everest without oxygen is of course Papa Smurf who did so via the North West route on the 20th August 1980.”
The audience applauds, Roy Castle smiles and nods.  Nowadays the kids would look that stuff up on their iPhones and start calling bullshit.  Innocent times.

Anyway, I also read this week that you’re not sleeping well.  That’s understandable because you’re worried.  Do you know what you should do?  Top tip; this totally works, expect to see it advertised on the sidebars of popular websites.  
“One weird old trick for getting to sleep.  Click here.” 
Etc.  Ready?  What you do is you get really drunk until you pass out.  Simple.

You ever see the film City Slickers?  It’s got Billy Crystal in it, came out in 1991.  The secret to happiness in that film was learnt by Mitch Robbins (played by Billy Crystal) when he totally committed himself to wrangling some cattle.  In that moment his mind wasn’t thinking about the future or the past but on 100% the present.  It’s what Buddhist monks do when they meditate and it’s what psychologists call “mindfulness”.  You don’t even have to go out to Tibet or anything to learn it, you can totally learn that shit from Wikipedia.  I’ve found though that chemical mindfulness is getting really drunk until you pass out though.

Your choice of course.

But make sure you rent City Slickers.  Don’t rent City Slickers II: The Legend of Curley’s Gold though.  The only message that film has was this was to be the first in a long line of crappy roles for Billy Crystal until the role of Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc came up.

So, much like Billy Crystal in the 90s this e-mail is short and may not have been the usual barrel of laughs but chin up, Paddington Bear hard stares all round for the NHS, high five a Buddhist monk and/or Jack Daniels and see what next week brings.

Mark xxxx

P.S. I’m still waiting for a good medieval myth to investigate so next time you get a bad night’s sleep come up with something eh?

He may be writing these to cheer me up (which are so totally working by the way) but my brother has a point about the importance of e-mails versus letters. Or is he just old fashioned? What do you think?

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