Friday, October 29, 2010

On matters of free speech... and letters to Editors

Its funny (peculiar) sometimes how things pan out in life. The letter I sent to SST was published (with some fairly injudicious editing. At least I can thank my lucky stars that they published it without (as TFS is always complaining) leaving out all of the sense of it. They did remove the “potty jockey” crack I had at Michael Laws. All in all it was about a half of what I had originally writ.

And therein lies the funny. Printed in small red letters above my contribution (as printed in SST) were the words “Winning Words”. Now if you look down to the end of the letters space you find a little note to the effect that you may win a ball-pen… It is now Friday and I haven’t yet seen it.

Not, you understand, because it is coveted; far from it as at work I use a very simple slim ball-pen refill (no cover or cap), a practice which stops me from walking out the door with it in my pocket and stops anyone else from knicking it off of my desk. I also have a very nice “special” at home which includes a wood barrel and cap turned by a very good friend and given me for my 60th. The wood is swamp kauri, reputedly (from the certificate Len gave me) aged at 6,500 BPE. Was there a hint there, old Len? It is a thing of beauty indeed and thus far unused. That might change when I renew my Will in a few weeks’ time. I also have (somewhere in the laboratory) a very expensive Scheaffer (like this one) fountain pen. Last time I used it (to sign my Marriage Certificate and the Register) I needed an ink cartridge for it and I ended up refilling the old empty with ordinary cheap ink.

I am wondering if the Subbie who re-wrote my contribution has claimed the pen as his own in return for the work he put in to get my letter published.

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