Her say… His say…
with Frances Whiting and Rory Gibson.
Ilost three readers last week. I don’t mean I took them on an outing and lost them in IKEA – I mean they will no longer be reading this column.
I know this because they told me so, writing to say that because I had shown my affiliation to the yes vote in the same-sex marriage debate, they would no longer read anything I wrote.
All three readers’ letters upset me – to lose one reader may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose three looks like carelessness, as our old friend Oscar Wilde might say. Now, the good thing was all three, who identified as long-term readers, actually took the time to explain their stance to me, which I appreciated, but you know what? I don’t care. I don’t care because they’ll be back. Oh yes, mark my words. They might be all huffy and puffy right now, all “Oh, that Frances Whiting, she’s such a Mardi Gras-loving, left-wing, wheatgrass-drinking tosser,” but later, oh yes, later in the cold, hard light of a Sunday morning, they’ll regret breaking up with us.
And I do mean us. Because we are, and always have been, in this column caper together.
So I don’t know when they’ll start missing us – perhaps at the first sign of rubbish being put out for kerbside collection, or in the first magpie attack of the spring. But miss us they will.
“I must get Frances’s eggnog recipe for Christmas…” they’ll start saying, before remembering, “Oh, that’s right, I can’t, I wrote ‘You’re dead to me’ to her.”
One of the readers actually wrote that, by the way. Well, the exact words were: “I never thought I’d write these words to my favourite columnist, but Frances Whiting, you’re dead to me,” before softening the blow with, “But I wish you happiness and good health, nevertheless.”
Good health is a little tricky to pull off when you’re dead, but I appreciate the sentiment. The thing is, as long-term readers of this column, they will know their stance means they will miss out on such things as the yearly Remotely Achievable List, the annual Most Annoying Words List, the quarterly People Who Annoy Me List, and many other semi-regular features of this column, many of them containing the word “annoying”.
They’ll also miss out on this column’s hilarious and not-at-all-getting-tired references to Colin Firth jumping into a variety of water bodies, as well as immature observations about Donald Trump’s hair.
But mostly, I hope they’ll be back because I’ve always said, and hoped, that the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us.
“To lose one reader may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose three looks like carelessness, as Oscar Wilde might say”