At what time do you want me?

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF -

ARE you a punc­tual per­son? I am. If my ed­i­tor asks me to sub­mit my col­umn by 5pm that’s when he’ll have it.

I won’t de­liver it at 7pm ac­com­pa­nied by a list of ex­cuses longer than a camel’s tongue. It will ar­rive at five on the dot.

So why do of­fi­cial in­vi­ta­tions ask you to be there at 7 for 7.30?

When do they want us 7pm or half past? If you turn up prompt at seven there’s rarely any­one there.

I did it over Christ­mas and the host was still in the bath (were we sup­posed to hop in?).

It’s one of those so­cial eti­quettes I just don’t get. You wouldn’t hear the stew­ard telling jock­eys to be at the start­ing gate at 3 for 3.30. It’s ei­ther the three o’clock race or it isn’t.

You don’t have foot­ball matches kick­ing off at 3 for 3.30 and I never had a boss giv­ing me a half hour win­dow in which to turn up for work. It doesn’t make any sense.

Are we so stupid that we must be told to ar­rive a lit­tle early for din­ner?

If so what’s the point of dig­i­tal time­keep­ing?

Your old grand­dad’s spring-loaded pocket watch will do. Why buy a watch at all? Our cat can tell the time to within 30 min­utes. If he hasn’t been fed by seven you can hear him wail­ing from White Nancy.

So, do me a favour. If you are send­ing out tick­ets to a func­tion just tell us what time din­ner is served. We can work it out from there.

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