Tag Archives: common cold

2006. Online business meeting

Well! What an unbelievable mess! Olga, who lived in New York, had been asked by Hector, who lived in South Africa, to organize a meeting online. The two of them were to discuss an important business deal with Jack, who lived in Scotland.

The meeting was to seal a multimillion dollar transaction. Jack in Scotland had the money, Hector in South Africa had the imagination, and Olga in New York had the drive. It was easy-peasy! All three knew it. A deal could be struck so effortlessly that possibly a deal could be struck even before a deal could be struck!

The business of different time zones was easily solved; as was taking into account Summer Time and all other unnecessary foibles of modern time-foolery. Such a thing was simple arithmetic. All three came online at the same time. That was when the confusion began.

Not a single one of the three had the slightest inkling as to what the other was saying. The accents caused total muddlement. It was all Double Dutch. Olga, Hector, and Jack might as well have spoken in turn in Njerep, Kaixana and Paakantyi.

The meeting was worse than a waste of time; it was a disaster. Afterwards, Olga jumped off a bridge (in fact it held up traffic for quite some time). Hector took his elephant-hunting gun and went for a walk (he has never been seen since). Jack went and dined as usual in a fancy restaurant. (He had so much money he didn’t give a hoot about some silly failed transaction).

And that is why the antidote for the common cold has never been made available.

1043. Facial tissues

Amy Thornton stood in the supermarket aisle and viewed all the boxes of facial tissues. So many brands. So many infusions. There was eucalyptus and jasmine and cinnamon and … some were just plain plain with no smell at all.

Then there were degrees of softness. Some were light and fluffy and some were strong. The fluffy ones were useless; one sneeze and they’d have a hole right through, putting phlegm in the palm of the hand.

Then there were different sizes: big ones, small one, some for the car, some for the handbag…

Life was so much easier when there had been only the one brand with the one size. In fact it was so much easier when people used a handkerchief.

Amy Thornton sneezed. It was a great big sneeze that sent particles of her common cold all over the boxes of tissues. The sneeze was what Amy had been waiting for. Now everyone who bought a tissue box would have reason to use it.