The Columnist

Book Review
by Simon Kelner

Barry Took
  Jan Morris
  Simon Kelner
  Ken Crawford
  Caroline Highcock
  Charles Douglas-Home
  Ralph Freeman
  Peter Jamieson
  Jazz for Juniors
  Bearded Lady
  Letter to Agent
  Joanna Lumley
  Lady Margaret Oswick
  Katharine Whitehorn
  Melvyn Bragg
  Margaret Forster
  Richard Ingrams
  Gavyn Davies






Barry Took
Nov 20th 1998

Dear Mr Took,
We understand that you have asked for a fax to be sent to you on behalf of Mr Kington of Limpley Stoke.
            Before we can expedite this matter, we have to know what kind of fax you would prefer to receive.
            We can offer the following alternatives.
            1. The worrying fax.
            This is a fax which says, EIGHT MORE PAGES TO FOLLOW, and then does not produce them.
            2. The condolence fax.
            This says: “Hi! The Samaritans here! We were having a bit of a flat morning, nothing much doing, so we thought we’d fax around and see if anyone needed, like, a chat about things. We were a bit lonely, actually, so PLEASE give us a ring…
            3. The junk fax.
            This offers you a chance to buy Chinese sailing boats at very reasonable prices.
            4. The lady’s fax.
            This is a fax on pink paper with the most heavenly scent of Cardinal Sin, the new smell from Yves St Laurent.
5. The laddish fax.
            This is a fax which jumps out of the machine and head butts you. But only ironically.
            6. The New Left fax.
            Halfway through your reading this, the phone goes and it’s Alastair Campbell, and he says: “I think what this fax is REALLY getting at is this…”
Don’t forget. Dec 18th. Details will follow as sure as eggs is full of salmonella. Or is it listeria?
            Tell the wife, I haven’t forgotten.
            She will know what I mean.
            If she doesn’t know what I mean, tell her I’ve forgotten too.


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