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dimanche 12 mars 2017



Hi everybody,

This chapter was to be posted one week ago, but Zeus decided to deprive me of power, and to show his strength, waited nearly one week to press the on-button again ! I mean, storm Zeus swept Brittany, blew trees and electric wires down, and we could regain electricity only last Friday evening ! I'll tell you more about that in another episode, but now, here is what you should have read last week !

I can't thank you enough for all your feedback !  My last story has triggered a lot of comments.
Quite sure, " Coincidences or Fate ? " is a controversial issue. So, for those of you who often feel awkward when it comes to making small talks, no need to rack your brain any longer ! Just tackle that topic and let the conversation flow : that's an endless debate.
By the way, thank you dear Emily for reminding me of Lincoln-Kennedy similarities. I had already heard about that urban legend, but you gave me the opportunity to read about it again. Well, I must recognize the number of coincidences between those two presidents is a bit baffling and gives food for thought ...

Anyway, whatever the subject, feel free to keep dropping mails in my inmail box*. Your comments, questions and suggestions are precious and always welcome, and up to now I have never failed to answer.
It's an easy  and reliable way to communicate, isn't it ? At least, easier and more reliable than leaving a voicemail message.
I must confess that being told what to do after the beep often gets on my nerves.
You all know that kind of honey-tongued message :

     " There's no one here to take your call at the moment. Please leave
        a message after the tone, and we'll get back to you as soon as
        possible. "

How pesky and frustrating ! Sometimes, worse : not even the weakest promising ringing time ! My call goes straight to a voicemail, and then, more often than not, I end up tongue-tied. Time to recall all the relevant information I need to get across, and the sneaky voicemail has cut me off ! Zero tolerance for spluttering !
That's what you call ' voicemail greetings ' ? How cheeky !
Some should be called ' voicemail warnings '. Then we would hear a message such as :

     " Don't bother leaving a message. We won't listen to it ".

A bit rough-and-ready, but such a huge time saver !

I guess I'll be dating myself if I tell you that I sometimes regret the days when the only three options for the outcome of a call were that, either it was answered, rang indefinitely, or blared the hope-breaking busy signal.
But that's a bygone age, and for the millenials among you, something like the prehistory of text messaging, I fear.

Come on, I know you must be thinking that for a chatterbox like me, leaving a clear and concise message is, of course, no picnic.
You're both right and wrong.
I'm so talkative with my friends, that, when I leave a message on their voicemails, what should take 30 seconds to say, usually take 3 minutes, so , more often than not, I get cut off. Never mind, I call back, cause I can't bear an online service to rule the roost ! be honest, that second message is often to give my name ! When leaving a message, that's something which often slips my mind !
Don't laugh ! I'm not the only scatterbrain ! I can't count the number of times I get voicemail messages where people go on and on , and I don't even know who's talking to me. Unfortunately, there's a limit to my spy skills.
Even worse, I remember once calling back all the ' Jane ' I knew (half a dozen), cause on the recorded message I couldn't guess ' Jane who ? ' had asked me for an urgent appointment !

But when it comes to something more formal, no off-the-cuff speaking !
Hemming and hawling ? No way ! So, I usually think through, or sometimes write out, what I want to say, before I place my call. For me that's the only safe way not to fill my message with lots of ' uhhhs ' and ' ummms '. Then, things go on smoothly.
That's a tip you can use, as long as your brain never short circuits. Unfortunately, mine often does ...

That's what happened last time I phoned my notary to make an appointment. I know he is always snowed under with work, and that my call would go straight to his voicemail, but I really needed him to squeeze me in. So, to make sure to emphasize the matter was urgent, I had written down my message without neglecting the smallest detail. You know how pernickety notaries can be ! But that's the mainstay of their job, and anyway, what is clearly thought out is clearly expressed.

As soon as the beep had sounded, I mentioned my name and my phone number, and recorded my message, paying attention not to mutter and talk too fast.
When I was done with my call and about to hang up, to make things less formal, I thought that something like ' Have a nice day ' would do the trick.
That's when my brain short circuited ! I said in a loud and clear voice :

     " Have a nice day, honey "

Honey !! Why " honey " ?? It did not even rhyme with " day " ! To end on a rhyming note, I could have said :

     " Have a nice evening, Darling ! ",or, " Good night, sleep tight ".

Come on, I'm kidding ! When I realized my blunder, I had already hung up !
What could I do ? Break into the notary's office and steal his phone ? Just nonsense !
You know what ? As the saying goes, you never change a winning team ...
Half a minute later, I phoned my notary again, and left another message begging him to forget the last words of my previous message, cause that was not what I meant.
All day long, I was in a daze, and in the late afternoon when the phone rang and I heard my notary's voice, I nearly fainted.
He just said he had understood my message (which one ?) was urgent, and that we could meet the week after. We agreed on a date, and before hanging up, he added :

     " Oh, by the way, as far as I can remember, your penname is Perky
        Busy Bee, isn't it ? So, let me tell you a joke :

       ... What does a bee say to the flower ?
       ... Hello honey !!

       I guess you were in your garden when you left your first message.
       So, don't worry, I have deleted it !

If I had been feeling more at ease at the moment, I would have replied :
       Bee-hive yourself !

But, one pun too many could have ruined my day ! Definitely !

I just thanked him politely, said good-bye and hung up.

Now you know why voicemails and me are not always in good terms.

That's all for this week, folks.

Enjoy your reading and don't forget : BE PERKY !

* for any information, questions, suggestions ,or anything else :

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