Thursday, August 23, 2007

"London Assurance"

A week from tonight, at this very time, we will all be en route to London. In fact, around this very hour, we should be having dinner over Newfoundland.

I am trying to get some projects completed at work before our trip, and I will not be writing again until after our return from London. I will not have time, before we go, to complete the three “assignments” Joshua mentioned in his blog.

All of us are exceedingly excited about our trip. My brother cannot wait, as he loves London above all other cities. My parents cannot wait, as they look forward to fifteen days exploring London’s history and art and architecture in an organized and leisurely fashion, something they have not been able to do since before my oldest brother was born. Joshua cannot wait, as this will be only his second trip to London and as he wants to experience more than London’s essential tourist attractions, which is all he witnessed on his previous trip.

I, of course, cannot wait, either. Like my brother, I love London above all other cities. I also want my parents to experience an enriching, stimulating vacation—and one free from worries and any potential hassles, since my brother and Josh and I will be there to look out for them. I also cannot wait for Josh to learn to love London as I do.

For us, one week from tonight, our summer will be over. When we return, the college football season will be under way, and Josh will be at his new job, and we will all start to plan for the autumn holidays.

Where does the time go?


  1. Drew:

    Where does the time go? I don't know, but I can't believe we have been out of law school for 15 months. Amazing.

    Here's to a great time in London. I don't think I'll have a chance to talk to you before you go, so have fun and be safe. Your planned schedule is an embarrassment of riches.

    Talk to you when you get back.


  2. I'll call you on Monday, Paul. So I'll talk to you before we go.

  3. I just read your blog and I'm just now coming up for air.

    I live in Hampstead and I read the threads on Pliable today, which is how I came across your blog. Bully for you! Pliable knows of what he's speaking.

    It's 3:00 in the morning here, and I've been reading you for four hours. I can't believe how well you write.

    I am one of those Oxbridge fellows your pal just criticized, so maybe I should be all unfriendly and in a toot. I'll let that pass.

    I have seats for the Vienna Philharmonic and Leipzig concerts you will be attending. Would you like to meet? Before the concerts or at intermission? I'm dying to meet you.

    You are frighteningly intelligent, but you are also incredibly witty and droll and mischievous and fun-loving. I think 99% of your wit probably goes over your readers' heads. You've had some real dunces post on your blog (most of all the infamous Earle, who finally went away, I see), and they clearly didn't know what to make of you. You handled them well, by the way, rightly ignoring them or dismissing them, as the case may be. In future, I would simply delete dunce comments if I were you.

    I'd like to meet you, if you're up to it.

    We Anglo intellectuals must stick together, you know. There aren't that many of us around on either side of the pond.

    Tell Joshua I can introduce him to Ruth Scurr, if you think that's a good idea! Or not. Shall I show Ruth what Joshua wrote about her book? I think not, at least for now.

    Let me know.

    I would offer you some London advice, but you appear not to need any.

    Calvin Cox (call me CC)

  4. You have had a lot of trolls visit. I pointed that out to you months ago. I specifically mentioned Earle. What are you doing wrong? I'd take the advice. Start deleting the dunces.

  5. Gentlemen:

    Well, thank you very much for believing that my blog has become a clearinghouse for comments by dumbos!

    My blog is ten months old. All in all, there has only been a handful of "dunces" and "trolls", as you call them, post comments on my blog. And I have basically ignored anyone who is an obvious idiot. "Dunces" and "trolls" come with the territory, I believe, in the world of blogging. The only comments I have ever deleted were advertisements.

    Only one comment on my blog has ever irritated me. That was a comment by a young lady from Indiana who inquired about American composer Christopher Rouse. I responded to her comment, fully and in a thoughtful manner, and I referred her to other resources, and she did not even have the courtesy to say "Thank You" to my considered response to her. I found that to be irritating, largely because she had wasted my time.

    Since I am no longer actively blogging, the issue of handling comments is more or less academic at this point.

    As for Joshua, he immediately deletes comments from "weirdos and psychos", as he calls them. They don't realize it, but they invariably leave tell-tale signs of their dementia. He's had to delete comments four or five times already, even though he has only been blogging for a month or so.

    Yes, Dan, I remember Earl. Yes, Dan, I remember your comments about Earl from several months ago. Yes, Earl was obviously dumb, but Earl clearly had other problems as well. Earl has moved on and is now presumably bothering other people.

    Calvin, are you serious about meeting at a Proms concert? Are you certain you want to meet someone whose blog attracts comments by hoards of "dunces"? I might be a "dunce" myself, you know. If you are serious, please let me know.

    I will not be attending the Proms concerts alone. I will be there with Joshua, my brother and my parents.


  6. Andrew, I would like to meet you. I was sincere. The fact that your blog attracts dunces doesn't mean you are a dunce. There are piles and piles of dunces out there, in America and everywhere. I'm frankly surprised you have not attracted even more dunces to your blog than you have.

    How about meeting before the Vienna Philharmonic concert? Your schedule shows you have free time before the concert.

    Tell Joshua to keep deleting the comments of "weirdos and psychos".

    As for Earl or Earle, I predict he will be back. I don't think he can stay away. Stupidity is not his only curse. He and one or two other of your dunce posters suffer from incurable cases of class resentment. Keep ignoring them. If not, it will be at your peril.

    How about it? Coffee before Barenboim? We may all need it.


  7. Calvin:

    You are not going to bring David Cannadine, Ruth Scurr and Stella Tillyard with you, are you, to lynch us for panning their books?


  8. Definitely not. I am harmless. I have a First from Oxford and I am an analyst in the civil service, working in intelligence. I worked in the states for two years after 9-11.

    Want to know how good I am? Your sister-in-law's first cousin is Mr. Caley.

    Now, does that impress you?

  9. Calvin:

    Yes, that indeed impresses me. It also frightens me. It makes me wonder what else you have managed to find out about me and my family.


  10. Andrew, I am so very, very sorry. I did not mean to frighten you at all. I meant to let you know I was reliable. My intent was to give you comfort and I see I am causing the reverse effect. Have your sister-in-law's father at Parliament check me out. He will be able to do that easily.

  11. Calvin:

    I AM going to have my sister-on-law check with her father, who is at JFK right this very minute, preparing to board a plane to London.

    I hope to be able to get back to you early next week with an answer--and armed with a complete list of your first cousins.


  12. Andrew, I did not mean to offend you. I intended the very opposite. Please have your sister-in-law have her father make inquiries about me. That will put your mind at ease, which was my original intent. Your sister-in-law's father can then pass on my work email address. That should satisfy your concerns. I am very sorry I upset you, which was far from my inten. Calvin Cox

  13. Calvin:

    If you check out, we will be happy to meet you for coffee at The Royal Albert Hall before the Vienna Philharmonic Proms concert.

    I will send you an email next week, to your work email address, as soon as I obtain it from Lizbeth's father.


  14. Andrew, I assure you I will check out. I am very sorry I caused you any offense or distress. As I said, that was never my intent. I look forward to making your acquaintance at the Proms. I will wait until I hear from you next week. Calvin Cox

  15. Andrew:

    I would be very concerned if I were you about meeting this British fellow. I don’t think it’s a good idea at all. You have no idea what he’s up to and he very well may be up to no good.

    Andrew, I also think you should stop allowing strangers to comment on your blog. I don’t think this is a good idea at all. Susan fully agrees with me.

    Andrew, you should go back and read what that Earl guy wrote. He was very disturbing. He was a complete nut. He was unbalanced. He kept insistently asking you for personal information and he would not stop. He could not process elementary information. He got increasingly nasty with you as you pointed out that he was not in command of his facts. He kept changing his stories. He was totally inconsistent with himself within minutes. He started namecalling, first telling you that you were too provincial and then too cosmopolitan (?). He followed that up with calling you too anti-American and too illiterate (?). You kept giving him facts, and he kept responding with bile. He said he was going away forever and then he came right back. Andrew, that guy has serious mental problems. He might pose a risk to you.

    Earl is not the only nut you have had to deal with. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for you to allow comments on your blog.

    I also think that meeting this British fellow is a very bad idea and Susan agrees with me.

    I think you should talk to your father about these things.

    Ron Brown

  16. Mr. Brown:


    I think I have a pretty good grasp of who the wackos are.

    And there is, after all, a psychiatrist in my family, available for consultation at all times, and she reads my blog (as well as serves as Grammar Police) and I talk to her every day.

    Earl was harmless, I assure you. I had a lot of fun with Earl, doing what a lawyer does: presenting facts calmly and politely, and watching the witness self-destruct. Earl played his part on cue, as such persons always and inevitably do, and Earl was far too obtuse even to realize that his remarks were becoming more and more foolish until it was too late for him. He hung himself without even realizing it until long after the game was over. Earl poses no threat to me or anyone else, I assure you.

    I do not think that my British visitor is anything other than what he appears to be. If he does not check out, I will not meet him. If he does check out, I will meet him, in a public place, in the presence of others, including my father (and woe betide anyone who would ever want to tussle with my Dad).

    I just think the British visitor wants to meet some American visitors who are interested in sports, history, politics, art and music—you know, sort of a provincial/cosmopolitan/anti-American/illiterate such as myself!

    So I would not worry about me, Mr. Brown. I think I can handle the wackos—and there truly have not been that many of them, despite what you and some others apparently believe.

    All the best to you and Mrs. Brown.


  17. Andrew, as a licensed professional, I recommend you rename your blog "Clearinghouse For Dumbos". That name will more accurately reflect the true nature of your blog and will limit your liability. A bill for my professional advice will go out tomorrow. If not paid within thirty days, your bill will be considered in arrears. Paul

  18. I hope my check doesn't get lost in the mail.