Round Robins

I know I promised to leave you alone until Friday but I couldn’t sit on this one. I just couldn’t. Yesterday morning, as I staggered downstairs at 10am, clutching the dressing gown I’ve worn since my youth tightly around my bosom, my reluctantly waking eyes were greeted with the unwelcome sight of five strangers looking up from an piece of paper on my kitchen table. The dreaded Round Robin. Unaware at that early hour of what vicious mayhem would ensue, I picked it up and gave it a read. How I wish I hadn’t. Ever since it has caused such an itch in my mind as cannot be satisfied, no matter how severe the scratching.

It was written, as you might expect from any advertisement, with scant regard to truth. The cliché was heavily employed as a literary devise and the arrogant tone of the piece bothered me so much that I felt compelled to bother you.

What are these horrible things all about? Since when has shameless self-congratulation been a part of Christmas? Christmas cards are about the other person – you are supposed to be hoping they had a good year, not rambling on about how great your family’s year was. Nobody cares.

In the spirit of the festive season I have decided not to deconstruct in this place the object in question, highlighting areas of particular notice and generally being a prick, which I would have with efficient brutality in any other mood. Instead I have written a Round Robin of my own along similar lines, together with a less flattering self-evaluation. You will find the original offending article at the bottom of this post. I have blurred the details, I don’t know why. Finally, I would like to apologise to any of my readers who send Round Robins of their own. I’m sure yours are of suitable quality.

Fantasy:

Ed, 23 has really gone from strength to strength this year. After graduating from King’s College London with a degree in Philosophy, he returned to his job at Barnham Broom in order to fund his expansive travelling plans. Having already been all over the world (or so it seems to his poor parents!) this time he went to Australia, Fiji, for the first time, and to New Zealand and Thailand again! It’s alright for some! Apart from travelling (and football!) Ed has decided that writing is the career for him. It’s a difficult path alright, but he seems to be taking it into his stride with his usual enthusiasm. Let’s face it, if anyone can do it, he can! He has already written one novel (for which he is represented) and eight shorter stories. He’s not Hemingway yet, but he’s halfway there! He is now in the midst of preparation for a Masters in British Modern History, which he hopes to begin in the summer. Watch this space! Did I mention how proud of him we are?

Reality:

Ed, 23 is in his fifth year at Barnham Broom, and still on minimum wage. You might have expected him to have been promoted by now, but we can’t all excel now can we? He narrowly missed out on a 1st from King’s College London last year, graduating with a 2:1… the same degree as everybody else. In a desperate bid to forget his troubles, he launched himself across the other side of the world, and came back, gaunt and starey, several thousand pounds worse off than he’d been before. He’s got the memories, though. We hear they last a lifetime – unfortunately it looks as though the same is going to be true of his student debt! Ed decided some years back that writing was the career for him. We all thought he was joking, but in spite our most anxious advice to the contrary, he has tried to ‘live the dream’ (as he would say on a good day) and has plugged away admirably for the better part of a year without success. In the absence of any real alternatives, he has now began preparations for a Masters in British Modern History, having found himself soundly wanting in the outside world. Did I mention he lives at home?

The Real Round Robin:

My family's well too, thanks for asking.

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14 Comments

Filed under Rants, Rants, Raves & Reviews

14 responses to “Round Robins

  1. Delightful!

    Now there’s a creative writing career path: ordinary people submit to you the honest details of their lives and you translate it into Round Robin for their annual letters.

    “Lanky and a bit of a party animal” did have me laughing though. You would need to work that into every note.

  2. I want to know who the impartial interviewer here is describing each family member in turn. It starts off in the 1st person plural then a biographer jumps in to finish the job.

  3. Authentic; you will look back on these days decades from now and marvel at your spirit and youth with longing heart!

  4. OMG! This is so funny! I get them too and don’t bother to read most of them.
    I just got one today that said, “I am now dating some very interesting men.” TMI!!! That was in the first paragraph!
    I make my own Christmas card illustrating my family and just posted about it.

  5. Fabulous job! I really enjoyed my little visit 🙂 Wanted to say, have a blessed, safe Merry Christmas and New Year!! Terri

  6. Very entertaining, Edward 😀

  7. I got some laughs from this. Thank you! Laughs are precious but such a delicate chemistry for me, that I truly appreciate this post!

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