Vol. 3, Issue 23, November 8, 2005
Education for the Otiose

The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is... achoo!

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

There is much about Man that is firm and Resolute: his will, his code of Ethics, his preference for a favorite Scotch. However, we are at heart somewhat Fragile beings, truly never far from the Mud whence Adam was once formed, and to which we all eventually shall Return. The marvelous Clockwork of our bodies is subject to any Number of failings, alas, much like the Shipman's Clock in the News-room which seems to suffer somewhat from the slings and Arrows it receives (in the form of paper Aero-planes from the Staff, I suspect).

Hale and hearty though the legendary Watley physique may be, still I am no Exception to this rule and must indeed occasionally pay my Dues as a mortal man. Though my faithful Physician pays me a call every fifth Thursday, there are times when Illness does not Co-operate with the schedule; and has it happens, the good Doctor was compelled to Postpone his most recent visit: something about a lost Dog in Devonshire.

I find on this day that my Corpuscles are acting up a bit, for there is a Fire in my forehead that belies the chill November morn. Ephram, the scoundrel, noted simply that I seemed Flushed upon my arrival and urged me to take a Seat as he fetched me a refreshing Beverage. To his Chagrin, I was not so far gone as to relinquish my Pocket-watch or Wallet, despite his charming offer to put them "in a Safe Place." Heavens, it is Astonishingly frigid in this news-room. I have Elisabeth throw another few logs on the Fire.

But I can tarry but a Moment or two: my work Beckons! Resolutely I stagger to my Feet and march firmly, and with only a Minor bit of wavering, towards my own Office. Fortunately, generations of seafaring Watleys have given me some sturdy Sea-legs; they serve me Well as I weave towards my morning Correspondence. The pile is deep to-day. The walk to my Desk seems to take rather Longer than normal. I wonder if the Cleaning-staff has moved my desk farther from the door. No matter: I make the trip.

I raise the first letter: but my head is Pounding, and I am unable to appreciate the literary merits of my Correspondence. Alas! I take a dram of Speyside to fortify myself, but it does not have the usual Effect of sharpening my wits. Perhaps if I were to rest my Eyes for just a few moments, I should be able to tackle the mail with renewed Vigor.

...Zounds, where did the Morning go? I seem to have missed a few Hours somewhere there. Quick, I must make up for lost Time! The more Handsome envelopes go on the Mantel, the Coarse ones in the Basket by the Hearth, the ones redolent of unsavory Odors pitched into the Fire. There: sorted! I must Hurry if I am not to be late for my Luncheon!

Sternly I stride into the News-room. But it is ever difficult to find a Cab at this time of day. Perhaps one of the lads could call one on the Tele-phone first; in the Mean-while, I can rest on this Divan for a few moments, provided I can evict my Nephew from the place. Fortunately, for all that I am not my normally hale Self, I seem to have lost None of my accuracy with the Walking-stick: Ephram stands aside with a Minimum of prodding so I may rest, for just a second.

...By Saint Eustace's beard, the afternoon seems to have Slipped away on little cat feet as well! At this rate we shall Never publish our next issue. But alas, I feel as Unpleasant as my nephew generally Looks, and that, good readers, is Not Good. Well, a good sailor knows when to bow before the Wind. I wave a firm editorial hand in general act of Benison over the efforts of my stalwart Crew, whatever they are Concocting for this week's issue, and head for Home. I shall have to trust to their Competency and Professionalism.

With any luck, I shall be too Ill to read the results.

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