All entries for February 2005

February 18, 2005

The art of the insincere apology

A tongue in cheek entry from me again.

Here I cover the art of an insincere apology which is able to get you out of the most serious offences imaginable. Here are the basic pointers

1. Develop a strategic stutter and sound deadly earnest and upset, as if you feel awful about the whole affair.

2. Use words such as "I'm awfully sorry" "I feel like an absolute shit" "I have been unforgiveably rude" "You have every right to be mad with me" The key technique under play here is justifying the persons anger, beating yourself up and being incredibly harsh about yourself, and going over the top. The aim is to make them feel sorry for you and feel they have been to harsh on you. Bonus points for shedding a tear.

3. Next step is to show you understand their point of view. Use of the word you is essential. "I must have dreadfully inconvienced you" "You must be very upset" "I quite understand how you feel" "In your situation I would feel every bit aggrieved"

4. Step 4 is to shift the blame. Having softened them up using aforementioned techniques now shift the blame entirely to other people through excuses e.g. "I did my best but I cannot control other people and feel every bit as let down as you do"

5. Now this is essential. The recipient of the apology probably thinks you are shifting the blame and rightly as you are. Here is the gambit. Say these words after me "However I take full responsibility for the situation and will do whatever it takes to make it up to you" Now make an extravagant promise or grand gesture which you have no intention of keeping and wait for the magic words "No it is quite alright. You really don't have to" Now the second gamble "But I insist" This is risky but if they again refuse not only have you got out scot free but they will probably love you for life and give you acclaim as a gentleman.

6. If you make a plea for forgiveness make on the behalf of a third party not yourself.

So there you have it. This 6 step method can be applied to any situation no matter how grave. I have even successfully used in in court after one of several charges of indecent exposure have been brought before me. Here is how my case was presented: watch the 6 steps

1. I..I..uh.. feel extremely embarrased and awful about the whole affair.

2. You have every right to prosecute me as I behaved unforgiveably in making a spectacle of myself and offending the sensibilities of the local in an act of drunken self-promotion.

3. I quite understand that "x village in the Alps" is a respectable community where displays of public nudity are frowned on and I showed an entire lack of respect for the French people.

4. While it is no excuse in my defence I was drunk and egged on by my friends and I am very vulnerable to peer pressure. In any other situation I would never have done anything so vile, immature and foolish.

5 I will accept any punishment that your honour considers fitting but for the sake of my mother who is ill could you not let this get out or give me a criminal record as it would destroy her and I would hate to be dishonest to my mother and hide a criminal record.

The result: acquitted and slept with the opposition lawyer a foxy french girl who was so impressed by my defence she felt the need to cross examine me in my hotel room.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse this technique and all my apologies are sincere and the example I gave is entirely fictional and I have never been caught on a public indecency charge.

February 12, 2005

In favour of the sporting life

Before you think this is a rant about the benefits of exercise and competition please read on.

I believe team sports are stupid as is exercise. What is the point of team sports when the reality of life is that the only way to get ahead is to selfishly pursue your own interests and where possible find people to cooperate with you who share said interests. That is the essence of capitalism-everyone is looking to make money and hence a system exists where people can be mobilised towards a common goal in the pursuit of riches.

No, the sporting life I am talking about is called gambling. What nobler pursuit can there be than to stake your financial future on the outcome of a horse race or the throw of a dice or the pip of a card? Where else can a man throw caution to the wind, let go of his prudence and joyfully let lady luck determine the course of his life?
Nowhere but the casinos, racecourses and stockmarkets of this country. Risk is essential to getting ahead in life. Look at the enterpreneurs who staked their future on a financial gamble which paid off resulting in the creation of a huge multimillion pound industry. And risk is the main thing lacking from a university education

My solution:
1. Teach poker, blackjack, craps and backgammon as compulsory modules in all courses
2. TUrn the union into a casino and the sportsgrounds into racecourses
3. Have option modules in the science of picking a horse, the art of bookmaking, and sharepicking

What is my involvement in gambling?

I love the stockmarket and currently have a portfolio which started at 5000 pounds a year ago and has now grown to 10000 pounds. This was achieved by shrewd investments and a helluva lot of luck.

I play bridge in London clubs for money (a card game) and generally break even although I have had big wins and losses

I am known to bet on horses and greyhounds and even fleas in the sanctity of my home. Cockroach racing is a passion of mine

My brother is a semi-professional poker player running alongside his medical degree and makes a thousand a month playing online

Modern day life is lacking in excitement. Everything is so predictable.
We go to university, get a degree, go to the union every monday and listen to the same songs, talk to the same people, and end up with a boring civil service job.

We lack uncertainty, risk and adventure which defined man over the ages. No longer do we sail in the hope of discovering new land, no longer do we boldly risk life and death to conquer new territory, no longer do we gamble our home on the throw of a dice.

I urge everyone before it is too late to take up the sporting life, forget about your degrees and learn something much more valuable. The art of risktaking, gambling and throwing caution to the wind.

February 2005

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