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(Please make a note of your Reader Number in case of failure to achieve complete
satisfaction, reconciliation with your past, hopefulness for the future and
a general sense of calm but alert well-being.)

Sometimes life is hard. But just when it seems darkest, a pleasant thought
will often distract me from my malcontented reverie. I stop thinking about tearing
Jerry Springer's throat out. I cease to yearn for the news that Tony Blair has
exploded from a lethal build-up of self-satisfaction. I even stop worrying about
my computer.

Today, as I sat down to write this column, I don't mind admitting I was feeling
pretty down. It was hot. I had a sore eye. The fridge was making that noise
again. The Government's foreign exchange policy struck me as ill-advised. Try
as I might, I couldn't lay my hand on my 1686 edition of Suetonius, lost somewhere
in the elegant domains of my modest early Georgian chambers overlooking one
of London's most stylish and sought-after parks. And, thanks to the abominable
defalcations of my man Pulvertaft, the Krug was at room-temperature yet again.

And then I thought of one individual human being who is an inspiration to us
all. Uncomplaining, diligent, universally loved, intrepid, determined, overcoming
all the handicaps and ingratitudes of a vulgar an unappreciative age, 1317E-388D5-008C3--D0006F
is a shining beacon in a world of gloom. Suddenly it seemed churlish to be downcast.
I decided to spare Pulvertaft's miserable life. A smile crept across my saturnine
yet ascetically-chiselled "face".

Yes - while there are people like 1317E-388D5-008C3--D0006F in it, the world
isn't such a bad place.

©Michael Bywat-Er-Mat™ 1999.


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