The great satirist, musician and all-round egghead Tom Lehrer once noted having received a letter which read
Darling, I love you and I cannot live without you. Marry me or I will kill myself.
Disturbed, naturally, by this effusion, Mr Lehrer looked once again at the envelope and found that it was addressed
Turning, however, to my favourite topic (myself) I have this morning been deluged with a letter which, when casually opened by myself on arrival at the office orifice, started thusly
You have been nominated to appear in Great Minds of the 21st Century, a major reference directory including just 1,000 of the world’s top thinkers and intellectuals.
I could go one better than Mr Lehrer, however – the letter was actually addressed to me. And, well, false modesty being in my not-so-humble opinion an overrated virtue, I am one of the world’s top thinkers and intellectuals. There’s no argument about it. What’s important is who’s doing the nominating.
It was then that I began to get a little suspicious.
The letter came from a body called the American Biographical Institute, Inc., of Raleigh, North Carolina. Naturally, I looked them up in that unbiased source of all knowledge and wisdom founded by Professor Trellis of North Wales The Outlaw Josey Wales, and this is what I found. The casual reader will note that the American Biographical Institute is hardly the Royal Society, the House of Lords or even the production department for Desert Island Discs.
So, much as one would wish for one’s genius to be recognized, there is only so far that I’m prepared to push people into its recognition. True genius shouldn’t have to work that hard. What do they think I am, a schnorrer? So, in the meantime, I have consigned the invitation to the Circular File.
I am, however, left with an afterthought – who was it who nominated me? Was it done as a kind of jolly jape? Hang on, it might even have been one of you. Now, look, if whoever it was who nominated me for inclusion in this farrago is reading this, please would they do me a favour and nominate me for I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here instead?