The Friday Speed Read on a Thursday
It’s with a feeling of slight giddiness that we reach what’s surely one of the top three working days of the year: Maundy Thursday. Or Covenant Thursday. Or Great and Holy Thursday. Or Sheer Thursday. Or Thursday of Mysteries (source: Wikireligiousfestivalpedia).
Whatever you call it, the day before a four-day weekend is clearly a time for excitement; a challenge of the very best sort as you plan how to spend 96 hours away from your desk under azure blue skies and glorious Spring sunshine (*checks weather forecast for the weekend) . . . as you plan how to spend 96 hours away from your desk under high cloud and moderate winds.
Regardless of long-weekend-revelry-schedules or disappointing weather forecasts, you can at least be relieved that you are not Sean Spicer. Unless you happen to be reading this Sean in which case, we’d suggest you keep your head down for a bit. As everyone now knows, the White House Press Secretary had a bit of a bad day in the office this week when during his daily press briefing he suggested that Hitler “didn’t use chemical weapons” . . . . . . . . cue very, very long silence. You mean apart from the ones he used when committing industrialised genocide on a scale unprecedented in the history of humanity?
To be fair to SS (even his initials are now mocking him) he was thinking of the missile-mounted variety of chemical weapon as used in last week’s sickening attack by Assad in Syria. However, to have let the Holocaust slip your mind is a massive, massive error for a man in his position. His subsequent, grovelling apologies were clearly sincere but you got the feeling that no matter how much he writhed and begged, the hole he was digging for himself was coffin-shaped.
One surprise was that Spicer’s boss didn’t leap into the debate in his usual fashion of a large man leaping from a tall ladder into a child’s swimming pool. Mind you DJT had other things on his geo-political plate, not least moving a navy strike group to the coast of North Korea (North Korea’s response was predictably nuanced, promising a nuclear attack on the US in retaliation for any attack) and working through the usual gamut of dark emotions that accompany a break-up, in response to V-Putz’s refusal to withdraw his support for Assad.
DJT: Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time low.
V-Putz: I’m keeping all the CDs. And your black t-shirt.
Observant readers will notice that three of the four states mentioned in the paragraph above have cupboards literally stuffed full with nuclear weapons. Are you scared yet? You probably should be.
Another man having a bad week was Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, after a passenger was filmed being dragged off a plane for no other reason than he refused to give the seat he’d paid for after the flight was overbooked. Munoz’s response to the event was, to say the least, inconsistent.
If you missed it, here’s a rough approximation of Munoz’s words as he gradually built towards a ‘Full-Spicer’ apology:
Stage 1: OM to his staff – Listen guys, you did nothing wrong. The guy was disruptive and belligerent.
Stage 2: OM to the media – We messed up. It shouldn’t have happened. It was terrible. It won’t happen again.
Stage 3: CNN news to OM – Why did you call the guy disruptive and belligerent?
Stage 4: OM to CNN news – (absurdly long pause) Like I said, it shouldn’t have happened. It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened. I’m really really really really really sorry.
Elsewhere in newspaper land, The Daily Star has dedicated a week of headlines to the disintegration of Scary Spice’s marriage; the bombing of Borussia Dortmund’s team bus gained widespread coverage, prompting front page fears that Premier League games will be attacked this weekend; The Daily Express reached peak Daily Express with a front page that combined a statistic about “immigrants” taking our jobs with a photograph of Diana and there was a largely dignified display of mourning for the funeral of PC Keith Palmer, killed in the Westminster attack.
Finally, as London’s thirst with bottled water continues to go un-slaked (Londoners drink more of the stuff than anyone else in the UK) the problem of unsightly and damaging plastic waste could soon be tackled by OoHo – an edible water bottle. It’s made from sodium alginate, taken from brown algae, and calcium chloride and it tastes . . . . well, it tastes pretty horrible but Team OoHo are on the case and are working on flavours better than “Synthetic Seaweed”.
But you know what, we shouldn’t be cynical. The OoHo (terrible name aside) could genuinely make the world a better place (after all, every single piece of plastic that’s ever been made still exists and will continue to do so for 500 years) and just right now, we need all the help we can get.
Enjoy a long weekend. And we realise that there’s nothing clever about booting someone when they’re down but Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer is just too good not to watch on repeat.