Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'll be there....

Pammy with assorted state-of-the-art flotation devicesNot so long ago, the radio played the theme to Baywatch. Everyone was astonished, gobsmacked, that I recognised it.

Not that I was a fan, or even in on whatever night it screened, but you'd have to have been on Mars or somewhere similar to have missed that music, and even the opening credits, being indelibly burned into your brain.

Anyway, one of the very best practical jokes I have come across involved Baywatch.

Way back in the day... that'd be the day when James Bolger had a steady hand on the country's helm... I worked at Parliament. And in those days, they had an emailed newsletter that got sent to everyone in the complex each day. I think they called it POLI, Parliamentary On Line Information (should probably have been POI, but I wasn't around to point that out when it started), which was the name of the unit I worked for, and so they should have called it POLI Newsletter (or POI Newsletter perhaps).

The newsletter was a public forum for POLI users to make announcements and/or requests. Typically you'd have the Bellamy's menu for the week, complete with healthy heart ticks where appropriate, some guff perhaps about staffers getting engaged, married, retired, etc, and there would be a few please "Did anyone tape last Wednesday's Coronation Street, please contact... etc.

One day, I heard the laughing travel around the office as people opened & read their POLI Newsletter. And I did the same when I came across:

"Did anyone happen to tape last week's Baywatch? I missed it unfortunately & would love to borrow the tape for a few days, contact J--- S--- Ext XXXX or email."

The guy then proceeded to field poisoned emails for the rest of the day, and I believe, more than a few abusive phonecalls from those who had read his plea & disapproved of his viewing pleasure.

I emailed him to say that while regretfully I had not taped Baywatch, I did have the entire series of Xena Warrior Princess on VHS. Which was a lie as it happened.

The payoff was the next day, when the next POLI Newsletter included an apology from the man's PA, it seems that the day prior had been his birthday & his devoted PA took the opportunity, when the hapless fellow went to the bathroom without logging off, to sit at his PC & compose his heartbreaking plea for slow-mo Pammy footage.

The laugh that went around as that one was read was even louder than the day before.