One of those reassuring days

Yesterday was one of those reassuring days when you realise that possibly you are not quite as big an idiot as you thought you were. Or possibly that you are, but we're all in the soup together, sunk into a morass of idiocy the depth of which far exceeds our capacity to swim or even to tread ... idiocy.

Two events reassured me. The first was the decision from the western world's most popular evangelical theologian - please note, dear friends, that I choose my words carefully - that he would no longer support Donald Trump for the presidential elections and that he had been wrong to support him all along.

This was immensely reassuring to me. I am not a skilled politician and I have no experience of any political party. I am so naïve that I am still glad that we have a constitutional monarchy in the UK, and that we don't have to vote for some chump every couple of years to represent our country - or at least the 46% or so that voted for him/her/shr/it/them. In addition to all this, I come from the Rhondda Valley. You know, we had a communist mayor in the 1980s. We did! We really did! Just as I still wash coal dust out of the back of my neck, so my blood is still tinted red. It's bound to be.

Even so, it seemed to me self-evident that no chump could seriously vote for Trump.

Was I naïve? Had I underestimated the threat posed to the Free World by his opponent? Or could I really see something that so many more intelligent and more faithful people could not?

Well apparently, yes! I, aided by the undoubted advantages of living thousands of miles away and only half understanding the rhetoric of US election time, I perceived something before ... before the western world's most popular evangelical theologian.

Even if I feel this is not quite the occasion to yell "Hurrah for me!" it is nevertheless reassuring. I'm not such a first prize chump after all.

The second occasion was when a very clever friend and colleague, far clever than I, and they have the certificates and sundry jumbled letters to prove it, contacted me for a small service after they had been hoodwinked by fraudsters into giving their card details over the phone.

Some time ago this happened to me. It was the income tax people and it came at income tax time and it was all so plausible and I was in a hurry and I did it - then thanks to the two levels of security I have on my account, I quickly realised that I had been had.

I was able to explain to my colleague the procedure to follow - stop the card, go to the police and report the crime, talk to the bank, they will refund the money lost because of the excellent European consumer protection laws that argue that poor simple dupes like us need protecting from ourselves.

In addition, my excellent bank, to whom I pay charges for the privilege of giving them my money to look after (what!?!?) but who on this occasion earned every last centîme, spotted an unusual volume of purchases being made from the French equivalent of Mos Eisley - a wretched hive of scum and villainy I rarely visit - and blocked the transactions even before I alerted the card centre of the problem.

Well there we are. It happened to my colleague more or less like it had happened to me. However, my colleague - did I mention that they are much clever and much more certificated than I? - showed their superiority of spirit by refusing all annoyance at themselves. "We learn much from these occasions", quoth they. I am still annoyed at my stupidity even a year later.

Oh well. Not so reassuring as all that.


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