My wife, on the other hand, needed four bags. I have absolutely no idea why. It’s not as though we had to change our clothes several times a day. I remonstrated with her when we left home and I saw all her bags lined up on the bedroom floor, but I was informed, with a touch of asperity, that I simply did not understand. Probably I don’t. I don’t even understand what it is that I don’t understand.
And something that came as a bit of a surprise. For some people it is even sad, but because I am so far removed from the people involved, it is merely interesting. In the mid-1990s I worked for a big firm of worldwide management consultants. Their head office was in Florida; I was in charge of marketing in the London office, though I did visit the Florida office. In fact that was my very first visit to Florida, little suspecting that one day I’d end up living there. The CEO, who had started the firm from nothing twenty years before and was now a millionaire several times over, was in his early sixties, had a very hands on approach, sported a young blonde wife and usually wore a toupee that fooled no one. I met him briefly only once, but I saw him many times in training videos and pictures of him , often with is wife, were plastered all over the company’s publicity material. I have to say I did not enjoy the job, and when they decided to close several offices across Europe and to run European operations from their office in Dublin, I was not sad at all.
Cut to a few months ago. I had never given that company a second thought since the day I received my final pay cheque from them, but for some reason the name came to mind and I wondered if they were still in existence, so I used good old Google to see what I could find. What I did find was a bit of a shock. Apparently, everything in the garden had not been lovely. The company did still exist, in a rather truncated form, but some years ago had gone bankrupt. The CEO was dead. A few months before I Googled, his wife had divorced him and had been awarded a very generous, maybe even unfairly generous, settlement. Unfair or not, it had prompted this man to go sit in his gazebo late one night, phone a local radio station to rant and complain about the inequities of Florida divorce laws and (I’m not sure if he was still on the phone or not) to blow his brains out.
The other day, my wife and I were talking about various websites and she used a very descriptive term for sites that grab you and keep you reading them for hours – rabbit holes. Maybe it’s a long established expression to describe sites like that, but it was the first time I had heard it. I knew just what she meant. There are some sites where I have spent many hours of my life reading, clicking, reading more, for hours on end. In particular, I can think of YouTube, Wikipedia, IMDB, Etiquette Hell. Do you have any rabbit holes? If so, what are they?