Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PROCRASTINATE (08/04/16)
- TITLE: One More Crack Like That...
By Noel Mitaxa
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Our proud motto: “Behind You All the Way!”
To: The Manager,
Whitechapel Bell Foundry,
34 Whitechapel Road,
Three years ago, during our last annual meeting, one of our esteemed members lifted the mood from general torpor to a sense of mild awareness. All from his raising an issue that has caused much anxiety across our nation. And no less than here in Philadelphia.
This issue concerns our national bi-centenary, and how we might make an appropriately unique contribution to the celebration which may by now be receding in some people’s memory. We realize that - by your calendar - this great event took place some forty years ago. But this does not reduce our wish to offer something memorable to our national identity and ethos.
To be true to our principles, we would never put off till tomorrow what we could ultimately and completely forget; yet we owe something to our national heritage. And it’s this matter of owing that we believe should strike a mutual chord with you.
Well, if not striking a chord, then clearly a bell.
Yes, a bell. The Liberty Bell, which your foundry cast in late 1750 and inscribed with message that proved to be more than prophetic: “To proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof – Lev XXV – X. By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania for the State House in Philadelphia.”
The bell turned out to be faulty when it was first tested, and it has not rung since a huge crack appeared in 1835. If it were merely a lamp-shade, we could easily turn it around and conceal this fault; but you will appreciate that we are referring to a two-thousand-pound bell!
For centuries, Whitechapel Bells has been the world leader in bell-making – including your world-famous “Big Ben” - and we are sure that you would not want your reputation to be tarnished in any way. Not that we should actually precipitate such action, for we firmly believe that if anything is worth doing it should have already been done.
However, we ask you to address this unfortunate scenario. We are a proud nation, with much to be proud of – without denying the rich treasure of our mostly British origins. So, without rushing to the main point of this correspondence, we would like to know if you would seriously consider upholding the warranty provisions of this purchase which was made in good faith.
I M Whiting
June 22, 2016
June 30, 2016
To: Mr I M Whiting
The Procrastinators Society of America
United States of America
34 Whitechapel Road
Dear Mr Whiting,
Upon receiving your letter, I immediately called an emergency meeting of our Board of Directors.
The Board wishes to express our unanimous regret that our product has not met with your satisfaction, and in the spirit of international goodwill we wish to advise that we will replace it for you at no cost.
This warranty is unconditional, however it will be null and void unless you return the bell to us in its original packaging.
This story seemed to have all the trappings of an urban myth, but I’ve learned that members of the Procrastinators Society actually held a mock demonstration – demanding some warranty redress - outside the famous London foundry on July 4 1976. And Whitechapel’s matching tongue-in-cheek reply is just as true!
Seeking to enter the spirit of lethargy that surely pervades a society with such a slothfully-noble agenda, I’ve rewritten the story to reduce any activity to the minimum level of an exchange of correspondence between two created characters; and changing the date.
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