We get the funniest e-mails.

No, they are not jokes or funny videos of kids.  We get e-mails that people write in response to our blogs.  Some make us smile and a few can really make you scratch your head in puzzlement.

Our biggest smile recently was from a Canadian who happens to speak one of the major Chinese dialects and understands the Chinese culture. He explained something that had been puzzling us for some time.  We use Google Analytics to keep track of readership and whether this story or that story is of more interest to readers.  It is very useful.

There were two major upswings in readership recently.  One of the upswings was people reading the eulogy for the late Senator Keith Davey.  I was delighted with this interest and I was glad to add a few words in honour of an old friend.

But there was another surprising upswing in readership that had been going on since last October.  On October 9, we posted a blog about our old friend Eugene Whelan.  Gene, I am pleased to say, is still with us.  We entitled the story Eugene Whelan and his stupid stetson. That could have got us a strong note from the Stetson Company because Stetson is a registered trademark.  Mind you, the reason for calling it stupid was not because it was a big felt Stetson but because it was green.

For the past five months, babel-on-the-bay has been getting constant search engine queries for Eugene Whelan and his Stetson.   It has not let up since last October.  And these are new readers.  One of those new readers familiar with Chinese culture explained it for us.

It seems that, unbeknownst to those who could have prevented the gaffe, Gene wore the hat to China on an official visit as Canada’s Minster of Agriculture.  The Chinese expert was horrified.  “Didn’t anyone tell him,” the expert asked, “that the expression ‘to wear a green hat’ in China means to be cuckolded.”

Having been in the position for most of our career of providing protocol information to clients, we know that the advice is not always followed.  Gene might have had the advice and laughed it off.

But not all e-mails we get amuse us.  We got one the other day that rudely suggested that our blog was of material that people flush down toilets.  That was annoying. Then we came to the part of the e-mail where the gentleman said that he had better things to do than read our blog.  It seems a friend had told him about the awful things we wrote.

Rather than suggest that he needs new friends, we thanked him for taking the time to e-mail us.  You can hardly win them all.

– 30 –

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.