Friday, February 10, 2006

Shoelace Relief

This is about money. Yesterday’s post told you about the hapless Nick Flynn, who tripped over his shoelace at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, UK. Fell down a flight of stair or two. Landed on some rather valuable ancient Chinese vases – and busted them all to hell. Hey, it could happen to anyone.

Today, I received another note from Robert Ware: “I heard a spot on the famous (even infamous) Today programme on BBC Radio Four this morning and, would you believe it, the Fitzwilliam actually reckons it will be able to rebuild the three vases piece by piece. As the Official Conservator of the museum said ‘This will be a great project for someone.’ Rather them than me.”

Who is going to put these vases back together? More important, how is the Fitzwilliam going to pay for this? I therefore ask you all to join me in contributing to the NICK FLYNN SHOELACE RELIEF FUND – which I have just invented.

What I propose is fairly simple. Send a pound or two to:
c/o Duncan Robinson, Director
The Fitzwilliam Museum

Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RB
United Kingdom.

If you are in the US, you apparently cannot do this with a US International Money Order – according to USPS, Great Britain is not on its list of accepting countries. I would use Western Union, here. I have had success with them, and locations are everywhere. Outside the US, I bet you have more effective methods of getting a couple of pounds to Cambridge. You Brits, just paste a couple of pound coins on a stiff cardboard, slip it into a padded mailer, and ship it off to the address above.

It’s possible you may need the Museum’s telephone number: 01223 332900. I also suspect that you’ll want to e-mail the Western Union tracking number to someone on the Museum’s staff. I nominate Lesley Nolan, the Director's Assistant, at (She doesn’t know about this yet, but I’ll pass the word to her. I’m sure she won’t mind.)

Look now, some kid in the UK raised beaucoup bucks for himself just by asking for it. Certainly we can send a couple of dollars (pounds, euros, what-have-you) to the Fitzwilliam. It could buy a few tubes of glue.

It’s not the thought that counts. It’s the money! And I bet global support of the NICK FLYNN SHOELACE RELIEF FUND would make everyone in Cambridge feel quite a bit better.

Feel free to send along a comment if I’ve gotten any of this wrong. Me? I’m heading to the Western Union kiosk up at the corner.


Susan Kirkland said...

Western Union is destined to go the same route as Kodak and Polaroid; affected by digital technology but not moving with the times. With online banking and PayPal, there's no need to drive somewhere or pay someone to send money. In fact, there's probably a donation link at the museum site.

Western Union is right up there with postal money orders and . . . tickertapes. Think cyber.


WordSpreadsQuickly said...

Richard, Great post and great timing. We're actually attempting to approach Mr. Flynn about an endorsement deal for a new line for pre-tied shoelaces. Please don't tell anyone. My Mom things it's going to make us rich. I get asked all the time by folks in our town "hey smart guy" how'd you come up with the idea of selling pre-tied shoelaces? I hope you're sitting down for this one cause it's an interesting story: I came up with the idea of pre-tied shoelaces after putting on pre-tied bow tie that I wore my Senior Ball. It just clicked. And, well, anyway I think fashion designers are totally going to dig this too. My Mom is calling a couple of talent agents in LA to see if they want to sign me for a reality TV show. That would be kewl.

Peace Out!