Helpful Communication

There are different ways of communicating. And some ways are better than others. If a friend has borrowed a book or a CD, and you would like to have it back, there are a variety of options.

You could, for example, hire a plane to fly over his house pulling a big, bright banner with bold letters that cry out, “Give me my book back!!!” That is one scenario. Your rogue pilot could be instructed to do one flyby after another, lower and louder, again and again, until the message gets through or the police arrive to shut down this disturbance of the peace.

Ideally, a classic WWII Spitfire plane would work best. And don’t forget to arrange to have an old air raid siren blaring – wailing – right across the street. Fire off a few flares to add to the excitement and pandemonium in the neighbourhood. Do what you need to do to get attention and action. Go crazy.

Quite a few books, etc. could find their way back home this way. But whether or not this is the best way to maintain healthy relationships (and avoid getting arrested) remains to be scene.

If the plane idea sounds too risky, you could always hire a media company to make a short video about your dilemma. Then, post it on YouTube. What do you think of that? Let the entire Internet world know about your missing book and your forgetful friend. The producer could take a more tactful and subtle approach. This video clip could open with an image of you staring mournfully at your bookshelf with U2‘s old song “I Still Havn’t Found What I’m Looking For” playing softly in the background.

As the picture expands, the camera could turn towards the calender and the clock on the wall in your office. Eventually the office window would come into view. A rapid succession of images depicting the changing of the seasons and the passing of time accompanied by Chilliwack’s old song lyrics, “Gone, gone, gone, she’s been gone so long, she’s been gone, gone, gone, so long!” would complete the effect.

When the production is complete, post a link to your video on Facebook. Give your friend a few days to notice it. Wait for their response. It sounds crazy, but it just might work.

But if your friend wasn’t home during the plane ordeal – that day when the landing gear hit the satellite receiver on the roof and knocked out their Internet reception – well, then you’ll have to look into other options.

If you live in Canada, there is also the bizarre possibility of submitting a complaint to your local Human Rights Tribunal. That’s what people do these days. Contact the quasi-kangaroo court early on. Appeal to some recently established human right not to have your precious book held hostage for an extended period of time. A “right” that is by now most assuredly enshrined in some charter document somewhere.

Yes, it’s a strange world after all. It’s a strange, strange world.

With any luck, this overdue book borrowing offense is now considered to be a hate-crime as opposed to a love-crime. And by all means, say that you have been offended and that your feelings have been hurt. Work the system. That’s how it works.

Your preoccupied friend will likely notice an official letter in the mail threatening legal action if the aforementioned piece of personal  property is not returned to the said owner in good condition and in a timely fashion. But what if he happens to be away on business and never reads this nasty letter? What then?

In that case, you may need to take your campaign to the old-fashioned air waves (i.e. the radio) in order to contact your incognito friend. It is a long shot, but you could call up Carly Rae Jepsen and see if she might consider quickly reworking her famous teen-infactuation song, “Call Me Maybe.”

If all goes well, your old friend will be driving back to his damaged home when he hears, “Hey, you have my book. Bob, this is crazy. So please return it. Or you’ll have to pay me.” A few more miles, and there it is again: “Hey, you have my book. Bob, this is crazy. So please return it. Or you’ll have to pay me.”

Meanwhile, Bob most likely forgot all about that book and is wondering why in the world you didn’t give him a call if you really wanted it back.

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