A Dish Best Served Cold 


A painful sensation, that: hearing one’s own text read out by a voice out of its depth in what is being said. Where I expect an unaffected but concentrated tone I hear chirpy sententiousness. Important sentences requiring serenity and timing are robbed of their charge by unjustified cheerfulness. Not to mention the silences squandered. The voice speaking over the airwaves seems utterly blind.

And yet my ears are not hot and throbbing as once they were on the schoolboy who, trembling with indignation, could no longer be contained within his body. He had been promised he could recite a poem at the end of term celebration; instead the teacher announced she was going to play the electric organ. More than half a century after that defeat in primary school, I feel no surprise. Instead I do to the radio what I was unable to do to the organ in the assembly hall: pull the plug.