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That’s what friends are for?

TODAY – 7TH FEBRUARY – has the honour of being “Send a Card to a Friend Day” and, wait for it… “Wave All Your Fingers At Your Neighbours Day”. Who knew? Shall we turn it into “Friends are all very well, but let’s get on with life” Day?

Send a Card to a Friend seems to be the brainchild of greetings cards manufacturers – and companies that make crafting raw materials. To mark the day, we are urged to send a real paper card to a friend to share how much we appreciate them.

We can go and buy a professionally produced card – apparently there are several ones on offer, spanning a number of hilarious, cute and twee sentiments. Or we can go buy ourselves some card, sticky bits – and glitter (anything for an excuse to get the vacuum cleaner out) – and make a customised card for a friend.

Clearly whoever thought this one up doesn’t live in Tower Hamlets, where what we share with our “friends” is all too often accusations that they support, have joined – or are even standing as a candidate for – the wrong political party, rather than love and appreciation.

If we can’t send a card to a friend, at least we can indulge by waving all our fingers at our neighbour. This has not been done en masse in Tower Hamlets since an election which took place a while back. As voters came out of the polling station, they waved all their fingers at the tellers from one of the area’s major political parties – who were being kept on the other side of the road.

The tellers were all delighted, assuming the voters were waving at them in a friendly matter – and then couldn’t work out why, at the count, they lost the election heavily. Their confusion came because the Bangladeshi candidate for one of the opposition parties was at number 5 on the ballot paper. The voters weren’t waving in a friendly gesture – they were taunting the “major party” by showing all their fingers to point out they had voted for the candidate who was number 5 on the ballot paper.

Celebrate waving at your neighbours day by all means, but be careful what you wave for – and what they’re trying to tell you if they wave back.

If it’s too late to get a card, and too dark for your neighbours to see you waving, you’ll just have to concentrate on preparing for tomorrow – which is national “Laugh and Get Rich Day”. Now that should inspire a chuckle.

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