Sound Off: Comedian Sahar Ali on messages being left ‘on read’

We all know the agony of someone seeing our messages and not promptly replying

The struggle is real; it’s like sending a home a carrier pigeon but never getting a reply.

The struggle is real; it’s like sending a home a carrier pigeon but never getting a reply.

a
 

The year is 1800. You’re on holiday with the girls and you’ve made sure to bring a few homing pigeons with you. After a ladies brunch of larded rabbits and pigeon pie, with your ink and pen ready, you write a letter to your beau back home.

“Hello, how are you? I had such a great...” you begin to write before changing your mind, scrapping the parchment and starting again. “Hi, it’s me! Miss you…” You change your mind again; you don’t want to come off too strong.

You settle for “hey”, small case letters because you’re as cool as ice. You tie the parchment to the pigeon and send it on its way home. Ten hours later, you do the math, it’s bound to have arrived by now. You check your messages… nothing. You send another message: “U busy?” Before the ten hour delivery-time is up you send another “It’s me, lol”, and another “ok fine nvm”. You decide to enjoy your holiday.

The next day, no new pigeons arrive with messages from home. “You’re with her, aren’t you? I knew you would do this.” You send another “I hate you.” You decide to enjoy your holiday again, and this time you do.

It’s time to return home. You’re ready for the fight of your life. You’ve had time to practice exactly what you’re going to say. Your jaw drops as your wagon pulls into your home. Or rather, what used to be your home.

What’s left now is ash, slain body parts and empty animal enclosures. While you were away, your home was pillaged by historically-inaccurate pirates. Circling the remains is a flock of pigeons.

The year is 2018. You’ve lived many lives since. You’ve gone from pigeon to telegram, to telephone, to iMessage and yet you still haven’t learned that when someone leaves you ‘on read’, they are busy, not obliged to reply, or even maybe dead.

Do you have something you’d like to Sound Off about? Email 300 words to magazine@irishtimes.com with Sound Off in the subject line

a
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.