Good Friday to you all, dear readers. It is I, Society Diary.
Look, life is tough as an anthropomorphic column. It's hard at the bank. "Hello, Mx Diary. What can I do for you?" It's hard at the airport. "This picture in your passport appears to be of a quill pen." It's hard everywhere. Diary invites you to feel sorrowful on its behalf.
Anyway, this week in charity sector satire: if a charity files its accounts in Comic Sans is that worse than if they never filed them at all? Stick to your knitting, again (again). And do you, the potty-mouthed people of the sector, kiss your mother with those lips?
Comic sans? Or just sans?
First off, a quick note. Society Diary is a great admirer of the sterling work that the Charity Commission of England and Wales does every year. On a razor thin budget, the good women and men of the CC struggle manfully with an ever evolving landscape of hundreds of thousands of charities. Society Diary is ever ready to tip its hat in appreciation of all its fine work.
Just this morning in fact, the Charity Commission announced it had opened a new investigation into a charity due its failure to submit its accounts for the last two financial years. The charity in question: Jole Rider Friends is now over 250 days overdue with its financial paperwork and, needless to say, the regulator is much concerned.
In some ways, we've been here before. Diary doesn’t really understand why charities routinely can’t seem to get their act together and file some figures on time?
But today’s investigation announcement has thrown up an interesting and unique philosophical question that Diary has never thought of before. For the last set of accounts submitted by Jole Rider Friends to the Charity Commission were submitted entirely in Comic Sans.
The question then is, for the Commission or indeed anyone else who wants to wade in, what is the worse crime: not submitting accounts on time (or at all) or submitting them typed up in size 10 Comic Sans font? Is this grounds for removal from the register altogether?
Is it worse to be a Comic Sans accounts charity? Or just a sans accounts charity?
Twitter, at least, appears united on this. If filing accounts in Comic Sans is the best you can do, please don't file them at all.
Is this gag old yet?
Remember when Brooks Newmark told charities to stick to their knitting? Oh, how we all laughed.
Well, no. First the sector went into a collective paroxysm of incandescent rage. Then he sent a picture of his wedding tackle to a journalist, and stood down in disgrace, and then we all laughed.
In the years since, the ‘stick to your knitting’ phrase has occasionally resurfaced as a kind of charity sector in-joke. A wink and a nudge shared over a conference croissant. A behind-the-hand smirk in a strategy meeting.
Yeah, it was funny, but frankly this column thinks now, over three year since the event, it’s time to put the joke to bed. Put down your humour needles charity sector folk, because this particular column will never again make a tawdry, ‘stick to the knitting’ joke about any more charity stories, no matter how loudly the situation might call for it. No more will this column, this august and weighty column, lower itself to that level. Diary will forever more leave that thread untouched, unpulled, unworried. No more knitting jokes. Cross Diary's heart and hope to die, stick a knitting needle in its eye.
On the other hand: RSPCA are calling for knitters to make winter clothing for animals as part of its Wool Week campaign and the pictures are absolutely adorable. Kittens in mittens? Society Diary’s little heart is literally breaking right now. KNITTED NESTS FOR HEDGEHOGS AND OWLETS? Oh man, oh man, oh man. HOW CUTE A WORD IS OWLET, REALLY, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT? THEY JUST SOUND SO SWEET AND LOVELY AND A LITTLE KNITTED NEST SO WARM AND COSY AND CUTE AND CUDDLY AND… AND… AND…
Yeah, go on then. Just one more. It's a purl of a programme.
Wash your mouth out
Finally, a new survey has discovered that over 40 per cent of charity sector employees swear regularly at work. No, really? You could have blown Diary down with a feather.
The survey, which most agreeably came across Diary’s inbox this week, suggests that Brits “swear on average nine times an hour” and that nearly half charity sector bods have a regular old swear at work. Perhaps unsurprisingly, men were found to swear more often than women and, of all the regions of the UK, the Welsh have the pottiest mouths, closely followed by Londoners.
However, the best thing about this survey, in Diary’s opinion anyway, is who commissioned the survey. It’s the good people over at Soap Supplier.
Soap. Supplier. Swearing. Survey. That’s just great marketing.