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So I was reading the February 27 issue of The Economist (as you know if you’re a subscriber, the issues tend to pile up), and I came to a long article about the Royal Bank of Scotland, which seems to have been ruined by a man named Sir Fred. The article began:

THERE is a road to nowhere in Royal Bank of Scotland’s campus just outside Edinburgh. It ends abruptly amid rolling parkland . . .

at which point the lights in my apartment started flashing and a tinny synthetic voice shouted, “METAPHOR ALERT! METAPHOR ALERT!” The article continued:

. . . and was laid on the presumption that a new building would eventually be added to the bank’s already big office complex. That sense of destiny, that the bank would always get bigger, is dead. . . .

Then, suddenly, I was struck by a thought: “You know what? I’ll just bet that in the last paragraph of this article, they’ll return to the theme of that road to nowhere.” So I skipped to the end, and sure enough:

And what of the road to nowhere at headquarters? Perhaps the empty parkland will be sold to the golf course next door, which only has 12 holes. Maybe Sir Fred, who last year was rebuffed by the Royal and Ancient club at St Andrew’s, the Scottish establishment’s ultimate snub, will play there one day.

I must be clairvoyant. Either that, or else I’ve read too many Economist articles.

P.S. Yes, there is also a lame pun in the title (“Scots on the Rocks”). How did you guess?


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