Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree. Now, take a step back and consider your handiwork. Did you tie the knot with due care, so that it will not come loose and the yellow ribbon be borne away in the howling gale which, if we are to believe Tim the radio meteorologist, is imminent? You had best check that knot again. And did you ensure that the ribbon you used was as yellow as yellow could be? The painter Pierre Bonnard once remarked “Yellow! One can’t get enough of it!” and there spoke a man who knew what he was talking about. So while you stand there, feeling the first faint stirrings of the coming gale, ask yourself if Bonnard would give your ribbon the thumbs up. If you can honestly say “Yes!”, and you are convinced your knot is secure, then you may give yourself a pat on the back and repair to Old Ma Purgative’s Tea Shop for a well-earned snack.
But soft! Who cometh? Who is this, mincing along the lane towards the old oak tree, armed with a gleaming pair of scissors? Why, it is Mr Snippy! He has designs on your yellow ribbon. If he is not stopped, he will snip snip snip with his scissors and stuff the ribbon into his pocket and scurry away, cackling, looking for other ribbons to snip, from other trees.
Pick up that spade and bash Mr Snippy with it. While he is lying on the ground groaning and gurgling, snatch up the scissors and toss them into the mire beyond the old oak tree, having first embluntened them with an embluntening tool. Then give Mr Snippy a few kicks for good measure and sashay off towards the Tea Shop. The wind is coming in, and you will want to be indoors, safe and snug, so you can write up your report to the Old Oak Tree Yellow Ribbon Board of Supervisors. They do not suffer fools gladly.