Did you ever play the game "Rumor" when you were a kid? You'd sit around in a circle and one person would whisper something into the first person's ear - say it was something like, "Donna's going to the movies with her best friend next Friday night." The first person would whisper it to the next person, who'd whisper it to the next; it was passed on in that fashion until it reached the last person, who would announce it to the group at large. Almost invariably, the message would have become something like, "Donna's going out with her best friend's boyfriend next Saturday." And the more people it filtered through, the more distorted it was likely to become.
Now, we just heard a couple of rather nasty rumors here at the shop, and I'd like to do what I can to put them to rest before they spread and morph into something even uglier than they already are. According to the first rumor, Black Country Saddlery has gone out of business. Totally, absolutely, completely untrue. What IS true is that Nikki Newcombe, BC's sales manager, has been stuck in the UK, unable to get to Rolex Kentucky because of the no-fly situation caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. (If you're going to Rolex, however, do stop by the BC booth because it will be open!) The company itself is still hale and hearty - in fact, they've recently hired a new saddler - and they're turning out our best-selling saddles with the usual attention to quality and fit. So, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated.
The second rumor is that there is only one Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitter here in the US. While I may not put a huge store on a fitter's certification or lack thereof, I am an incorrigible nit-picker and MUST set facts straight by saying that this rumor is also completely false. There are well over a dozen SMS QSFs here in the States. The SMS site has a list on their website, but - strangely - their site is down as I'm writing this post; so Nikki is sending me a list of the US QSFs, which I will post here when I receive it.
Well, I feel much better, having done my bit to set the record straight. And to those who spread this sort of misinformation, I'd remind you to be wary of the Teeth of Karma, which are, in my experience, very long, very sharp, and unerringly aimed to take a large chunk out of the offender's butt.