"It'll all be over by Christmas," declares some chirpy cockney Tommy Atkins-type or some bombed-out, plucky cockney-housewife in those black and white World War II movies that they run on daytime TV. Of course, it isn't, but the sentiment seems to make them happier.
I tried saying it myself this week when Oracle's Chuck Phillips warned that it could be November before the Oracle takeover bid for PeopleSoft got through its anti-trust review by the Justice Department. "It'll all be over by Christmas then," I thought before realising what a depressing prospect that was.
It's been a rare old sight this summer watching the clash of the titans, but in all honesty, we've entered a bit of a dull patch now. Larry Ellison has stopped threatening to shoot Craig Conway, while Conway seems to have given up on ranting on about the psychopathic liars at his alma mater. Now we seem to have entered a period where the most startling developments are Oracle extending its offer deadline one last time - and again... and again... and, etc., etc.
This could benefit PeopleSoft of course. If Conway can execute a successful completion of the merger with JD Edwards - by which I mean a successful bringing together of the two organisations with as little blood letting as possible - then he will strengthen his defences against the marauder from Redwood Shores.
Also the longer the whole thing drags on, the less inspiring it all seems. The apathy factor is becoming a critical aspect of this now. Oracle may find that the only way to excite PeopleSoft shareholders now is to talk to their wallets by beefing up the offer price significantly. That will finally test Ellison's resolve and show us all whether he really means business.
Meantime batten down the hatches, PeopleSoft and Oracle customers. It could be a long, low ride from here to November, with only the prospect of some diverting class action suits from avaricious shareholders to keep us amused.