I now have proof that the end of the world truly is around the corner. No, its nothing to do with the shaky calculations of some wild-eyed backwoods fundamentalist, brandishing his book, shrieking about the prophecy in chapter 210.  I have arrived at this conclusion after reading about a brand new device. I read a news item telling me that some clever socks has devised an electronic games screen, to be installed above mens’ urinals so that – how can I phrase this delicately? – the positioning of the stream in the urinal will activate the game and allow the urinator to play the game while standing in front of the porcelain, in order to prevent boredom!

Can you credit it? Heaven forbid that we be (a) electronically disconnected for a minute or two while taking a leak or (b) and if we are – oh horror! –  not on line for two minutes, then we will be bored.

What a dreadful prospect, on both counts. What is the matter with us?  This is lunacy! There is life without handheld gadgets. Electronic or otherwise. And boredom is not a terminal disease, it is a useful tool. Ask any Buddhist meditator.

Excuse me while I take a series of deep breaths to restore my sang froid, and while I re-adjust my Old Farts Badge on my lapel. I hope you are all wearing yours. If not, send an s.a.e. (stamped, addressed envelope – yes, sorry, its back to Stone Age technology) and I will post your badge in a week or two. In the non-gadget non-electronic world not everything is instant you know. Remember the days when we waited for things to happen – birthdays to arrive, parcels to be delivered, bulbs to pop up and produce flowers, the daily instalment of our favourite radio serial?  I believe these were known as the Olden Days. I think they ended around the late 1970’s. And the period before 1930 definitely falls into the category: Before the Rinderpest. Prior to that, it was The Flood.




Mind you, I blame it all on the Aliens. Yes, you heard me. And if not on them, then on the MIB.  I have just finished reading The Mothman Prophecies BY John A Keel.  I see the book’s initial publication date was 1991, even though it deals with exciting and inexplicable events in the Ohio Valley in the early 1960’s. Keel emerges as a burly, bearded, pipe-smoking, sober-minded investigator spending lonely nights on dark hillsides documenting inexplicable floating lights, huge bird-like humanoid figures (the Mothman) that zoomed upwards at speed and vanished – oh the list goes on and on, stalled cars, plunging temperatures, paralytic terror, amnesia in contactees, beeping signals on telephone lines, men with ruddy complexions, sharp noses, very thick rubber soled shoes and strange speech patterns (yes, MIB!) its all exciting, inexplicable and baffling.  Welcome to the world of UFOlogy. I’m not sure whether the book is a prequel or a sequel to the movie Men in Black,  and if you haven’t seen it, then I recommend it. As for the book – well, I found it compelling but inconclusive.  I suppose we are mean to draw our own conclusions.

Although, given our current lunatic inventions, one wonders why the Aliens would bother with our deranged species. Notwithstanding this, I’m telling you: they walk among us, and the end of the world is nigh. If not from the Aliens/MIB then from the idiot designers of electronic games. Anybody want an Old Farts badge ?


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