Monday, October 24, 2005

As Lift-Off Approaches, I Struggle With The Thermos, and the Worrying Suggestion That Nothing is Happening in Peebles

As some readers may have guessed, I am but a Learner on the b-roads of the Information Superhighway. At the risk of straining the metaphor, I travel into cyberspace with the confidence of a man mounting the launch ramp at Cape Canaveral in a Morris Minor. All around me, I can hear the voice of Mr James Burke - or sometimes the peculiar Celtic brogue of Mr Scott from Star Trek - and the numbers are counting down [10 - 9 - 8 ...]. Lift off approaches, yet I find myself struggling to unfasten the lid of my Thermos.
And then, doctor, I wake up, to discover it is not a dream, and the countdown is at 5 - 4 - 3 ...

However, thanks to the Silver Surfers' initiative of the Peebles County-Council-in-exile, my expertise is increasing. Now, when I turn on the computer, I only get an electric shock on two out of three occasions. This, I am assured, is my own fault.
At today's lesson, for which I wore support stockings, a pith helmet, and rubber-soled shoes, the class was encouraged to seek out local news on the "Internut". Apparently, the profusion of news on the Nut has caused newspaper circulations to decline (though this may also be because they are edited by gentlemen who, were they to audition for the role of a Shakespearian fool, would be advised to: "tone it down a little in the interests of believability").
Eagerly, I turned to the forum of the Peeblesshire News. Here, I imagined, the citizenry would be eagerly debating the sad decline of morning milk deliveries, or the problem of boys in "hoodies" chasing cats with bangers. But, no. Instead, I found a hymn to miasmic torpor which might have been penned by Mr Samuel Beckett. Roger in Shetland was complaining that the site was out of date. Greg, "a Peebles exile working abroad" asked: "What is the point of a newspaper website that contains no new news?" To which, "Big Eck" could have responded that newspapers have been filling their pages with no new news for years. But he did not. Instead, he observed, with forceful certainty: "It just could be that there is *** all happening in Peebles."


Anonymous said...

Cats with bangers are a bit of a problem but wombats with sparklers are worse

Learson said...

To paraphrase Samuel Beckett: "Its not so much that I hated my existence and wished to commit suicide;rather, I simply wished Peebles had never existed".