Monthly Archives: August 2008

Frozen in Time

Down in my local (the source of my solace and, increasingly, my material) one of the guys reckons he’s going to get himself cryogenically frozen, so he can be revived in 100 years after they invent a procedure to cure whatever it is he dies of.

This idea has been doing the rounds for many years now. It is widely believed that Walt Disney had himself preserved in this way, though this is in fact untrue (which is a pity, for if it were true then Disney on Ice would surely have been the most tastelessly named show of all time).

The notion is very popular with people who have seen a lot of Sci-Fi, and who believe that the only differences between 2108 and now are that in 2108 everyone will wear one-piece tacky clothing, that machines will speak in soothing female voices and that people will drive really cool cars on surprisingly clear roads. The cryonees will awake, cash in their substantially-increased nest-egg, and slip effortlessly into society.

The sheer awfulness of the reality could not be more different. Just imagine that you had done  this in 1908 – after dying of pneumonia or flu, the two biggest killers at that time, at the average life-expectancy age of 47 – and were awakened today. Ireland is a very different place. The British are gone, our currency is different (indeed, the decimal currency has come and gone during your Big Sleep) and the entire culture has dramatically changed. How would you deal with cars, computers, TV, mobile ringtones, showers instead of (infrequent) baths, pooing indoors?

Olympics 1908 style

Olympics 1908 style

Yelena - again

Yelena - again

Speaking to women in the way you were accustomed to will now earn you a smack in the face. The world’s first female mayor was elected in 1908, but women still didn’t have the vote. <- This photo shows the archery team at the 1908 olympics. What would you make of the way athletes like Yelena Isinbayeva – sure let’s show a picture of her – dressed in this years? How could you watch the beach volleyball without having a seizure?

Leg of what?

Leg of what?

Imagine shopping. In 1908 marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores in the US. Good luck with trying to buy some today. Everything else in the shops would be a nightmare. “Where can I buy a strop for my razor?” “Call these underpants? They don’t cover my legs.” What is a skinny latté? Sushi? Broccoli? Imagine the first time you went to a kebab shop. One look at that thing revolving behind the counter would give you nightmares for ever. If that’s lamb, how bloody big are the sheep these days?

Even when you thought you were right, you’d be wrong. You’d look at a map of Europe, see all the same little countries that were there in 1908, and think “well, at least world politics stayed stable while I was gone.”

The Taoiseach

The Taoiseach

So now imagine that you do it today, and wake in 2108.  Getting the one-piece tacky clothing will be fine, as long as Champion Sports is still in business, but I haven’t enough imagination to predict all the other changes, and I don’t think anyone else has either. There may be robots, we might all live in the ocean, or on the moon. Global warming may have dramatically changed the planet, or it might all have turned out to be crap.

There are one or two things you can be sure of, though. The life-expectancy will now be 147, so you’ll have to work to support yourself. What will you be qualified to do? Exactly. Welcome to your job in Spar.

There will be four thousand TV channels, all showing Premier League Soccer. The only programme you will recognize will be Coronation Street, but of course all of the characters will be different, apart from Ken Barlow.

Classical music radio stations will feature the works of Dylan, Led Zeppelin and, rather strangely, McFly.

The average height of a human grew by 8cm (almost 3 inches) in the last 100 years, so if that trend continues everyone in 2108 will be taller than you.

And as the number of Christians is declining and the number of Muslims and Hindus is rising, you will by then be a member of a minority religion, if someone hasn’t proven it all to be rubbish by then.

So there you will be in 2108 – a talentless, shortarse member of a religion no-one believes in.

A sort of 22nd Century Tom Cruise.

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Dying to tell you what I think of you

A friend of mine told me last night in my local about a Death Notice that appeared in Tuesday’s Irish Times, so I looked it up on online this morning. It concerned a lady from Dun Laoghaire, and gave the standard details, naming her late husband and her children, giving funeral arrangements, and asking for donations to the R.N.L.I.

And then it said this:

“Those she did not talk to
please do not attend”

Exactly like that – in italics, on two lines, as if it were a quotation from a poem or something. I thought it might be a very, very obscure religious reference – something along the lines of  “I had no truck with thee while I lived, Satan, so keep thee far from me now”, but I’ve googled it, and come up with nothing.

So it can only be the ultimate “Up Yours”. She’s saying “I don’t want any of ye I couldn’t stand turning up for free tea and sandwiches – yiz all know well who I mean”.

If you don’t believe in ghosts, then saying someting like that in your obituary notice is as near as you can get to haunting people.

I didn’t know you were allowed do it, but it might really catch on – “Mary Smith, died Tuesday, funeral Thursday, Bessie Perkins from No 23 is a cow”.

And just think, we virtual people could all do it – we could flame other bloggers, from beyond the grave.

Ticker-ty Boo

Though she seems to like me..

Though she seems to like me..

I got my pacemaker checked this morning.

The fact that I have a pacemaker will come as a surprise to any of you who thought I picked the name “Tinman” because of some July Garland fetish, but there you go.

Someday, perhaps on the first anniversary, I’ll tell the whole story of the seven scary months it took from first being part-man, part-conscious to finally being part-man, part machine, but for the moment it is still a Tale for Which the World is Not Yet Prepared (or, I’m not, anyway).

I got it checked after six weeks, and from then on it’s twice a year, so it hasn’t been checked since February. When they put it in they said (a) that because I’m thin, it might be visible (and it is – if I hadn’t picked Tinman18 I could have gone for The Man With Three Moobs), and (b) that I might be able to feel it turning on – no kidding there, it blips so hard it stings sometimes. Because I can feel it, I know how often it comes on, and have been quietly alarmed at how often that seems to be.

So I was a teeny bit worried when I went back to Cardiology in Vincent’s this morning (the guy at the desk said “do you know the way?”. “God, yes,” I answered). There I met the lovely Áinle, who greeted me by name. (By the way, when I do write about all this I will be full of praise for the doctors, nurses and other healthcare people I met during the whole experience, they were absolutely wonderful).

They fixed me up

They fixed me up

Áinle was the one who had checked my heart monitor last January, and who had read the print-out and then uttered those words you never want to hear in a hospital – “I just want to show these to someone”. It would be exaggerating to say she’d then run out of the room, but she certainly hadn’t slouched out, & she’d then returned with four doctors.

Anyway, this time was much more comforting. She hooked me up, turned on the machine, and then played with the settings to test the workings, so that I blipped, stopped and then blipped again at her command. I couldn’t really complain – after all, it’s been a long time since an attractive young blonde has toyed with my heart.

And she said I was fine. I asked about the number of times it seemed to be on, and she told me my own

Well, it works..

Well, it works..

heart was doing 99 percent of the beating (back at work, my glass-half-empty boss said “so the pacemaker’s doing one percent? That’s a lot of beats”, but I was too pleased to rise to that).

So that’s my day. I’m still ticking over. Everything is ticker-ty boo.

Caked in Stupidity

I’ve nicked this -> picture from Jo’s other (respectable) blog (http://piosacake.wordpress.com/) because  of all the people I know she’s the one most likely go berserk over this, from today’s Irish Times:

New EU regulations have banned the consumption of cakes and confectionary entered at country fairs and agricultural shows immediately after baking competitions.

Under the rules adjudicators of bakery sections in local shows are only permitted to taste the traditional favourites such as apple tarts or cheese cakes. Once the judging is over, the produce must be immediately destroyed. As a result, only bite-sized versions of the cakes will be entered in shows.

Cad an fuck?

There was a cake-competition outside the Happy Pear in Greystones last June. Jo was at it, and she and twenty or so others entered cakes in various categories. One of the prizes was won by a 13-year old boy from Tinson2’s class. Can you imagine how thrilled he was – it had been his first ever attempt. When it was over everyone tried everyone else’s cakes, swapped recipes, etc.

What can possibly be wrong with that? What new gormless rule are we breaking now? All eating off the same plate? Eating outdoors? Not having napkins tucked into our shirts?

Chairman of Mayo County Council Joe Mellett, said:

“It is a real deterrent to those entering shows. If you thought your prize produce was going to be destroyed immediately after a tiny taste was taken from it, then you would not want to enter a competition.”

He also said “When you see things like this it’s no wonder the people voted No to the Lisbon Treaty.”

That may be a bit glib, but I know what he means.

Shaving It Close

Once upon a time (way back in the last millenium, when the world was in black-and-white), razors came with one blade. Then someone invented the two blade razor, then the three, and at the moment the best one available has five.

This contest between Gillette and Wilkinson Sword, creeping up one blade at a time, reminds me of the way Yelena Isinbayeva has set the last 12 world records in pole-vaulting. Though she could probably clear the bar by about a foot, she just keeps raising it by one centimetre at a time.

I think it’s time one of the companies upped their game to try and finish the opposition for good. After all, face-shaving is a macho thing, and the product should reflect that.

“New, from Gillette – the RazorBurn!! Are you man enough? Is your stubble tough enough? Only a Flame-thrower could do a better job! Fourteen blades at the front, four more at the back, to leave your skin feeling like a Baby with a Brazilian!”

No need to thank me, Gillette.

And no, this post is not simply so that I can put up a picture of Yelena Isinbayeva.

Though here’s another one.

Just in case you don’t know who I’m talking about.

Battered Shark

A remote controlled submarine from an oil rig off the Scottish coast has photographed what may be a Great White Shark – you know, the thing from Jaws.

You just know that the Scots are going to catch it, and then deep-fry it.

They’re gonna need a bigger pot.

Cheap Jokes

Two smart remarks that occurred to me watching London’s section of the Olympic Closing Ceremony.

1.  Wouldn’t it have been funnier if the bus didn’t arrive when it was meant to, and then three had turned up together? and

2. They were originally going to use a London taxi, but they couldn’t find one that would go south of the Equator at that time of the night.

Sorry…