June 23: welcome

I have a very cheap computer. When I get it going it says Welcome for a very long time. At first I thought, that’s nice, I’m getting a right royal welcome from my computer with a red carpet and everything. Then I realised what was happening was that the gatekeeper was checking my ID and my QR code. And then,when I think I can get in, all the hangers-on from Teams kick in and stop me getting over the drawbridge; then all the pop-ups from Google Chrome swarm around me for an autograph. I had to take steps on the autograph pop-up hunters from Google Chrome and joined the Firefox label instead but all the foxes snap at my heels there too and delay my emergence into the crystal city. When I enter that land of endless promise I am exhausted. My girlfriend with her fancy machine is waiting for me on the other side of the moat twiddling her fingers. I come trundling through.

I do not have a smart phone. When I flip up my apparatus and switch it on it produces a merry jingle like something from Breakfast Television when that first started in the eighties. Then my fingers need to engage in elaborate prodding to just get the thing awake properly. It doesn’t like getting up in the morning, my phone. When emoticoms come through on text messages they just show up as blank squares for me. We live a very austere life, my phone and I. We are like a crooked old couple from a nursery rhyme. Jack Sprat and his wife.There is no fun allowed. That’s why most of my messages consist of monosyllabic agreements or rejections: OK, I say. Or else. No Can do. People must be confused that I, normally so verbose, come over all shy on the phone.

Yes. I am wandering through the world with just a coat to my back. No armour; no mace and chain; just poor forked man.


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