Friday, June 27, 2008

The Mechanics of Thought

The human brain is an amazing thing it really is.Boffins are still struggling to get to grips with its mechanics and the best they can do at the moment appears to be making a computer diagram of the squelchy thing glow in different locations depending on whether a test-subject is looking at a picture of Beyonce washing a car or Noel Edmonds playing Boggle.

Where would the diagram be glowing if a brain probe was connected to the stocky, badly dressed, unshaven, middle-aged Mondeo driver I witnessed pulling over on the side of Zetland Road last night?

Out of the car he springs aggressively, a bin-liner clasped into his no-nonsense hands. It would be wrong to say there was rage on his face, but there’s a definite determined aggressiveness. This man wants to dump the bin-liner - for some reason, and I don’t know what it is (he’s not verbalising his internal thoughts the crafty beggar). What ever it is, this man is in no mood to share his battered Ford with this bag any longer.

But then he feels it for the first time - he’s outside his protective metallic shell, unwrapped from the blanket of soft-rock. He can feel the conspicuousness of the fresh air pawing at him like an excited puppy. All eyes are on him – waiting for his next move.

There’s an area cordoned off to his left with tempory six-foot metal barriers in what looks like preparation for some kind of digging. For now nothing lies within this area, its only property is its inaccesabilty.

This is where the wonder of brain mechanics takes over. This is where some series of electrical signals started firing around in this man. The wonder of evolution created his next action, an action born by some kind of thought and judgment, maybe predetermined by the movement that could theoretically be traced back to the Big Bang: He launches the bin liner into the air and into the cordoned off area.

Somehow for him this works. It’s not dumping waster on a public highway, it’s neatly filing it away in where it’s supposed to go. Back into the car he goes - the grey matter now resting.

Monday, June 09, 2008

There’s nothing like sitting back in the old deck chair and listening to a good car alarm. Feeling that carefully crafted tune whistle pleasantly in your ear as the sun gently caresses the scratched horizon.

It’s quite clear I’m being sarcastic - especially now I’ve said, ‘It’s quite clear I’m being sarcastic,’ but sarcasm is sooo good I want buy it chocolates; lie on a beach with it; whisper in its ear about the glorious life we‘re going to have together and yes the chocolates probably would melt into a sticky mess in the sunlight.. Bringing chocolates onto a beach would probably have been sarcasm's idea - That‘s SUCH a good idea sarcasm.

I don’t particularly enjoy the sound of car alarms and like most people I want to throw a fat tabby cat* at any vehicle whose alarm goes off. An alarm that's usually been activated by the wind from a butterfly fluttering its wings in an obscure village in Belgium where they distress winged insects as part of a fertility ritual.

They’re totally ignored as well (I'm back to car-alarms). People would take a book written by Jade Goody on String Theory more seriously than a car alarm going off on a Ford Mondeo. It’s just a horrid scream that makes people hate not the car thief, but the car owner who's disturbed their mid-morning suckle of Costa Coffee from the city-centre teat, by parking their car!

But some people rather than being embarrassed about having their car spunk its two-toned travesty, want even more. They want a verbal warning for anybody who unreasonably decides to stand on the same continent as their 5-Series.

’Stand back from the car,’ it will warn if you encroach into the vicinity of this overly loved lump of metallic shit. Now I understand there are those that lead and those that follow; but even the most subservient soul should have to be hypnotised by Paul McKenna before taking orders from a BMW.

And that's why everybody that has ever lived ever, should, on being asked by a car alarm to move away: stand there until they force the car into the surrender of resorting back to the high pitched whine of a lower-class Vauxhall Corsa. This is not a pointless defiance; we should do this because if we were to ‘stand back from the car’, what do you think would happen next? Give ‘em and inch, they’d take a mile( and probably burn fifty pounds worth of fuel to do so ).

Today it’s ‘stand back’, tomorrow this alloyed wheel diva would be asking us to lend it a fiver, criticise our dress sense, steal our jobs and our women. Next year's Big Brother could very well be won by a cross-dressing Smart Car.

If car alarms have to talk, their words should be aimed at dissuading a would-be criminal, not asking him to do half a Hokey-Cokey. Instead of this pointless 'stand back' bullshit, what about tickling a moment's self-reflection from the young gentlemen-thief with the simple, ‘Is this really what you want do with your life?’

*The cat would already be dead and the owner would approve of its use as a missile against noise pollution.
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