You may or may not have noticed that the other day I posted two blog-posts at the same time. This is probably a first for me, though it is common enough for many of you who are fellow bloggers. Once a week is challenge enough for me these days however.
It was, nevertheless, a mistake.
I was in a rush and it would seem that wherever I am in the world, the internet is destined to be both my secret lover (not so secret actually, wifey accuses me of this affair all the time) and my arch-enemy! That day, the internet was doing its best to drive me all the way to insanity (it’s not that far to drive, if I’m honest), refusing to stay on for more than a few minutes at a time and thwarting my every attempt to get the photos from Bhinno Jogot uploaded onto the blog.
Having already written a post reblogging Gigi Wanders’ post about her mother (go read it if you haven’t already – here), I had intended to press the ‘schedule’ button so that the new post would go out automatically two days later.
Alas, such was the relief of finally getting the photos uploaded in the right order that I pressed the ‘Publish’ button immediately without thinking. Hence, I went from cool, professional writer scheduling his work rather cleverly, to bumbling idiot filling his readers’ email in-boxes with mindless drivel, in an instant.
It got me thinking about buttons though – or rather, the pressing of wrong ones.
In Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, hapless human, Arthur Dent, finds himself on a spaceship looking a button with a sign saying “please do not touch this button” and wondering what would happen if he did. Inevitably, he does and is surprised when a screen lights up saying “please do not press this button again”.
If only this happened in real life.
A story I’ve entertained my students with for years involves a girlfriend of my brother’s who he used to see in the 80s. As far as I recall the tale, she was doing her degree at Leicester University and walked into the Computer department. In my mind’s eye (I wasn’t there, so I will never know) there was a vast array of buttons, dials and funny tape-machine-whizzy things. She could have played with any of them.
Instead, to the immortal lines “oh, what does this button do?” she reached down and pressed an attractive looking button. The way I present what happened next to my students is that of a room full of male, white-coated, be-spectacled geeks moving as one, in slow-motion and in her direction, with the word “Noooooooooooooooo……..” not quite managing to form in time to prevent the unfortunate girl from, apparently, wiping out the entire memory of Leicester University’s Computer department by pressing the only single button capable of managing such a feat.
They did, I understand, manage to retrieve the information eventually but that didn’t prevent said girlfriend from receiving a lifetime ban from entering the Computer department again.
That sense of “Noooooooo…..” came to my lips to the very millisecond after I pressed the ‘publish’ button from my last post. I sympathise, more than ever, with those geeks.
Perhaps it is funniest, however, when someone doesn’t realise what they’ve done after they press the button – at least not until long after, anyway.
“To avoid grumpy faces and cold shoulders the next day, make sure that, when on a night out, you text your wife to tell her what time you’ll be home and that you love her.
Don’t, under any circumstance, send that text to your boss.”
For me, this was a true laugh-out-loud moment. Knowing both the man and his wife, I could picture the faces of both. Apparently, Martin had written the text and sent it to the person at the top of his inbox – normally his good wife.
Except, this time, it wasn’t.
I have to confess wifey and I are not untouched by similar ill fate. All I will say on that particular front is to give the advice that if you must send sexy texts to your spouse, make sure the previous person you wrote to is said spouse and not, say, a vicar or some such similar kind of person. Enough said there I think.
I felt very sorry for my friend then, whilst also finding the whole thing hilarious. We can all be forgiven, I’m sure, for making a mistake like this once in our lives.
Except that when I asked Martin for permission to use this little story for the blog I received this reply:
“Go for it Ken. I once did a similar thing with another colleague, saying I’d booked us both a romantic weekend in Prague.
He said he’d love to go, but his wife might object.”
- Return to Another World – Picnics in Bangladesh (kenthinksaloud.wordpress.com)
- A Christmas Carol? Ghostly Tales for the Season – Part III (kenthinksaloud.wordpress.com)
- Slips vs mistakes – what WordPress gets wrong that Blogger and Tumblr get right (developmentality.wordpress.com)