Staying in the dry

Saturday 14th May 2011

BEEN on Facebook for a dozen weeks or so. What’s written on walls often drives me up mine. No doubt the feeling is mutual.

Technology can both enhance and enslave. Computers are like cars: access and mobility without troubling elements like wind or rain, but the more filters we live behind, the more numbed we become. I’m not convinced that that is particularly healthy.

Having said that, I have to admit filter coffee as a necessary exception.

Meanwhile – also contradictorily – a Facebook friend has led me to AbeBooks, to science fiction novels long forgotten, and to the arrival of second-hand paperbacks, with which to end each day fleeing this screen for the safe haven (filter) of make-believe.

The premise behind this is nicked from a sci-fi story I read years ago. The ship flies backwards.

The Voyage of The Todorcim

The far distant planet of Orcim
Was a very crowded place.
So they built a giant rocket ship
And sent it into space.
The Todorcim they named it
With six hundred volunteers
As passengers and crew
For a flight that might take years.

It had room for all their luggage
For their food and toys and pets.
There were doctors, teachers, engineers,
Four singers and two vets
Aboard the mighty Todorcim
As it flew across the void.
Although the journey took some time
No-one seemed to get annoyed.

At last they found a planet
With water, air and land.
But would the place be friendly?
Would the aliens understand?
They sent messages by radio
And the aliens soon replied
Giving them a landing-site
Four miles long and two miles wide.

So The Todorcim descended
While the aliens watched the sky.
(It was raining at the time
So most stayed in the dry)
They stared at the clouds for hours
But The Todorcim never appeared.
Just where was the giant space-ship?
The aliens thought it weird.

Until one clever alien
Sorted out the muddle
When she found the spaceship Todorcim
Floating in a puddle.
For it was, in fact, no bigger than
Each drip of rain that drops
And its six hundred passengers
Could fit on six full-stops ……

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