Sunday, 11 March 2012

Happy Birthday, Douglas Adams

Today would have been Douglas Adams' 60th birthday. I will leave it to Terry Jones to reminisce on the BBC website; after all, he knew Douglas and I didn't.  Douglas is a man I admired during his lifetime, but still feel I had barely begun to properly appreciate him before he died.  And now there's no more Douglas. (This gloomy list grows longer: Linda Smith is on it. John Peel is on it. Elizabeth Spriggs is on it. Mo Mowlam is on it. Heath Ledger is on it. Nick Clarke, presenter of The World at One is on it.) I want to remember Douglas today, a man the world is desperately poorer without. Everyone who knew him and his genius knows why, so instead of repeating what others have said more eloquently than I can, I present to you a short exchange of emails which has just concluded this evening and which serves to cement my belief that humanity has been robbed of a great and necessary mind.

FIRST EMAIL: from 'Emma' to Freecycle*
> Heads up everyone! Please, keep this circulating.. You walk across the car park, unlock your car
> and get inside. You start the engine put it into Reverse. 
> When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your space, you notice a piece of 
> paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you stop and jump out of your car 
> to remove that paper that is obstructing your view. That is when the 
> carjackers appear out of (blah, blah, blah etc)

SECOND EMAIL: from 'Tim' to Freecycle
From - False - Totally unsubstantiated, examples of this email given from America in 2005 and from Australia. Like most of these supposed warnings nothing but urban legends.

THIRD EMAIL: from Muriel to 'Tim'
Thanks for this, Tim. I was going to do the honours, but have moved on from spleen to apathy at these “forward this or your bum will fall off” emails.

Keep the candle of rational thought burning!

FIFTH EMAIL: from 'Tim' to Muriel
By posting that it is an urban legend I am apparently giving criminals ideas on how to commit crime. I see why you gave up.

Keep sane.

... and the FOURTH EMAIL, forwarded to Muriel by 'Tim', which he received from 'Brian' in reply to the third,
Thanks for passing on this great way to rob people. I am sure there are a few people out there who will read this and would never have thought of it on their own. Now they know how to do it.

No more Douglas
But I will keep sane, Tim.  Wonko the Sane.

*All names have been changed. 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Women's Day: March 8, 2012

I didn't approve of the anodyne Google Doodle today.  It perfectly represented the idea that the only sure way to avoid causing offence is to say nothing at all.  Blow that for a joke, as dear Grandmama L says.
I am hardly a controversial poet. I write about boobies, cake and Radio 4.  I write about things that Ladies like, but that Women understand.  Here's my Google Doodle - or Mu Doodle: I know midnight has passed and it's a bit late for International Women's Day, but I'm a Woman: I work full time, raise children, perform poetry in my spare time and try to run a household. Creative things like Art, Writing, sewing costumes or making birthday cakes have to be done instead of sleeping. 

Sometimes I write about being a bit tired.  But I do hope you like my Doodle.