WHAT DOES THE DOCTOR THINK THIS MONTH?
Ian confesses to be an avid fan of the internet; for shopping and 'googling' for info
A recent prolonged spell of online shopping for Christmas presents, associated with the need to learn how to drive the new (really excellent) window-based computer system at Boughton Surgery, has brought the internet to the front of my mind. I am not quite sure where the rest of my mind has gone but I know I have it backed up on a disc somewhere! The kids often remind me that, when internet addresses started appearing on TV screens ("You can also contact us on www.incomprehensible.co.uk") and I was saying "What on earth is that?", the kids tried to explain about all these signals flying around in space and I formed the view that it would, probably, "never catch on".
I have to acknowledge that the internet did "catch on" and my view has changed to "it will probably end in tears" when either China or a few thousand determined hackers crash the whole system and all our information, money and photographs, currently stored somewhere "in the cloud" disappear for ever, communications and transport systems cease to function and the West grinds to a halt. No doubt many experts will disagree with me and I would value reassurance.
Having said that, I do have to admit to ambivalence. If I need to know something or to buy something, I turn straight to Mr Google. All my Medicine revision and learning are done "online" and we use Skype (a free system to see and talk to distant relatives or friends over the computer) quite a lot.
Most of our Christmas shopping has been done on line. Every year, we create a spreadsheet of the family Christmas presents. With 7 kids, their partners and the 16 grandchildren, this really is necessary. In September or October, we ask them what they would like and order it online for delivery in a couple of days. Wrap the presents, put them away until Christmas and, Bong! - Job Done! This really causes Management problems as she actually dislikes shopping but has never quite accepted the idea that it is "OK" to do shopping online. Her XX chromosomes tell her that shopping is not "proper" unless you struggle around an overheated shopping mall trailing a husband loaded with parcels. Husband is irritated because, in the first 10 minutes, he bought everything on his list of items and now Head Office appears to be mooning around seeking inspiration. I have long since formed the view that men go shopping to buy what they need while women go shopping to find out what they want!
Yesterday, we had to go to B&Q (my second home - Old Age Pensioner discount on Wednesdays and Trade discount the rest of the time!) so I offered Deannie a day shopping in Cambridge. Travel for an hour and a half, rush to the loo in John Lewis, decide we can't move any more until we have eaten, queue for 30 minutes for a table, enjoy the meal and then spend two hours buying what would have taken me 15 minutes online. I had to visit HSBC to prove my identity and reset my passwords as my internet banking had been compromised by a hacker who had managed to work out my 12 digit password (see, it really will all end in tears). There was to be a 20 minute wait in the bank so I sent management off to Marks and Spencer. Me "I'll ring you when I arrive at M&S". Deannie "I have left my 'phone in the car". Me, scowling, disapproving and patting my pockets "Oh, so have I". Actually, technology does not stand a chance with us!
We both have telephones that run on steam - you plug them in at night with a charger that somehow generates the steam to drive the 'phone. We turn them on when we need them and use them to make 'phone calls. The kids and grandchildren have tiny computers as telephones. "What's the score? Where's the nearest Macdonalds? Where can I buy a toothpick? What's on at the cinema?" all produce no problem for them - a few clicks and the answer is there on the screen.
LET'S HAVE SOME FUN: Not wishing to offend anyone, I shall tell you the sad tale of Paddy and Mick, two Lithuanians who had learned their English in Dublin. They were both laid off and went to the Unemployment Office. "What is your occupation?" Paddy "Oi'm a knicker stitcher - I sew the elastic into ladies' knickers and thongs". Mick "Diesel fitter". Paddy, whose occupation as a knicker stitcher was classified as unskilled, received £80 per week benefit but Mick, whose job as a diesel fitter was classified as skilled, receiver £100 per week. Paddy was furious and demanded an explanation. When told that Mick's job was skilled, he expostulated "What skill? I sew da elastic on da knickers and thongs, then Mick puts them over his head and says 'Yep, diesel fitter'.
A robber was nearly caught shoplifting in Dublin last week. The alarm was raised and the police sealed off all the exits. The shoplifter escaped through the entrance.
Padros and Mikos, two Greeks living in Croydon, had a night on the town and had no money for the number 41 'bus home. They decided to go to the 'bus depot and steal a 'bus. Padros went all around and said "I can,t find a number 41 'bus to steal" Mikos replied " Well, never mind - steal a number 14 and we'll walk from the roundabout".
A two seater aircraft crashed into a cemetery in Dublin, Norway. To date, they have recovered 148 bodies.
Mick, after a few pints of Guiness (Yes, you can buy it in New Zealand) had given up sex for Lent. His wife was upset when he told her he could not make love because it was Lent. "Lent!? To whom and for how long?" she expostulated. Best wishes to you all -