Monday, 27 April 2015

Hyperlink Reality

It was just after a work-lunch and I was moving icons around my iMac in a daze when my mouse cursor moved right out of the boundary of the display and came to rest floating in mid-air! I glanced at the plastic bottle on my desk that I used to add vodka to my coffees. An involuntary flick of the wrist and lo! I had clicked with the cursor on the bottle. A wikipedia page titled 'Plastic bottle containing vodka' appeared and informed me that, amongst other things, vodka means little-water in Russian, also due to blow moulding the bottle was capable of withstanding up to four atmospheres of pressure and therefore could be used for making water rockets, and that the owner of the bottle was advised to consult alcoholics anonymous.

This was all rather unnerving, so I looked around for a another object to investigate and there, sitting adjacent, was Max Gutz, a fellow so morose that it was a year before we realised he was an American. We sometimes called him MiseryGutz. When I clicked on him, the article that appeared stated that Max had been born on a motorway in Idaho, and, due to his Bohemian childhood he had developed few inhibitions with regard to the opposite sex. He had two illegitimate children, and had left several very angry women behind him in the US. One of his lovers had hated him so much that she had arranged to visit him for his 40th birthday, and at the appointed time had crashed his vintage German sesquiplane Albatross into his home. Of course, he hadn't been there, having decided to visit another woman instead. After that, he had stayed celibate for a while, and had become obsessed with collecting the cutlery of the Nazi high command, but after having met a nice Japanese woman called Suzuko, he had moved to the UK to start a new life, and had sold all of Hermann Goering's cutlery to care for their son, who had advanced leukemia. I looked at him in some awe. How could such a catalogue of extremes apply to such a flaccid gumbo?

I could see my own reflection, my mouth wide open in amazement, in a dark area of the screen and couldn't resist clicking on myself. I thought I'd be as exciting, in my own way, as Max, but my bio was such a shock that I held my breath. It said I had talent, but had been a failure because I did not have the confidence to drive for what I wanted. I was now using alcohol to dull my brain and avoid being reminded of the opportunities I'd passed up. Alcoholism was destroying what was left of my career and health: I was apparently infertile and showed the early signs of cirrhosis of the liver. There was even an Appendix with a helpful list of all the failures I'd deliberately forgotten.

Apparently, I then made a peculiar gurgling sound, and fell unconscious off my chair. When I finally came to, I was in a side office and Max was sitting with me, reading a linux manual.
"My God, Max!" I said "Tell me you weren't born on a motorway!"
A puzzled Max quietly said: "I wasn't..".
I was convulsed with relieved laughter, until he added:
"..I was born on a freeway."

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