Thursday, 25 September 2014

It's like talking to the wall.

Welcome team.  I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but with writing a couple of books (Yes, actually writing them, rather than cobbling together stuff from this blog and palming it off on all and sundry as original work.) and the day job, things have gotten away from me a bit.

As far as the books go, I’m still finishing stories for ‘Forever Girl & Other Stories’ that I’m trying to get out in time for Christmas 2014.

And Book 1 of the Windspider Chronicles is in need of a major re-write and some cover art (If any of you fancy painting a full-colour Steampunk female airship pirate captain with her power-armoured younger brother in the background? Volume 2 will have the opposite, volume three will have them standing together). It’s looking like an Autumn 2015 release at the earliest.

And my children’s book ‘Mummy where’s my Soul?’ about a ginger kid and his pet dinosaur wandering through the pantheon looking for the titular spiritual construct is still in the early planning stages, still trying to decide who’s going to be most offended if I’m honest.


So, to today’s subject.  It’s something I’ve covered before, a subject I like to talk about because it’s impossible to get it wrong.  That’s right.  My favourite subject, THE FUTURE!

I’d like to talk about a specific part though, something that a lot of us have already experienced in a small way.

Talking to your appliances and them talking back to you. If you’ve got a reasonably modern smartphone, this is part of your everyday life.  But as time goes on, more things will do this, more of your household items will think they know better than you, is this something we should have to stand for?

Imagine for a second you’re a chap called… Erm… I don’t know… Maybe Dave? – Well, a lot of people are aren’t they? I mean, they’ve even got their own TV Channel and everything.  So, you get home after a long shift at Spacely Sprockets and really fancy some cheese on toast (Grilled Cheese)

Dave: Crap! I’m hungry, Mr Spacely really gets on my ass sometimes, could just go for some cheese on toast.

iFridge: I’ve got some of that Cheddar you like Dave, probably just enough for a sandwich.

Dave: Great, thanks, [Opens the fridge and sees that the little bit of cheese that he has left has been pushed suspiciously to the front] we got any bread?

iCupboard: You have half a loaf of Farmhouse that your Mum bought you last week when you felt ill and… Two slices of thick white [Two cupboard doors open automatically to display the choices]

iGrill: [Apologetically] Ah, I’m sorry Dave, I’ve started my self-clean cycle… You were late and you normally bring a take-away home on a Friday, I just assumed…

Dave: Don’t worry, I’ll make a normal sandwich… Hang on [Eyes the toaster]

iToaster: Awww Hell No!

Dave: Look, all you have to do is lie on your side!

iToaster: And how many times have you used that line?

Dave: Here, just… Owww!

iToaster: You did NOT just try and invalidate my Warranty!

Dave: You burned my finger!

iToaster: Self Dee-fence Honey, any court in the land would agree with me, you’d be banned from owning kitchen appliances for life.

Dave: [Points at a non-existent something out of the window] Look! A flying Halibut! [Tries and fails to grab the toaster and turn it sideways]

iToaster: [Yells] Help! I kid you not I will set fire to your raggedy ass in your sleep!

Dave: I’ve dropped the cheese on the floor now [Looks sullenly at the smug toaster] I hate you…

(In my mind, Chris Rock played the iToaster, or possibly Wanda Sykes, which is only slightly racist.)

But it’s not just appliances that will have personalities, I think that eventually everything will, even things that you wouldn’t even consider normally.  I heard on the radio some months back that it costs the local council thousands, if not millions, of pounds every year for them to sort out people putting the wrong rubbish in the wrong bins. This would be the perfect opportunity for some cut-price sentience, each bin would know what you were supposed to put in it and have some method of figuring out what you were attempting to throw away.  For ease of use, each would have a different accent perhaps? 

Your garden waste/compostable bin could have a deep West Country accent, ‘Hedge Trimmings? Yarr just the thing innit? Gorrany more?’ – Although that might be your pirate bin, where you throw away your unused pieces of eight and dubloons.

Your recycling bin could talk like a hippy, possibly Nigel Planer’s character Neil from ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Ooooh, Heeyy, yeah! Baked bean can mannnn! You’re helping to really save the planet Daaave! ’

And your normal bin? The one that doesn’t want your garden trimmings or your recycling? The one that sits there in the corner imperiously telling you what you can and can’t throw away without being fined?

Well, it’d be French wouldn’t it?

Dave: Why won’t you open? I’m trying to throw stuff away.

iBin: Non, Ah shall not open for you. What ees eet that you are even throwing away you peasant?

Dave: It’s a… Yoghurt pot.

iBin: Ees eet  plastique?

Dave: Er, I suppose so.

iBin: Zen eet ees le recycling, non?

iRecycle: Oh yeaaah Maaan, that’s totally my baaaag.’

Dave: OK, [Moves to recycling bin] What? Why won’t you open?

iRecycle: awww bummer! There’s still, like, yoghurt in it maaaan, that’s food waste!

Dave: Seriously?

iRecycle: Sorry… It’s The Man’s rules! [Whisper] Fight the system! Boomshanka!

Dave: [Moves to compost bin] Food waste!

iCompost: Olroight moy lover? Oh that’s mahhhvelous [Lid opens for yoghurt leftovers and closes with a comedy burp]

Dave: [Moves back to recycling bin] What’s wrong now?

iRecycle: You need to wash it maaan.  It’s not me! It’s him  [Recycling bin shrugs towards normal bin]

iBin: Oui you feelthy animal! Wash your recyclables before you recycle them, what are you, a tramp?

Then you set fire to your bin and pay the hefty fine. Then you keep setting fire to them until they send you one that sounds like Ray Winston.

How cool would that be?

See you soon Brothers and Sisters!

*Yes, I realise that I missed a huge opportunity by not having something say ‘What’re you doing Dave?’ I thought it was too obvious though.