Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Paying autoroute tolls in France is a pain. Not because of the amounts, for these roads deliver good value; rather the interface ergonomics. The guichet is on the wrong side of the car (Hey, I know I’m foreign but I’m keeping France’s economy afloat), the ticket carries no way of predicting what’s to be paid, and I’m always a’feared younger daughter will drop the change.

There’s a much better system for the Severn Bridge and no doubt elsewhere in Britain. You’re told well in advance what you have to pay and when you arrive you toss the sum into a plastic hopper. It works well! And there’s this extra anthropomorphic pleasure, imagining this huge conceptual (Can’t stop using that adjective.) mouth swallowing and then digesting the coins.

An enlightened Highways Agency should decorate the hopper with painted teeth and a moustache

THE CURSE STRIKES 09.20 today. Sorting through the contents of the underpants drawer I pull out a white pair carrying a scene from a Loony Tunes cartoon, a joky Christmas table present more than a decade ago. Mrs Bonden: “It’s time those were thrown away.” BB: the usual rejoinder; why discard anything that’s still doing a job?

09. 45, on the way to Tesco for The Observer. That horrible feeling of insecurity as the elastic goes and the pants slide uselessly down my thighs. Underneath my trousers I hasten to add.

Question Can underpants be inveigled into failure?

8 comments:

Occasional Speeder said...

Your pants fell down because you have gone public with your doubt in my ability in paying "madame" on the autoroute. I get out the coin holder (a previous subject, I believe), I even try and get rid of the silly small ones where possible. I finalise the deal with a "Merci". If that ain't "working well" I don't know what is... There could be tension in June.

Sir Hugh said...

My favourite underpant quote and a wonderful novel use of an adjective: Nicholas Crane (Mapman) on one of his long walks referred to problems with his underpants "slotting".

Zhoen said...

Catastrophic underwear malfunction.

herhimnbryn said...

See, Mrs BB knew, she just knew.

Plutarch said...

Why discard anthing that is doing a useful job? What I say is: Why discard anything? It may come in useful,eg the protective strips, which peel off self-adhesive envelopes, all forms of packaging,and paper and plastic cups from drinks dispensing machines, which have served their primary purpose. This is a rule of life with which my other half profoundly disagrees.

I refer you to a less well known line in that much quoted poem, Xanadu by S. T. Coleridge: ...as if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing...... "

Sir Hugh said...

The time elapsed after discarding an unwanted item and discovering that it would now have a use is inversely proportional to the length of time you had kept it before throwing it away.

Barrett Bonden said...

OS: I only said I feared you might drop the change. I fear I might.

Sir Hugh: A related phenomenon. At huge industrial trade fairs (eg, Hanover) I identified a new ailment: Exhibition Crutch.

Zhoen: I think "catastrophic" is when they explode.

HHB: Oh she knew, all right. But did she cause it to happen?

Plutarch: You have defined the function of the American idiom "packrat".

Sir Hugh: Your definition is insufficiently rigorous. Throw away everything immediately and you avoid that period in which you speculate on the item's utility. In the end you're emotionally in credit.

Avus said...

I bet Plutarch has a special drawer reserved for offcuts of knotted string.
I great a great feeling of smugness as I approach most toll bridges on a PTW (powered two wheeler) and sail through without having to pay.