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

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

It's chalk what talks

SPEAK MEMORY The years roll by, the eyes gum up, the synapses disconnect, the joints cease to flex and the brain turns to Angel Delight. Everything declines except the importance of the chalkboard. Forget the nano-second responses of email – this is how members of the same household communicate. This is our defence against the moment that is the very symbol of old age: “Damn, we forgot the flat-leafed parsley.” For the Bondens, both of them, have always striven to be middle-class.

On this day the chalkboard suffered data overload as we prepared for a visit from our elder daughter. As far as our worn minds can recall, all was acquired. And then came the beautiful, self-purging moment when a wet sponge reduced the black surface to shining nothingness. After which, as Housman said, “all’s to do again.”

DO I STILL EXIST? Recently I googled my real identity – the dull-as-ditchwater surname preceded by the mildly exotic Vorname. Alas I share the combination with an American quarterback and the initial pages were devoted to his college career, his entry into the pros, his lacklustre performance and his final “release”. Then came pages about an eponymous Pennsylvanian pervert and a Tennesseean arsonist (I kid you not) before I finally re-read an article I wrote for an American plastics magazine. Very much a sic transit moment.

Whereas when I googled Barrett Bonden, Works Well was fourth up. So my fictitious self has a greater presence than my corporeal self. Could someone of a philosophical bent provide me with much-needed reassurance about this?

7 comments:

Plutarch said...

I am surprised that the wording on the Bonden blackboard does not automically arrange itself automatically into classical verse forms.

On your last observation, I have always thought that fiction was a better bet than fact. Someone else will have to justify this assertion.

Rouchswalwe said...

No need to worry about your fictitious presence being greater on the googly web until you feel the need to write a volume along the lines of Leonard Nimoy's I am not Spock!

marja-leena said...

Oh, but your 'real self' does not have a blog! Why do you think mine is an eponymous one?

herhimnbryn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
herhimnbryn said...

That delete was me. I should not type so early in the morning.

We too have a blackbaord in the kitchen. I shall add Scotch also.
Every time I wipe the board clean I shall thnk of the Bondens.

Re Google. YOU do have your real self there. My blog appears there. I do not exsist at all!

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: Had this facility existed it might have hindered my elder daughter from reading all the items listed and sending me a private email to say how delighted she was to learn that our shopping bag would include Cointreau and Scotch. Fiction vs. fact? Given the choice I'd rather be remembered for the former.

Zu Schwer: But then there'd be the exhausting necessity of writing Who I really am. Perhaps I'd then discover I was merely a figment of my own imagination.

M-L: Too late. As I explained many moons ago, I adopted BB quite casually when responding to Plutarch's blog in the early days. For continuity's sake I got stuck with it. None of this is any comfort as was the case when Conan Doyle discovered he was less important than Sherlock Holmes. It drove the poor chap into Spiritualism.

HHB: Glad you noticed that life is not all crusts and potato peelings Chez Bonden. And I'm delighted that my ghostly presence will be associated with board cleaning Chez HHB. Catharsis in Western Australia - it could be the title of your autobiography. As to your own existence can you possibly doubt it? After that carefully managed Dance of the Seven Veils I alluded to when you burst forth in all your glory.

Avus said...

Be careful, BB - one day you may awake to find that your digital Doppelganger has taken over. (there might be a plot for an SF novel in that)