Tuesday 22 October 2013


Perhaps someone out there will tell me if I have just invented the word "compassless" for my title or whether it is already tried and true. No, I am not going to have recourse to the dictionary. It's allowable for help with the crossword but, otherwise, the rule is I have to rely on memory and the old man in the archive of my internal lexicon. I don't know why there is such a rule. I simply obey it. The truth is I find my self lost in cyberspace without benefit of compass. To expand: recently I sought to order some provisions on-line. I had in mind disinfectant wipes that are very useful in any cat-owned home. Looking at the little pictures accompanying the choices, I opted for a special offer pack of two. That's what I thought I opted for. What turned up in the delivery was a huge box containing fifty of the damned packs. Never mind open it, I couldn't even lift it. If my beloved cat and I were to live to one hundred and fifty four we would just about get through them. The next hurdle was telephoning the supplier to see if they could be given back. Don't laugh. I wager there is not one among you who has not spent half a lifetime ringing an organisation with thirty eight options to press in the comforting knowledge that they value your call. Some considerable time and three Customer Servicers later, they had agreed to take them back.  By this time, the cost of the 0845 phone call had crept up to the cost of the goods. Well, I exagerate, but I am sure you know the feeling.

Far more serious was my attempt, myself, to book a flight on line. Everything went swimmingly right up to "your order is confirmed. please print etc etc". I was so keen to show off to the Guru I telephoned him at work, making his praise rather curter than I would have liked. Several days later I gathered the print-off to put ready in my going-away handbag. Dear Reader, I had booked the wrong day.  I put in the right date but the wrong day, as in Sunday 14th, when Sunday was the 15th. Naturally, the Wizard of Cyberspace, or his amanuensis, picked up the date and not the day. I know, I know. You don't know anyone who could have been that witless. On my knees, even tough unseen by them, I begged the Airline to let me change the ticket. Absolutely no chance. I tried many times, hoping to reach a flexible human on one of them. I even went up to the Airline's desk while on a different trip. They were more helpful. I could change my ticket for 700 Euros. The cost of an extra night in an hotel would be much less than that so that's what I settled for.

I see myself in a misty forest in Cyberspace, watched by the Wizard who is laughing at me and gloating over his mastery of me. If I were younger he may have more compassion or, at least. the hope that I would find my way in the end. I have a friend who says if you are hungry and can read, you can cook. (To read the cookery books, of course).  I am hungry for communication and I can read. I can't compute. Bora da.

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