Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hang on a minute, mate...

A week or so ago, Telecom's maintenance arm started a bit of a TV campaign. Beautifully shot pix of Chorus vans driving around sweeping country bends, through rainy urban streets, running through the night in gritty downtown Tauranga... interspersed with shots of technical looking men saying things like "I reckon we'll need to run 3 metres of ohm impeded superflange over this", and "I've checked the hyperbaric chamber, and it's showing a clear deficiency ofangstroms in the blunge." The voiceover guy, in the midst of his spirit-stirring sales pitch, comes out with one stunning line: "Last year, Telecom's Chor\us netwok maintenance team made over one million housecalls...."
Hang on. Back up the bloody van, Cheetah. In a country of 4.2 million souls, there's probably only a million or so houses. So if they made over a million housecalls, it can only mean one thing: the entire Telecom landline netwok is buggered.
The TV campaign is designed to make you want to buy the Chorus organisation when Telecom put it up for sale. One thing's for certain: if the Network's as rooted as they imply, the Chorus people will never be short of work.
Sorry I'm late: I may have to rework my blogging schedule. With rehearsals for "Brassed Off" now hitting the serious stage, and on my blogging days (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sundays)...I'll have to do a think. I'll be able to keep my Sunday Scribbles going, but my weeknight ones will have to move. Watch this space.
Movies seen: Hmm. I wanted to see "Robin Hood", 'cause I'm a crass act. Instead, we went to see "The Bookof Eli", because the beloved Jenny's so fond of Denzel Washington. Let's face it, she sleeps with Denzel's doppelganger. I do get confused when I shave. As for the movie: well, I had to do a lot of the old suspension of disbelief, but I'm good at that. The basic premise is simple: post-apocalyptic America, and all people all lose all their morals and beceome mindless thugs because all copies of the Bible have all been destroyed. Well, I could cope with that. The photography was superb, and Mr Washington and wossname, the bad guy, Gary Oldman, both chewed the scenery admirably. A pleasant diversion. But I wanna see Hobin Rood!
Listening to: Soundtrack for the movie "The Boat That Rocked". Pop / Rock music of my youth.
Reading: "Directive 51", by John Barnes. Science fiction, done well. Pre-apocaplyptic America so far, soon to be post-apocalyptic. I'd say Denzel Washington could play the lead role in the movie, except the hero is a woman. But I'm really, really liking it so far: as good as, if not better than, Arthur C. Clarke's shiney-orb series. No kidding.
More "Paper Heroes":
“Yes. Crayne. Thomas Crayne. I don’t know where we are. And you, sir, your name? Whistler?”

“Sean Whistler.”

Crayne studies the two men. They are obviously close friends, and trained to battle. They moved as one, each protecting the other. They knot their loincloths about their waists, as Crayne has done.

“Where’s the light coming from?” Blunt rasps.

“If you’re thinking witchcraft, Sir,” Whistler says, “then you’re off your rocker. With respect, Sir.”

“I think it’s a reaction to our electro-magnetic field that’s turning the lights on,’ says Crayne. “Clever.”

Blunt looks at Crayne with incomprehension, then points. Clothing. Neatly folded, on the floor. In another strange pool of light.

“Come on Sean. It’s our gear.” Crayne is impressed by the man’s air of command, and drifts after them. There are three sets of clothing: one fine charcoal suit, shirt, tie, socks, shoes, and underclothes. A military uniform that must come from the Napoleonic days, and a fine suit of clothes from the same era. Yes, thinks Crayne: Blunt is, Blunt was, an English Rifleman. A Colonel, no less. Whistler had been his Sergeant-Major.  What’s the right tense? Don’t know. Not enough data. Damn it, man: you’re too slow. Slow, old man.

Blunt dresses quickly in his green Rifleman’s jacket, leather French dragoon overalls, high boots. Whistler takes his time, donning layer after layer of clothing: shirt, vest, jacket, topcoat, overcoat, hose, trews, boots. Crayne feels a little more comfortable fully clothed, and is sure that he’s the only one to have searched his clothing for listening and watching devices. As he stoops to pick up and fold his loincloth, he glances sideways and smiles to himself: the other men have also rescued their loincloths, and hidden them away. There are more clothes available, and Blunt checks each pile.

“No weapons,” he grunts.

“No.” Crayne isn’t concerned. His mastery of the martial arts is complete, so he’s not powerless. And as he looks at his two companions, he is sure they’re quite capable of looking after themselves. The loincloths are weapon enough.


A female voice, low contralto, as warm as whipped chocolate. There is no point of reference for the voice: it seems, like the light, to originate from all corners of the room. Blunt grimaces: there are no corners. He can’t judge the size of the room. It tricks the eye. The room may go on for five yards or fifty, in any one direction.

The three men have moved to stand shoulder to shoulder, facing outwards. They are a bristling triangle of suspicion and anger.

“Gentlemen. Please do not be alarmed. My name is Cienwyn, and my colleagues and I have nursed you back to health following your,” she pauses, then continues. “Your mortal injuries.”

The three men stand soundlessly in their pool of light. Cienwyn almost gasps: their concentration on self-preservation hasn’t slipped at all, and yet she knows they would all be thinking about her words, chewing them slowly, seeking a false flavour. If she or any of the men in the operations booth had been in a similar situation, they would be talking, wheedling, trembling with fear. These three are, indeed, formidable.

As expected. As hoped.

The first test is done. The first test is met. The first test is passed. The first three have wakened, successfully. Cienwyn speaks again.

1 comment:

  1. I gave up on Telecom SA yonks ago: personal vendetta. You're probably right about the entire system being buggered if your lot are anything like ours!