Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I am turning into a total housewife. The other day I was in the Co-op looking for suet. I had run out and was wanting to have dumplings to go with the stew I was making for tea. I was standing there on the aisle staring at the place on the shelves where logic dictated the suet should be - but plainly wasn't - doing that odd, pointless thing that perfectly rational adults do in those circumstances. I was saying "Suet?... suet?... suet?..." over and over again in the vain hope that it was going to get fed up and yell

"I'm over here!"

from wherever it was hiding, when a friend, a woman, passed by.
"X," I said, "any idea where they keep the suet in this place?"
"What do you want suet for?"
"No idea," she said "I just buy them frozen."
What? Probably the second easiest thing on the entire planet to cook and she buys them frozen!
I was, I realized, scandalised. Oohhh I was proper shocked I was, you cold have knocked me down with a feather...

- actually her name really is 'X', her parents were spies, or maths teachers, or both. Actually, now I come to think of it I suspect all maths teachers are spies. It would explain some of the weirder problems I got at school:

  1. If it takes 15 men three days to dig a hole three furlongs wide and eight furlongs deep - how many men does M have in the field?
  2. If a train travels west at 65 mph with a following wind of 25 mph then how fast does the goose flying east this winter?
Perfect sense. They weren't maths problems at all, they were passwords. My maths homework book was being used as a dead letter drop by KGB agents. It would also explain a note on my 5th year school report that confused me at the time:
Liam is a diligent and attentive pupil and a hero in the prolotarian class struggle against the imperialist oligarchy.
Mind you, it was the 70s - so maybe that sort of thing was normal.

Following this train of thought makes me suspect that the famous German Enigma Code of WWII wasn't broken by the boffins at Bletchley Park at all - but really cracked by hundreds of spotty Molesworths in prep schools up and down the country, each working on a tiny bit of the problem on ink-splattered jotters like some prehistoric version of Seti@home as any fule kno.




1 comment:

Phoebe said...


Do you pronounce the S?

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

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