A view backstage at Beverley Minster

The shape of things to come

Neil Pickford looks back from the future

The Book of the Resurrection

Chapter 1: Verse 1

This chronicle is written by a humble scribe, so humble that he wasn’t even listed on the staff contacts page of the Beverley Minster web site back in the days when evil stalked the land

1)         No one would have believed in the middle years of the 21st century that human affairs were being watched, with annoyance, by intelligences greater than humans. In the days before Black Out (B.O. 20 to B.O. 1) we did wilfully fill our world with radio waves, micro waves and wi-fi communications – yeah unto the nth degree.

2)         And our digital transmissions did also reach out, yeah unto the very distant corners of our solar system, and our neighbours wearied at the 500th repeat of Top Gear on Channel Dave. And verily they were angry and full of wrath and did scheme to make Earth silent again.

3)         The cold eyes of ‘the Googles’ did see all and did harvest this knowledge to create dark despair among us.

4)         Tempted by servants of the evil Googles we did cast aside our ancient knowledge and, verily, we did embrace the world of the false god Digital. Yeah, we did foolishly convert all our hard-won wisdom and Harry Potter stories into digital format which we did then verily migrate unto the ‘cloud-based’ model until we did not use paper or common sense any more, wherein did lay our error.

5)         And then did the Googles send their servant, the Electro Magnetic Pulse, which did verily fry all our satellites and did also verily black out all electronic gismos and Xbox Live machines and electronic control systems in automobiles and televisual images and electronic mail communications and satnav systems and electronic books, yeah even unto the DCC chips in expensive Hornby model locomotives. OHornbhOH

6)         And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land and people of blameless character rent their clothes, while men and ladies of blameful character stopped rending their clothes because there was no one to take pictures of them. And civilisation did collapse and everyone was sore afraid.

7)         But there were in those times servants of the old true God, the God who gave trees that they might be tended and harvested and turned into paper and used to record and spread knowledge plus amusing little weekly vignettes under the title: “View from the Vestry” And these loyal servants they did call ‘Virgers’ after the powerful metal rod that each did carry to persuade all men and women- yeah, and even children – to get out of their way.

8)         And there were among these virgers two of who were granted the power to save the people of the earth and they were called Car Park Johnny and his acolyte and humble scribe Yours Truly.

9)         For verily they did look upon the despair of the world around them as people starved because they could not order online and have things delivered or because they did not know how to find the nearest convenience store without SatNav.

10)    And, thusly, they sent out a cry. “Come all ye stricken, ye starving, ye frightened, ye lost, and we can help you. And, verily, once ye know the way, ye shall be able to help those around you.”

11)    And so the people did come for what hope they did hold out. They could find the Minster easily enough because it stuck up over the countryside for miles and they didn’t need SatNav to find it – which was just as well as they couldn’t walk very far. And when they arrived at the Minster they were astounded at the wonders inside for, verily, there was light without beamed electric power, and the virgers did verily describe how to use candles.

12)    And, having seen such wonders, the people wanted to come back for more knowledge and, verily, the virgers did provide a miracle and showeth the peoples an kind of exercise machine that moved along the ground and carried people if they were great in faith and did not fall off and it made it easy to travel around once more, and they called it a bicycle and it was good.

Here endeth Chapter 1.

Incidentally, and coincidentally, due to the irritating policies of Google’s Blogger facility the archive of my writings has been moved to a new web address: Nearly 200 rib-tickling or anger-inducing articles all in one easy-to-find digital area – ironically.


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