At the End of the Day

Not many people know this, but over the last few years I have become a magician with quite staggering powers. I have yet to earn any international repute for this achievement, but I can honestly tell you that I can make anything disappear at any time.

Such illusional powers only come with the wisdom of rapidly approaching twilight decades. The bad news is that I am the only one foxed by the illusions.

Just today alone, I caused two oven gloves, a wallet, and three pairs of spectacles to disappear entirely. I’m serious: they literally vapourised. Within reach and in sight only minutes before, they shifted into a parallel Universe. In the case of one pair of spectacles, I now know for certain that the top of my head is on the other side of a black hole.

Size, weight, shape and physical material of manufacture are of no consequence: in a local market town last week, I caused my car to disappear. And getting it back again was not much consolation, because by that time I’d lost the car keys. When they finally made themselves known again, I drove off and thus made my fruit and veg purchases disappear. Only by circling the entire town and working hard to make my parking place reappear did I rescue a pound of spuds, a bag of spinach and three red peppers from an eternity in Lost Time. On the pavement.


Is it me, or are dishwashers one of the last remaining mysteries on Earth?

I mean, what is it with the plastic wheelie things, and the trays that emerge as forecast one minute, only to fall off the end of the rail the next because one of those funny shunting devices has flipped and let a plastic wheelie thing out from captivity, thence to cause chaos on many levels. Bear with me: I realise that riff was using too much jargotech, so I’ll keep it simple for the next bit.

On a Tuesday, my dishwasher will clean every measuring cup, utensil and fork at a level of perfection to which Homo sapiens can only aspire in vain; the next, mugs will emerge with hot chocolate remains rivetted into the porcelain, that frying pan from the night before will have retained every last drop of gunk and moisture, while one plate has somehow been sprayed with tiny grains of unknown origin.

As the Glaswegian drunk said after vomiting on a dog, “I don’t remember eating that”. There are times when I want to send some of the output of this serendipity to a lab for analysis. A dish seems to be Muesili splattered but I never eat Muesili. Is this the opposite of going to the laundromat, I wonder, where there’s a little Chinese bloke at the back with chopsticks taking out every fifth sock at random….only with dishwashers, there’s a gargoyle spitting raisins, peppercorns and celery strands into the machine?

I’ve been trying hard on my supernatural disappearing things genius in order to combat the syndrome, but it isn’t working. I will have to contact my nearest Time Lord and ask why.


In just one issue of the Financial Times today, we learned that ‘While US joblessness has improved dramatically since the dark days of the recession, the labour force participation rate has been dropping steadily and remorselessly’. But at the same time, it was apparently apparent – and there’s no greater certainty than that – how ‘US Auto sales point to continued consumer strength’.

He’s a rum sort of cove, your FT. I’d love, for instance, to know how being without a job can improve. And how you can be jobless and yet a strong consumer….sounds to me like a case of generous benefits being abused by purchasers of 4×4 people carriers.

I offer for you now two further clues as to the extent of the FT’s roundthebendness.

First, it had lunch with Sepp Blatter and decided that ‘the reputation of the ex-FIFA boss may be spoiled but his legacy is intact’.

And second, in allowing me a trial of the product it announced with due celebration that I already had an account and should sign in. So I used the sign-in details from three years ago when I resigned my account and hey presto, I have access to the Financial Times again.

An Establishment newspaper that thinks an intact legacy of arrant corruption might be some kind of result is open to every kind of moral hazard. And any business media aperture which can’t even tell the difference between a trialist user and a loyalist reader is commercially doomed. At this rate, the ghastly Turdoch and his Wall Street Journal are going to have the Pink ‘un on toast.

Earlier at The Slog: How unaccountable forces are stabbing us in the back