Tag Archives: Regent Street

An everyday surreal conversation about a duck laying an egg or a big spacecraft

I sometimes run interviews in this blog. I often quote people direct. That is because (with their knowledge) I record their conversations on my iPhone. But I always ‘clean up’ what is said. I take out the ums and errs and ahs and sometimes re-order subjects so people speak in something approaching sentences and so the conversation progresses logically.

After school, I was offered a place to study Philosophy at Bristol University but instead, a year later, I did Communication Studies at what was then the Regent Street Polytechnic in London. The radio, TV and journalism course included psychology and sociology.

When I was there, one exercise we had to do was go into a room with two other people and record a conversation we had – any conversation – then transcribe it onto paper word-for-word with no changes. This was to show us the erratic and non-linear way people actually talk as opposed to the logical, linear way we think people speak in conversations.

What follows is a fairly random piece of conversation I recorded recently (with the people’s knowledge) while getting something for my blog. I have not edited what was said. There were three people involved, but I have not identified which person is saying what.

____________________________________________________

–  That’s a big one!

–  A large alien spacecraft just came out of my arse. Fucking hell!

–  Ducks have to learn how to lay eggs?

–  I’m not saying that! You could use that against me.

–  Laying an egg is surely the most natural thing in the world.

–  But not… But only if they’re living in an environment which is natural for them. If they’re living around humans… It’s like the same as like…

–  It’s like saying A woman doesn’t know how to have a baby. It just pops out.

–  But, if a woman grows up around lions, she’s not going to know how to have a baby, because she’s going to be brought up in a different… I think her body was just sorting itself out, because sometimes she would lay really weird, wonky eggs and sometimes eggs with no shell.

–  Well, it’s only then… The way you have to remember it is it’s only then – unless I got all my female physiognomy mixed up – It would only be them going through a monthly cycle. So they create the egg, don’t they…

–  But, if she’s just starting her monthly cycle, it’s going to be a bit touch-and-go, isn’t it… Her body just…

–  It’s a beautiful image, your duck walking along the road and Ooh, I got a bit of a sore tummy. Oh, I got a bit of a sore tummy. Oh oooh! Oooooh! Blimey, I’ve just… a big alien spacecraft,’s coming out of my arse! What the hell is that, man!

–  How big was the garden?

–  It was an acre. It was a big garden.

–  I want to get back to laying eggs. It just comes out, surely.

–  No. When they learn to sit down…

–  What do you mean No? It does.

–  No it doesn’t. Has to be fertilised…

–  They lay unfertilised eggs all the time, don’t they?

–  Well, precisely, yes. That’s what you’re saying, you know.

–  Well, she can’t decide I’m going to have a fertilised egg.

–  No, I’m not suggesting that. I’m…

–  It’s the same with anything. You just go from being to being an adult to doing all the things on your own. Babies have to be looked after until they learn to do things on their own.

–  I’m going mad. An elephant’s got feathers on the back.

–  One of those fake moustaches.

–  What happens when they don’t know how to lay the egg properly? What do they do?

–  They come out wonky, they come out…

–  In what way?

–  They come out with no shell, they come out with half a shell…

–  What’s wonky? An egg is an egg.

–  Like wonky.

–  In what way? An egg is an egg.

–  Irregular.

–  Like a kidney bean. Large…

–  How do you know they’re not laying kidney beans? An egg is an egg.

–  You’re taking it all too literally.

–  Yeah. It’s a woman’s monthly cycle. They’re going to do it whatever.

–  Right, are we going to go feed that cat?

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Filed under Humor, Humour, Surreal

People thinking along the wrong lines…

Last century, when I was at school, I heard tales of the interviews prospective students had to pass to get into various universities. One was for Philosophy at Reading University.

The prospective student went into the interview room to find a seated man looking at notes on a desk. Without looking up, the man said to you: “Sit down, please.”

There was no other chair in the room except the one on which the man sat,

If you said, “But there’s no chair,” you did not get into the university to read Philosophy… because you were not thinking clearly. The man had asked you to “sit down”, not to sit on a chair.

If you sat on the floor, the interview continued.

When I left school, I had an interview to read Philosophy at Bristol University. I got accepted, but decided instead to do Communication Studies (radio, TV, journalism, advertising) at what was then called The Polytechnic in Regent Street, London.

During my Philosophy interview at Bristol University, one verbal question I was asked on logic was…

1) There is snow on the tracks, therefore the train is late

2) The train is late, therefore there was snow on the tracks.

What is wrong with the logic?

I think I have met too many people since then who believe that, because a train is late, there was snow on the tracks.

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Filed under Education, Philosophy

The printed book is dead… and libraries… and newspapers… but literacy lives on my iPad!

I was in the Apple Store in Regent Street last week and bumped into the multi-talented transsexual comic Shelley Cooper, who has almost finished writing her autobiography – now THAT should be a cracking read. She is thinking of publishing it online via a print-on-demand site.

I am also thinking about re-publishing the late comedian Malcolm Hardee‘s autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Cake as an online print-on-demand book. The costs are so low as to be negligible and the percentages to the writer are much higher – on a traditionally printed paperback book the author usually only gets 7.5% of the cover price. People can buy a print-on-demand book as a well-produced traditional paperback or download it from iTunes or Amazon.

Traditional paper books and physical libraries in towns and cities will soon be dead. A book is not bought because it is an object, it is bought an experience or for information. Content is king. The printed word is not dying – it is thriving on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, mobile phone texting, everywhere. But the printed book will die.

The husband of a friend of mine is the straightest person I know. For many years, he never watched ITV – only BBC TV -because ITV was not respectable, merely a young whippersnapper upstart TV station. Yet he is now thinking of investing in an iPad or the duller and much more limited Kindle because, that way, he could take a whole library of books with him on holiday and read anything he likes when he gets there.

Ultimately, Project Gutenberg and its ilk will put almost all out-of-copyright fiction online; and Wikipedia and Google and the web in general give ultimately unlimited access to known facts. Yes, there are old books, newspapers and magazines with content which cannot be accessed online, but only because they have not yet been digitised.

Online publishers have no reason to ever declare any new ‘book’ out-of-print because the online file can remain in cyberspace forever at no extra production cost. The traditional paper book is dead and so are traditional physical libraries.

A library is just a building to keep books in. Unless they re-invent themselves as leisure centres for the printed word and computer gaming, they will soon be dead too.

What is worrying the printed media industry more immediately, of course, is what is happening and what will happen to newspapers, whose printed, paid-for editions are sliding down a seemingly bottomless pit in circulation terms.

Newspapers were always printing yesterday’s news but there used to be no alternative.

But why should I buy a print newspaper carrying out-of-date news when I can watch live street demonstrations in Cairo or around the Middle East on 24-hour live TV news channels? Why should I buy a UK newspaper when I can read other UK news sources free online and get access to Australian, Chinese, Russian and US print sources free online? AND watch Al Jazeera, BBC TV News, Sky News, Press TV from Tehran or, god forbid, the terminally dull Russia Today channel direct from Moscow?

On my iPad, I have apps giving me access to the Huffington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, the Straits Times and the Moscow Times. I can access a wider variety of sources worldwide via my Fluent News, Pulse News and Stuff apps. I get daily news update e-mails from The Scotsman and from China Daily.

Why should  buy a newspaper except for a free DVD?

On the other hand, Rupert Murdoch’s launch less than a couple of weeks ago of his iPad-only newspaper The Daily is interesting, though it is only available le in the US at the moment. If, as rumours say, he really does price a future full UK daily electronic newspaper automatically delivered to you every morning at a cost of only 79p per week…

Well, even I might be tempted… but it’s still going go be news I can get elsewhere for free.

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Filed under Books, Internet, Newspapers, Politics