Sunday, 22 December 2013
Without power there will be no more email, text, television. No more brand advertisements, no more sickly sentimental and multi-million pound John Lewis ads at Christmas with bears and hares and sweet little, innocent, tearjerking, children who plead to get what they want with a really schmaltzy twist and it all works, it really does. In fact it is quite brilliant.
The adverts start a stampede. People in their droves rush off to John Lewis as if their frontal lobotomies depend on it and willingly part with their hard earned wonga.
"No, please John Lewis Saleperson, take my cash - I simply love that little animated cartoon of the bear and the hare - I'll have that coffee maker please, just think John that will do Auntie Bessie."
"Look at the price of it woman, £864!" John the husband replies in alarm.
"Oh John! Don't be a grouch, she'll love it! It has come from John Lewis, and you know you can't get better than that, it is written all over their ads. I think the bear and the hare one is my favourite." and then she sings a few bars of Somewhere Only We Know , "Isn't that just wonderful?"
Without power we would be reduced to depend on fire for light and warmth. We would have none of our modern technologies which make our lives so much easier, no white goods like microwaves, washing machines, fridges, or entertainment and communications equipment, music would stop playing unless, of course, it was live.
The coloured lights that flicker across computer screens would black out...the market capitalisation of Google would go from $367.70 billion (£224.97 billion, €268.84) to zero in a split micro-second. Stocks and shares would no longer exist, they would be gone in a flash.
"What was the latest price on Starbucks? Hey buddy, latest price on Starbucks, say what ? You are saying $77.66 (£47.51,€56,78) are you sure... I mean how are we going to check that out?"
Would there be violence? Looters raiding retail outlets for what? Stealing the latest gaming consoles, the Xbox One? Plasma televisions? Don't you think that's just a bit shortsighted, if not weird, even for thieves?
Without power there would be no more leverage, all computerised records would be gone. At last the damn house belongs to us and there is no bank breathing down our necks, there is no longer any record of a mortgage... Who would bother flicking through paper to find out?
Would we need money? If...
In the darkness of your home, you shiver in the cold, pull an extra coat around you, stare out your front room window at the snow falling. In your sleeping bag you fall asleep to wake on Christmas morning and open your presents.
"This one's from Aunt Gillian," You tell your partner.
"What have you got?"
"An? Electric toothbrush..." You groan in the realisation you won't be able to use it....
"Oh that's nice..."
"A DVD..." Your partner frowns, you look at each other.
And say in unison - "Useless"- and throw your presents down and sigh...
Outside, in the snow, two mice shelter from the biting wind near to an empty plant pot.
"What's the drama?" One says to the other. "What are all these humans whinging about?"
"I don't know, all they ever do is moan, so the lights went out so what? You haven't got an Xbox have you Roberto?"
"No senor, never had one..."
"Well then...Merry Christmas Roberto"
"Feliz Navidad, Miguel."
(Can't promise that our philosophical mice will re-appear. Written at home 21/22 December between Christmas shopping.
"Excuse me" I call over the sales assistant, frustrated because I can't find what I am looking for. "Have you got that really expensive perfume with the price pumped up eight-fold because a z-list celebrity puts their name to it?"
The sales assistant thinks for a moment. "Ah, you mean ; 'You Can Fool The Public All The Time'?"
"That's the one!" I clap my hands in delight. "Yes, that's it, my wife loves it." ")