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Thursday, 28 January 2010

They think its all is now

AT 11.35am, its all over. Six weeks of close confinement, punctuated only by a liquid Christmas week has ended. This morning's exam marked the exact halfway point of my degree, an event that, I felt, demanded full and uninhibited celebration. With that in mind, I resolved to call on RHB in her lab after the exam to discuss my plans for celebration.

I knocked timidly on the door of the Boffin's lair, stepped back and waited. Sooner than usual, the green light above the door signals the all clear,the airlock hisses and the mutant cyberguard, (who had been also making himself useful while on guard duty shredding e-mails), lowers his rifle, so I enter. As with all psychology labs, the air crackles with static as huge aerial conductors diverts millions of kilowatts of electricity, caught from lightning, into banks of rusty transfomers. Massive switches, capable of diverting billions of ampules of electricity into the brains of experimental subjects, are in the "on" position, indicating that the scientist is, yet again, using some of the zillions of pounds of grants that Governments (involved, like the Illuminati in a global conspiracy) have poured into her research, and doing nothing more than discovering really obvious, useless things, such as the exact location of the cognitive centres of the brain.

[I have to admit that I agree with Brian (a retired bus driver) from the pub, who constantly makes the point that most of what academics do in their Ivory Towers is just either commonsense that anyone could do (like the General Theory of Relativity), or utterly useless (like all that stuff about fruit flies) but RHB seems to enjoy her job, and it pays for the internet, so I generally turn a blind eye. At times I do wish they (the scientists) would put their minds to some of the deeper mysteries, like discovering the Mysterious Fourth Learning Style, or finding out which aliens not only built the Bosnian pyramids, but then disguised them as ordinary limestone geological features before returning to space, or why they all speak Gaelic in Cape Breton with a Canadian accent.]

Anyway, I reach the rear of RHB's lab where they carry out most of their human experimentation. As usual, a victim is strapped to the gurney, thousands of electrodes penetrating deep into his brain. RHB is atop her podium, and cackling fiendishly, eyes wide and staring, throwing switches and screaming at Igor, her colleague for more power. She sees me, gave one more maniacal laugh, and descends.

"Hi Mart, How did the exam go?" she asks.

I explain the exam went well and describe my plans for celebration.

"Sounds good. See you later gator. Give the cats a little tickle. Sorry, I've got to get back to work" she said. She turns, fluffs up her hair and screams "Igor ! PREPARE THE OSCILLATOR!".

At home, I ready for celebration, as I imagine all my fellow students are doing. I eat a small something, change into appropriate clothing and look forward to an afternoon of self-indugent revelry. In truth, I am very excited. My plans are long formed, and not to everyone's taste. There's a cultish feel to what I am getting ready to do. We have our own language. It can be uncomfortable, although satisfying, and the places were it happens are often jealously guarded, secretive. And, although, for me, no other human is involved, I know that my passions are shared. I am happy with my own justifications. I take a deep breath, consider the plans I have made that not even RHB knows about, exit, and prepare to garden.

Or, as the cats think of it "Making us new places to poo". Weeks of pent-up energy are expended in minutes,and not just by me. The cats, defying all descriptions of felines as independent, non-social creatures, have also shut down over the last few weeks, entering almost an catatonic state. They have been thrown outside, bodily, on a dail y basis, but have refused, point blank to interact with anything unless a human is also on all fours making a total idiot of himself. As I have not had time to do this, they have built up an enormous amount of pent up energy, so they join me as I transfer large mounds of soil from there to here. Toshack, is beside himself, frantically digging in each new pile, pooing as if he has never pooed before. Calli runs round like an "eejet", miaowing joyfully, chasing her tail and eating earthworms. I increase the pace, trying to keep ahead of both cats as they piss, poo and dig in tandem, double teaming me until I have to rest. By the end of the afternoon, I have, almost pointelessly, successfully transferred a big pile of soil from one side of the garden to another. Tosh and I survey the wreckage, then he rubs his head against my knee, apparently happy.

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