Phil: Reading a story on the Clients from Hell website recently, I was struck by one tale where someone breaks an entire network with the excuse, “I saw this cable lying there, and no one was using it. I saw two free ports and put it in them, so it wouldn’t feel useless.”
Serious technical types will laugh but I have some sympathy for the hapless employee. You see, I am terrible for ascribing human characteristics to inanimate objects.
A few weeks ago, I was on the bus passing a couple of recently renovated houses. The alleyway between them has been fitted with a double glazed door unit, the sort of thing normally fitted into a wall. I wondered if the uPVC frame was pleased to be able to see the sunshine or sad not to be set in a wall to avoid the rain.
I was concerned how a piece of plastic felt.
I’ve got this anthropomorphising thing bad.
This is a bigger problem than you might think. Of course my cars have names. The Beetle is Marrigold, camper Ashley (in my defence, he had this name when I bought him) and Peugeot 206 is “Little Car”, a pathetic attempt not to name him or her.
I talk to them, congratulating each vehicle at the end of every journey. Part of me, the bit that knows cars break down, hopes that this will persuade the car to try hard to get me home.
Trouble is, I’m not using Ashley and it’s time to sell him. Truth is, it’s been time to sell him for the last 5 years.
It’s like selling a pet. I don’t care so much about the money, more that he goes to a good home. I want to vet prospective purchasers. Ideally they will have a garage so he doesn’t get cold or wet. He will be taken for nice runs and enjoyable holidays. Money should be lavished if any repairs are required. At no point should he be customised.
I put all this down to the same imagination that helps me write stories. Writers should be able to approach a subject from different angles and work “outside the box”.
At least that’s my excuse. Does anyone else suffer from this?