History is a Fickle Cow



As an HB/NW, I’m constantly depressed by how much press, recognition or outright fame that other members of my family manage to achieve.  Being mundane ‘normals’ – mere consumers of entertainment – they could take or leave the valuable HB/NW commodity of publicity, so it frustrates me no end when they seem to do better at grabbing the limelight than I do…

Take my eldest child.  He’s only five, yet he was recently photographed for the local newspaper, sporting a Cat in the Hat outfit that I had made for him.  Talk about a monkey riding a pig (full story here) – my son is riding on the back of my creative endeavours,  and garnering more press than I’ve had in years to boot.

My misery doesn’t end there…


Only today I discovered that my wife has had an article entered into the Modern Domesday Book – a 1986 version of William the Conqueror’s groundbreaking document. Envisioned by the BBC and partly funded by the government, the Domesday Project entrusted schoolchildren with the task of gathering data on Britain, which was then stored on two videodiscs, only to have the technology to read them become obsolete…  Still, a gig is a gig, and my wife had her place in that now unreadable slice of History – fickle cow that she is.  (History, I hasten to add… not my wife!)

So,  what did I do for the Modern Domesday Book ?  In the worst example of time management this Earth has ever known, my geography teacher gathered three of my friends and myself, then made us walk through the countryside, noting down the type of crop grown in each field we stumbled upon.   Rather than spending five minutes on the ‘phone ascertaining the details with the local farmer – and learning valuable communication skills in the process – we walked through miles of mud with a singular piece of paper, writing another word or two down whenever we reached a new field…

…as long as we could recognise what was being grown.

It took four people and thirty two man hours to write down a total of ten to twelve words –  this largely trivial data to be transferred onto two shiny discs that no longer work.

Those ten to twelve words were all rape by the way, as rapeseed oil was pretty much the only product being produced in our region that Summer.  We know!  We checked! Thoroughly!  For a day!

What would upset a farmer the most, I wonder ?  A quick ‘phone call to ascertain the current crop yield for the year, or four idiot youths trampling through the middle of one’s livelihood, shouting ‘Rape’ at the top of their lungs because it seemed like an inappropriately appropriate word to holler at the time ?

And what permissions did we have for this foray into Farmer Fred’s fields ?  None from what I can gather… The school nevertheless endorsed this time wasting act of casual vandalism and outrageous belittling of one of the worst crimes ever known.  With our school’s implied permission at the back of our minds, I’m sure that, should an irate farmer appear with a shotgun, we would have ordered him aside as we were doing ‘important, government sponsored work.’

So what is the result of my hard work ? Am I secured in the anals of history ?  No!  While my wife has at least managed to blag a small paragraph within the dodgy discs, I can only take a quarter of the credit for noting that a few fields had yellow crops in during the Summer of 1986…

…and I’m really awful on the ‘phone, so the school missed an educational opportunity there too!


© Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nova Amiko and The Has Been Who Never Was with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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