Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Future

This snippet, which I wrote ten years ago, was published in a BBC project called The Book of the Future. William Hague was leader of the Conservatives and, of course Tony Blair was on the throne, but the imagined time of writing was 2020. It appeared under the following title.

Statistics Vaguely Blurred

I was thinking about writing an article for the 2050 Book of the Future. My mum says she did it when she was my age. She made me laugh when she said that only 5% of articles made the grade! Mu-um! Who believes in percentages any more? She said it was all the rage back then. Damlise and Statistics she calls it.

Apparently, the aptly named Blur government used to use statistics to tell people how happy they were; 65% were 10% happier for 12% more time than they had been before the Blur party came to power. And advertisers were 24% more likely to use focus groups on 56% of occasions for 35% of clients something-or-other. I asked, how did you get 35% of a client? Mum got sulky then and wouldn't answer.

Thank goodness the Vague years changed all that. It must have done their heads in, all them numbers. It would mine, but then they used to do something called maffs in schools back then. Yes, Prime Minister Vague did us all a favour getting rid of numbers. Not entirely of course, I mean some people still use them, but they’re not like us. The people who attend superversity don’t even live in the same world as us normal graduates.

I mean, what’s with them, right? Everybody gets a degree when they leave Gala Bingo University at twenty-five, yeah? But them eggheads just aren’t satisfied. And get this – they actually leave home to go and live in these weird communities called campers in places like Durham and Cambridge and whatever and what do they study? Not leisure and furnishing like normal people, oh no. They do stuff that nobody’s ever heard of any more, something called fizzics and syens and that maffs and they actually pay for the privilege!

Mum says they've got a 40% better chance of being in the top 10% of earners. I say they’re welcome to it. Who wants to be a damlise? Or a statistic? I’m glad I never had to learn about percentages. I’m quite happy being more or less all right about half the time and not so bad the rest. I reckon my guess is as good as the next that most people think pretty much the same about the majority of stuff.

But will they think the same in 2050?

Welcome to the future!


  1. Hi, Great article. Love all the word changing going on, I do it all the time. Drives my French wife around the bend.

    Cheers @StusFood ofof Twittooor

  2. Speaking of Staurt, why not restore the Stuart line? They are out there in for the form of Prince Joseph Wenzel. It goes without saying that it would be an Absolute Monarchy.