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Easter eggs, chicken nuggets, devices and tattoos


By Spalding Today Columnist


Easter is celebrated at this time but leading up to this event, I noticed assorted happenings that perhaps undermines the whole occasion, as to its true meaning, plus why it is celebrated - sadly, perhaps, the traditional outlook has somewhat lost its way in some instances in this day and age.

I overheard the following exchange between some children and an inquiring adult outside a supermarket recently that went something like this: the adult asked one of the children (I must confess, I have no idea as to child ages any more, as their growing process is quite bewildering) what their meaning or understanding of Easter was, with the instantaneous reply that it was: ‘Choccy egg time…but my mum waits till after Easter to buy them as they come down and cheaper she says but once I had to have bars of chocolate instead’.

Hearing that last part about the ‘bars of chocolate’ - not bar, but bars - somehow brought it home that indeed there is a lot of suffering about when you don’t know if its going to be a few bars of chocolate or waiting in hope that the choccy eggs will come down in price pretty quick, but at least it means the old stand-bys like putting the blame on ‘global warming’, ‘leaves on the line’ or ‘can’t get the wood any more’ don’t get over used in the usual excuses department that we have come to loathe but expect.

Just before Easter, a friend arrived I had not seen for ages as he was passing through the area, so we decided to go out for a bite to eat while it was ‘quiet’, hence we popped out to visit an eatery I had never been to before, so I thought it would be an experience for the both of us - little knowing it would indeed be a real experience.

John Ward (8824114)
John Ward (8824114)

We arrived at the chosen establishment. It didn’t look too busy, parked the car in a not over-full car park, then off inside to see what awaited us.

We were shown to a table by a smiling member of staff, then given a menu to have a shufty at as meanwhile on the next table a family or whatever had just arrived to take up the seating as in two adults with two children of once again to me indeterminable age who while they may be short in stature (okay then, small), more than made up with shouting at one another before they, as a family, all got their mobile phones or devices out then laid them on the table between the knives and forks. I wondered if there was an app they used on each device in place of using a spoon, as I thought this could be an eye-opener for a mere hopeless case like myself who can just about cope with a spoon.

Interesting to note that the father figure had two mobile devices - one placed between the knife and fork, with the other by the said knife - assume his ‘right hand device’- as he could well be a person of some importance or just taken out a ‘Family, Friends and Fiends Fone Fidget Plan’ with free two months' call time, mega data and 500,000 texts to use up in a month deal as if you live by the mobile device, who needs a life any more?

The menu was given to the two adults to look though, followed by the small section of the ensemble, to look over - but after furious jabbing and finger swiping on their mobile devices then asked - we assumed - the mum figure: ‘Do they do decent-sized chicken nuggets 'ere or not?!’ with the other little budding Einstein following closely behind with: ‘What size are their quarter paunder (pounder) burgers then?’

But before a reply was given, junior Einstein One said he wasn’t - quote: ‘Having any of that vegetable rubbish to eat, so there!’,so he made it abundantly clear he did not like his ‘five a day’ unless possibly a number or ‘hot key’ on speed dial on his mobile device perhaps but possibly just part of his normal upbringing.

When I was his age/size/lacking in tallness, my main concern was perhaps quite dull such as the sliding lid in my wooden pencil box had warped and was sticking so I couldn’t close it properly.

Just then, Dad’s mobile, the right hand model but not to be confused with the model centrally placed between knife and fork, wobbled and shook into life as it played the theme tune to BBC TV’s sit-com ‘Only Fools and Horses’ at full volume as he grabbed it, then spoke into it with this priceless response: ‘I am in a crucial meeting at the moment but I will call you back once I can establish a slot in my schedule’ before putting the device down.

After seeing/hearing that, I think we both managed to keep our composure without laughing out loud quite well if I am to be honest.

By this time, we had ordered our meals while the Einstein family was still undecided but the patient waitress smiled, leaned down as she asked Einstein One what ‘would he really like?’ to which the reply was - I quote: ‘I wanna tat-hoo (tattoo) of a serpent wiv (with) a spear dripping wiv (with) blood 'n' (and) stuff’ was perhaps not on the menu but Mum said he will have to wait as they would ‘see what they can do but just order something to eat for now’.

How the world has changed in recent times, we thought, but it's reassuring to know some people, perhaps short in stature, have their priorities sorted.

Our meals arrived but just as we had picked our eating implements up to make a start, Dad’s device once again wobbled into life with its throbbing cacophony - we both half expected David Jason in his ‘Del Boy’ persona to arrive - but no, it seems he was not in a ‘crucial meeting’ any more but was telling somebody: ‘As soon as it gets 'ere, I will, mate’ (?!).

Next, his meal arrived and he took photographs of it from various angles via his mobile device and sent them on to whomever - brother Rodders maybe?

Mere moments later, it wobbled and blasted into life yet again (but still no sign of David Jason) as he spoke at it: ‘It looks sor-tah okayish but I ain’t eaten it yet but will let you know, mate..’ which we assumed meant the meal in front of him but it's amazing nowadays that a meal has to go through a photoshoot before being eaten.

I can’t really describe what its like nowadays to be able to wander into the tranquil surroundings of an eatery, relax, then enjoy a finely-prepared meal to unwind away from the pressures of the modern world - give or take the occasional interruption of electronic devices plus concerned inquiries about the meal itself, with or without the photoshoot - and to really have an enjoyable experience before the men in white coats arrive to take me away for a decent rest up afterwards.

After all this excitement - but with still no sign of David Jason - we checked the car park as we left but there was no sign of a yellow Reliant Regal van to be seen.

PREVIOUSLY:

At the time when we looked to the future

Techno time means paperless - yes?

Taking donkeys to Las Vegas


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