Hi, readers. I guarantee that this post is 99.99% Coronavirus free! There are some slight and appropriate references. You all need a break from the current, albeit very serious, mayhem, and onein300 is here to deal out that relief, either reverently or completely irreverently! This week, let’s rock!!

This is the Modern World!
This is the Modern World!

Paul Weller – The Jam 1977

Good day readers. Another onein300 garbled thoughts post on our ever changing world. Whatever happens in the next couple of months, there will be new ‘normals’ that might have been totally unimaginable just only a few weeks ago. It has often been said that real significant change only happens because of a genuine crisis, and it’s so true.

But before we start, no discussion of the world today would be right without a veritable blast from the past! And who better to hear that from, but Lord Lee Bragg, a man of our times!

The following is an except from Lord Lee Bragg’s 957 page Biography written way back in 1999 – ‘A life under the Radar’ – Chapter 5 – Confessions of a HiFi Salesman….

It is the 21st June 1979 and Lord Lee Bragg is just opening up his HiFi store at 8:30am, selling quality audio equipment, at knock down prices to the public. He loves the mod band The Jam and the unique sound of Paul Weller and his crew is blasting all around the store.

Lord Bragg has had a very busy week, with record sales of Bragg’s Speakers, amplifiers, tuners and cassette decks. He is very tired after a home visit to one of his customers who needed her woofers and tweeters adjusted after a recent purchase. Such personal and dedicated service has been a trademark of Bragg’s HiFi for over 20 years.

At 4pm he leaves for London to attend the ‘Giant speakers’ sales awards. As the country’s top salesman for the last 5 years, he once notoriously sold a pair of 6 foot high speakers to a customer along with the pre-requisite structural building works, from Bragg’s builders, to actually get the speakers into the customer’s property,……a flat, ……20 floors up.

Fast forward to 2020. Lord Bragg’s HiFi is no more. After the need for sales entrepreneurship left the marketing of audio equipment because of changing trends and more importantly technology, Lord Bragg had to resort to one of the remaining bastions of salesmanship, estate agency! The less said about his ventures in housing, the better!

One thing that I sincerely hope will happen after the current stressful situation is the streamlining of many governmental processes. Emergencies cut red tape, and we often find hidden efficiencies that could pervade long after the event. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. It just needs that little nudge.

Just before the pandemic really took our attention, only 3 small weeks ago now, I ventured to London to meet with the UK Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Along with the MNDA, 5 other MND patients and with my good friend Paul acting as my carer for the day, I took part in a workshop with policy makers on the thorny subject of benefits for the terminally ill. Here in the UK, there needs to be serious reform as it is nearly scandalous the way people with life shortening illnesses are treated and have been treated for many decades. Ironically, I suspect these, and other processes might now actually be finally improved following this crisis! Because I have a slow form of MND/ALS, I have been able to see others’ experiences of claiming rightful benefits, such as mobility allowances, blue badges and more for many years. Sadly, most patients simply struggle and die before receiving rightful payments. It was a good workshop, and I hope that the observations that I was able to give was an insight into the challenges that people face, including those about to be newly diagnosed with such diseases, and are blissfully unaware of the complications that will inevitably hit them.

NOTE – the following section discusses socialising. Please do NOT socialise for the time being unless remotely using modern technology!

On the train home from London, Paul and I discussed arranging a dinner with our good ladies. We both decided that it was best that we hand over the latest arrangements to them, as we would only cock it up! You know us men! Some things don’t change, even in this modern world.

But, just how could we hand over this important task to the real organisers, and could we do it surreptitiously? We decided to use nudge theory, which is all a bit trendy and fashionable right now.

We unravelled a plan, that was both ingenious, and cost us absolutely nothing (aN important pre-requisite of a valid nudge). How I hear you say? I simply told Jean a little harmless “white lie”/untruth that encouraged her to phone Paul’s wife, perhaps before she would have done under normal circumstances! It was a joy to watch our plan evolve, fully blossom, and successfully, before our eyes, including highlights such as the total bemusement, perhaps embarrassment, regarding the fib that I had told. It reached a pinnacle of hilarity when I heard these magical words spoken on the call….(Paul and I were obviously messaging each other at the same time).

By the way, the boys mentioned getting together. Have you got your diary to hand……?

Task achieved, “In the net” so to speak. And no human was injured during our sly escapade!

Or was I now a target??..

Yes readers, at the end of that very week I thought Jean had taken revenge on me for our nudge act. However, it turned out that it was just an another lesson in my education on modern life.

It’s a quite fascinating scenario regarding our car. Many vehicles, if not most, these days utilise dead-locks to make it more difficult for thieves to break in all sorts of circumstances.

During one of our last public outings Before lockdown, we had just parked up at a petrol station to refill. We both got out, and Jean locked the car. Before refuelling I needed to use the cash point at the station. After I had finished we walked (me with my rollator) back to the vehicle. Jean unlocked the car, but didn’t actually get in herself. I clambered into the passenger seat using my usual ungainly manner, and shut the door. Jean then walked around the car, with the key in her pocket, and started to fill the car up with fuel. As she did so, our car suddenly locked! Incidentally I wanted to tell Jean something, so I tried to open my door. It wouldn’t open using the inside lever! I shouted to Jean, but she was oblivious!

Jean. Jeannnnn. Jeannnnnnn,

JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAN!!!!

I was trapped! Finally, Once she completed the refuel, I finally caught her eye with my, by now, quite pale and panicked figure!

It only goes and turns out readers, that if you unlock many modern cars, and then do not utilise the driver’s door and then proceed to keep the key outside of the vehicle, many will auto lock, with full deadlocks, after just 20 seconds!

Jeesh! I thought I was being put into early isolation! I do still think it was revenge though! I got away lightly, however……

After our trick, Paul said he woke up the next morning with his foreskin stapled to the bed side table!!

Finally this week.

The advent of modern tech is changing society, and in particular home automation and internet connected devices. We have Amazon Echos and other bits and bobs including motion detectors. Aside turning on lights with one of the motion detectors, I hadn’t thought of much use of one until this week. Here is the result of a new and timely use I quickly enabled, with the help of 1000 Amazon engineers! In the words of the Donald, “It’s great, really great, really great…”

Back soon readers. And please adhere to your country’s health advice and more. We will get through this, changed, but we will. And don’t forget….

This is the Modern World!

Stop press. A bit of self indulgence, which I hope you will enjoy.

It’s a track called “And So To F” by Brand X, a band from the late 1970s effectively fronted by the great Phil Collins. It’s simply breathtaking and Phil is at the peak of his drumming talent. Turn up the HiFi and relive the glory days of those HiFi demonstration rooms! I really do have to go now, as I am having some BIG speakers being delivered!

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