In a vain attempt to provide interesting news stories to fill round-the-clock broadcasting, BBC Radio 5 this morning spent some time interviewing a cove by the name of Lord Rees (Rhys? Reece? – [it’s Rees. Ed. Now get on with it]) who is President of the Royal Society (some conflict of political philosophy there?) who gave lie to the fact that he has a very large brain by discussing with Nicky Campbell the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe.
Readers (a Mrs Trellis of North of North Mayall’s Object) will be surprised to hear that yes, it is likely that there is life out there, but no, we do not know for sure.
Well thanks, chaps, for filling in that little gap in my knowledge. There’s one less conundrum about which to fret, then.
For those of you who are unfortunate enough to be of foreign or alien extraction, I should tell you that the Royal Society is a club for scientists, founded by Christopher Wren, the ornithologist, and Robert Boyle, the discoverer of carbuncles, and other ghastly swots as “'a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning”. It would be cruel to comment on their inability to spell or correctly use upper case in judging whether they were qualified to form a college.
Anyway, old Rees tells us that if there is life out there capable of communicating with us, it is so far away that exchange of messages will take many years.
I have checked comments on a few of my earlier posts here, and find no sign of visits from beyond the bounds of this planet, although with some of you it is difficult to be absolutely sure. (Hello Adam).
I am not entirely sure whether there is any benefit to be gained from having such a readership, even if they have broadband and have not defaulted on their direct debits to BT. They are probably not yet aware of the result of the Battle of Trafalgar, for example, and may be expecting me to be writing in French. It is bad enough waiting for dear old Dave to keep up, without having to explain to some creature from the next galaxy who Keith Chegwin is. I am not implying, I hasten to add, that all of the inhabitants of Norfolk are as chronologically challenged as Dave; some of Rog’s puns, for example, are under thirty years old.
When these people do communicate with us however, and have established an internet connection, downloaded IE, created a facebook account, done a lol on twitter, searched for “pictures of big tits” and checked their numbers on Euromillions, they will dash over here to check out the epitome of human wisdom.
So, what should I tell them first? What are the bedrocks of human existence, without which nothing will make sense? Here is my first draft:
1) No matter how beautiful and glorious your planet is, with its psychedelic sunsets, North East Hampshire-like topography, and curvaceous features of all thirteen sexes, nothing on it will approach the majesty of a Tom Graveney cover drive.
2) Discard the theory that God rested on the seventh day. It is silly. The poor old bugger laboured for many millennia, and only after he had created Goldie Hawn’s arse was he able to tick the “job well done” column on his to-do list and put his feet up for a few hours.
3) You are not allowed to dance on Thatcher’s grave. We have a system here, called queuing, and, as late arrivals, your place is at the back. Even if you combine the skills of Dame Ninette de Valois and Michael Jackson.
4) When you arrive, you will be pestered by scientists. Do not pay them much mind. By doing so it would be as if you had given as much credence to those who make canvas as those who paint on it – a necessary and skilled craft, but only a means to an end. Be kind to them – pat them on the head, say “well done” and give them a toffee, but do not be distracted by their ramblings.
5) For amusement, try the ancient sport of skittles. Our most famous bowling alley is called “Stonehenge”. Just off the A303.
6) If you want to piss yourselves laughing (that is, if you share those characteristics with us. Perhaps you truly do lmfao when you find something quite amusing), go and have a look at the LHC. Guess how much it cost? No, really.