recommended by a friend. Well, I thought he was a
the way to go said my friend. His name was
Abacus Brainstorm. No, really.
And I thought,
with a name like that, he was bound to know what
he was talking about. But his name bore a similar
relationship to reality as does the toothpaste
tube that tells you it protects your teeth from
plaque, cavities, discolouration; enables gum
health, straightens uneven molars, promotes
remote mastication of inedible metals; everything
except preventing them falling out in fact; which
is just what they do as soon as you finish
reading the tube. It did take a year or two to
get through reading it, after all.
All this gets
us to the mini.
Brainstorm advised when I enquired the
whereabouts of this seat of learning, the OU,
that it was in an open space; somewhere. I should
have been at least suspicious, but then again, I
was looking for further education and if I knew
everything already there would be little point.
I thought, for
about the length of time it takes for an amoeba
to get fed up, that he had gone French. It was
the ou! that did it. But no, it was
just a piece of advice; in the same vein that
go jump off a cliff is excellent
advice to anyone wanting a breath of fresh air.
The same piece of advice can be either dangerous
or great fun, depending on which side of it you
happen to be standing.
He lent me his
mini to get to the Open University.
from having no road tax, insurance; or paint,
particularly, I also found it wanting in the
brakes department. This was an invaluable
exercise in further education in itself. I found
out that you never know when brakes arent
working until you need to stop. By which time
its too late to bother. We could say that
for a lot of things of course. Take swimming for
instance. If you never went near water you would
never know that you cant swim.
found a flat route to the nearest open space and
watched it sail past my drivers side window
as I pumped at the brake pedal. A peaceful sheep
watched from the middle of the field while
meditating on a bent strand of ryegrass.
Meanwhile the mini had ingeniously wrapped itself
round a lamppost, and surprised me as to how
suddenly one of those things can stop. This might
have been useful for my Open University Entrance
Exam, which I decided there and then to take up
with the Principle of the Open University; who
was obviously the sheep, as there was nobody else
questioned the sheep extensively, with little
response other than for it to wander around
seeking interesting bits of grass, I suddenly
realised that it might only speak sheep. So I
decided to try a few phrases in sheep.
you today? I asked. According to my sheep
phrase book that was Baa?
Then I noticed
that all the phrases in the Open University
phrasebook were, Baa.
it. I clearly knew everything already and Abacus
Brainstorm was an arsehole.