Today I know how John Watson felt the first time he saw the instructions on the correct use of a toothpick. John had the good sense to change his name to ‘Wonko the Sane’ upon seeing the detailed printed instructions on the packet of toothpicks; he saw the need for the instructions as a sign that our civilization had finally gone mad. So he changed his name, to show he was indeed still sane and then built an asylum to keep everyone in.
Wonko had been until today just another odd character that Douglas Adams created. Today however I experienced that Wonko moment, it was brought on not by the sight of a packet of toothpicks, but by a news item on the radio this morning involving a teenager called Bobby McHale. Now Bobby sounds like a normal 15 year old, with the exception he’s just received the most stupid certificate ever thought up. In order to receive the “Using Public Transport (Unit 1)” certificate, candidates had to show skills such as walking to the bus stop, stand (or sit, it is optional) at the bus stop and wait for a bus, and finally sit on the bus and look through the window – I think this part could be the real teaser, well it would be for me at least, well come on, looking through a window, are they crazy! It’s what drove Einstein to drink after all, and Stephen Hawking has yet to write the equation which could cope with all the variables involved in look through a window.
If anyone wants me I’ll still be here, sitting outside the asylum looking in, perhaps someone can give me a shout when sanity has returned.