I wonder how much of our lives we waste listening to machines delivering apologetic messages saying: “All our agents are currently busy”? Sometimes it’s Telkom. Sometimes it’s the bank and, quite often, it’s my medical aid scheme.
They all use machines that monotonously crank out the same old message.
South Africa has a fairly recent law prohibiting the planting of alien trees. Personally, I think it’s far too wide in its scope. Why, at this stage, ban the planting of such handsome trees as non-invasive jacarandas and oaks?
This is why I was pleased to read an e-mail written by a retired teacher (who wishes to be anonymous) to a garden club member who supports the eradication of non-indigenous trees.
There was a light-hearted article in last month’s international Mensa journal suggesting that the mathematical chances of there being intelligent life elsewhere in the universe were high – but the aliens might well be “warm-blooded dinosaurs whose home planet was not hit by a very large rock”.
As I grow older I get more and more elaborate brochures aimed at undermining my confidence in my immortality. The most disconcerting I have received read: “Why not make your own cut-price funeral arrangements – NOW – and so save your loved ones the trouble and expense?”
The messages begin getting get blunter as you leave middle age. And plainly they hope you are neurotic.