I was talking to a friend of mine tonight, over a few pints, discussing the great victory at the weekend, and how we didn’t actually win at all considering the fact that Horgan’s first try wasn’t actually a try, so to speak. Anyway, during the course of this conversation it became obvious that a member of the bar staff was completely drunk and almost incapable of serving the customers. Very strange. Now, this is an unusual situation – the impossibility of the staff.
This could lead to conflict.
This did, in fact, lead to conflict, along the lines of “Where’s my fucking pint?”
To offset the acrimony, we took the unusual step of having a conversation, and it emerged that my friend has some involvement with the local authority. I didn’t know that about him. It’s something to do with setting out plots in graveyards – a specialised business, I’d imagine, requiring great skill and sensitivity. He was explaining that the local Muslim community wanted an area within the graveyard set aside for Muslim burials and that this isn’t possible because the graveyard can’t be run along religious lines. In other words, you’ll be buried beside the next guy no matter what name he has for God.
OK. Fair enough.
But as I understand it, it’s important to know where Mecca is and so I thought it might be helpful to invent a small gadget to assist in this matter. So I came up with the notion of the Mecca-meter, a device that informs you precisely what the orientation of your grave should be at any point on the face of the planet. However, I’m a little worried that this might not make me rich because I still can’t distinguish the difference between true Mecca and magnetic Mecca. This requires more research.
On further reflection, the graveyard problem is not as simple as it might seem. If graves of different religions are to be intermingled in one common municipal graveyard, it becomes very important to ensure that the ground is consecrated properly for each six-by-three plot. You don’t want a Christian grave blessed by a mullah, and you don’t want the rabbi accidentally over-spraying a Muslim plot, which could easily happen with old technology. So therefore, I was thinking, wouldn’t it be a good idea if the Council could have a mobile Consecrator, to be towed behind a truck, and this device would be reversed directly over a plot, automatically blessing an area of exactly six by three metric feet? There could be no mistake, and the machine could have different settings for each religion: just turn the knob.
Indeed, as lenses have become so sophisticated these days, it might even be possible to use satellite technology. Perhaps we could have an orbiting Consecrator, simply zapping tiny patches of earth as required. Provided, of course, the safeguards were put in place so that no madman would consecrate the wrong piece of ground. I mean, it wouldn’t do if they turned a piece of Medina into the Vatican by mistake. That’s worrying. Maybe they should use Linux.