Ectoplasmic Road rage

A short story followed by the answer to last week’s question, and a new teaser about another of my characters. 

Everyone these days has a multitude of gadgets, but have you ever considered the problems they cause from an alternative point of view?

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It used to be easy being a ghost. We’d drift around in the ether with plenty of space, and no interference apart from a few radio signals. When television started it was a bit busier, but negotiating the waves stopped us getting bored, and it was fun jumping over them.

Now it’s constant hassle. You can’t glide an inch without bumping into something and the traffic is horrendous. Everything invades our cosmos. Take a simple example, an alarm clock. You know the type – a bell on top of a brass base, either run on batteries or with a screw on the back to wind it up. A bit hard on the fingernails maybe, but it worked and left us in peace.

Now it’s radio controlled to tell the time in any place in the world and needs mega connections just to wake you up in the morning. It’s not surprising we sometimes get airspace rage, and resort to tampering with clocks if they get in our lane. Who the hell needs to know the time in Vegas if you live in London; or has everyone turned into high-flying stock dealers without us noticing?

Add in Sat Nav, Wi-fi, Skype, Cloud, Facetime, Twitter, Facebook and computers, and it’s not surprising everything is jostling for room. At one time a phone was connected to wires, leading to a junction box at the bottom of the road, but that’s no longer enough. Smartphones take up our space while people take selfies to post on social media in case anyone forgets what they look like. What’s wrong with popping round to a friend’s house or joining them up the pub? Oh, I forgot, you’ve never actually met your so-called friends.

Another thing. Isn’t a till an adding machine simply used to register a total, so it can be compared with the cash taken and keep the tax man happy? Not on your life. It’s now all buttons and scans and even McDonald’s doesn’t have real people taking your order. Before you can buy a portion of chips you have to set up an account, log in, select your password and press the appropriate button which transmits another signal to some other wave-hogging machine, which uses more ether to select the appropriate temperature to comply with five million and one regulations to avoid being sued.

Obviously, all this technology involves thousands of nerds sitting at computers taking up more of our space to make improvements, which then involves other geeks taking up more airwaves to ensure they work, which they usually don’t. What’s wrong with chucking some potatoes in hot oil and dishing it up in a paper bag, as long as they’ve added salt and vinegar of course.

Want coffee with that? Black or white, with or without sugar? Simple! Not quite. More skinny, mocha, doo dar wotsits, with the beans grown on the left or right side of the slope, all involve more traffic in our rapidly reducing air space. No wonder the incidents of ectoplasmic road rage are becoming more frequent.

It’s not the population explosion that’s caused the problem, it’s the unnecessary gizmos.  People are living longer now, which theoretically leaves plenty of heavenly space for the dear departed, but that’s not the point. Can you really blame us spirits for trying to get our own back when we are being pushed further and further away from where we died?

So the next time you feel a cold chill, cupboards open and close by themselves, or your phone unexpectedly turns itself off, you will know the reason. Stop filling our place with all your emissions and we’ll leave you to R.I.P.

©Voinks August 2016

The answer to last week’s question was Reno, the hero of my first book ‘Changes.’ I wrote this romance when I had the life-changing accident which affected my mobility; it became the passion which saved my sanity during the dark times when I was bed-ridden. That was some years ago, and with the original contract expired, the next thing on the list is to revise, update and republish it, complete with a shiny new cover. More on that anon.

Guess the character.
This week’s character is an older man, rich, lonely and powerful. His word is law, and when it comes to business, he is totally ruthless. It’s only when he takes on an assistant, who later becomes like a daughter to him, that he remembers he once had a heart. Or did he? Answer next week.

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