Section 96 is riding on hot air
Suddenly without warning it seemed everyone was primed to go. Tarkey, looking fit to steward Henley’s regatta was decked out in lemon yellow chinos and a double breasted navy blazer that shouted out loudly, “you can’t afford me.” The pink of his tie would have outshone any summer sunburn. He stepped up to the microphone positively aquiver with energy.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you all to the unveiling of the Nonsense Filter. This new app will revolutionise international cross cultural dialogue and become as necessary to education as Google. It can be developed for any digital platform including mobile phone technology and tablets…” The murmur from the expectant crowd blended with the chink of wine glasses and the muted sound of traffic outside the building. The decor lent a lazy, crazy respectability to the madness, not unlike the meticulously surreal interiors created by Salvador Dali.
Tarkey was enjoying his moment of glory.
“We have loaded the app into this mobile phone; it is compatible with all types of device and will interface successfully with all known search engines but take us far beyond their guesswork. We will feed into it a well-known piece of nonsense literature and you will see the sense it makes of it. I am assured by my team that no programming has given the device the answers. The app uses the internet and swiftly searches the archives of human meaning-making in order to provide a best fit picture for the researcher. We envisage that it will eventually search the airwaves directly too. When we have run this test we will distribute a limited Nonsense Filter ‘Light’, on these scanned memory sticks, for members of the press to experiment with. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you Ladies and Gentlemen that the Nonsense Filter is copyright.”
Vernon let out the breath he had been holding involuntarily and groaned quietly. All the speculation the three of them had voiced in their private meetings seemed to have found its way in to Tarkey’s boasting speech. He glanced nervously across at Mrs McGuin, who was seated close enough for him to observe how fastidiously she had dressed for the cameras. Not merely the happy-snapping press photographers, but local TV too, enticed in from the wilds of Norfolk. She glanced his way, head on one side and he winced. Her smile was conspiratorial but he did not regard her as an ally, there was a limit to his folly.
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