Today, I found that it’s tremendously difficult to hide a Christmas present when it’s accessible from any Internet-connected computer Worldwide. I bought and web-designed my girlfriend rosalindwest.co.uk (I am not a total aromantic nerd—I also got her a pretty wristwatch), and I thought I’d covered my tracks fairly well until it transpired that I’d made the fatal mistake of not deleting my visits to it from my web browser history.
I thought it probably wouldn’t matter. She’s not in the habit of surfing through my history (at least I don’t think she is—nutter). However, she was treated to a highly specific tour of my web history when she asked me how much it would cost to post a parcel. ‘Easy,’ I thought, ‘I don’t even need Google, I can just go straight to royalmail.co.uk. I am the king of memorising URIs.’
I started typing. ‘r’ seemed like as good a place as any. Then ‘o’—that’s ‘ro’—and then, Firefox helpfully made a few suggestions about webpages I’d recently visited whose URIs started ‘ro’. rosalindwest.co.uk forward slash every single page I’ve designed in a convenient list, anyone? I panicked. Rosalind was stood right behind me, so not only was she in full view of the screen, but I couldn’t see if she was actually looking at it. I suddenly realised what had happened and why.
My brain went into fast-forward, but sadly took the most thorough and roundabout route in solving the problem: ‘What are all those URIs doing there? “ro”—crap! That’s the first two letters of “rosalindwest.co.uk”…and it’s the same as the first two letters of “royalmail.co.uk”! Balls! Rosalind’s stood behind me, so not only is she in full view of the screen, but also I can’t see if she’s actually looking at it! What shall I do? I should’ve gone via Google. Aaah, too late now, can’t feign having forgotten the address I’ve just started typing. OK. Keep typing, then. What’s the next letter..? Err…“y”…is that the same as the third letter of “rosalindwest.co.uk”? No, that’s “s”! QUICK!! Type “y”!!!!!!!!’
It would actually have been faster if I hadn’t noticed and had just kept typing, but instead my brain decided that it was better to put the World into Matrix-esque bullet-time and let me consider in slow/fast-motion what the best next move was. And, since she was stood behind me, I have no idea if she saw or not. Asking her would blow it rather. Fingers crossed, eh?
As I walked around town, smug that I’d bought (though possibly failed to effectively hide) my Christmas presents, I was approached by a man promoting an attraction called ‘Spheremania’. According to the promotional imagery, this was an attraction which afforded you the opportunity to roll down a hillside whilst enclosed in a giant plastic sphere. I confessed to not being particularly interested. Though it was probably more interesting than their competitor Cubemania next door.
Technically, Tetrahedronmania would be the least interesting attraction, but, pedant though I am, I didn’t think that was such a good joke.