The Circle of Obsolescence

“Come in, we have a spare seat over there”, said the Office Social Worker (OSW). There was a quiet rustling sound of plastic chairs on the beige vinyl floor tiles as space was quickly made available for their newest member. “Don’t worry, we have all experienced what you are going through, with time, the frustration will pass.” 

The Desk Phone took their allocated seat and sat rather forlornly with its handset’s flexible cable coiled in an unsightly knotted mess dangling with an uncaring manner next to the front right chair leg. One sudden jerk of the chair and the cable would have been quickly sliced in half, but the phone didn’t care.   

They all saw the look of pitiful redundancy on the Desk Phone’s face, some of them had reluctantly joined the Circle of Obsolescence (COO) only recently, others had been frequenting the meetings for decades, but their empathy was genuine and sympathetic.

It was now time for the OSW to start the COO meeting, their role being to facilitate a group discussion where each discarded and forgotten item of corporate office yesteryear would introduce themselves in turn and provide an individual life update.   

The Business Hat gleefully started the discussion. My friends of the COO, take heart as I was recently reading an article in the Italian edition of Vogue, and apparently fashion repeats itself, usually every fifteen years! It’s been a much longer time for me, but I’m convinced that I have already seen signs of a reinvigorated hat-life on many a corporate office worker’s head! I’m so convinced of this impending hat rebirth, that I’ve already given myself a detailed brushing down and sprucing in preparation for the occasion. 

I too have seen signs of this fashion trend, said the Business Shirt with an air of excitement in their voice. The other COO members all leaned forward in their chairs to listen. For many years now, I have been residing in a hermit-like manner in the darkest position in the clothes cupboard fighting off a relentless onslaught of preying silverfish and other unwelcome clothing vermin. As you can all see, I have a buttoned collar, slots for cuff-links, and a pocket strategically positioned over the wearer’s left breast. And guess what, you will never believe it, but I was actually worn yesterday!! The sound of sighs, shock and respect, gleefully permeated the room from all those seated. 

As soon as the Shirt had concluded, a rapid rustling of metal was heard in the base of the chair occupied by the Cufflinks who supported the assertions of the Shirt thereby adding credibility to their positive proclamation. 

This prompted the Neck-Tie, and even the Bow-tie, to quickly unravel in their chairs as they too sensed, and willed, their possible re-participation back into corporate office life. 

However, many other members of the COO continued to have a glum look on their faces as they regrettably knew that their days were numbered as technology, not fashion, had unfortunately passed them by. These chairs were occupied by the Blackberry phone, it’s cousin the Nokia, and now by the matriarchal Desk Phone. Some of them would survive as they resided alone on a cold, dusty, glass shelf in a museum, but for the rest, their longevity seemed doomed.

The eyes of the Business Shirt saw the look of despair on his long sitting technology challenged telephonic friends and tried to cheer them up with the following comment. “My COO friends, don’t despair. Fashion does repeat itself, but it also recycles those that were once deemed good and useful into something even better. Have no doubt, that you will all be reincarnated into an office item that is most worthy of your composition. It will happen to us all….one day.”

The OSW then closed the meeting and wondered, who next from the Corporate Office would attending, and how many chairs would be required? Time would tell.  

Bobble Protection

At the first sighting of the bobble, you immediately know that the weather is getting colder and that it’s time to quickly equip your sensitive head with this trusted and simple form of thermal protection. Its application is simple, just pop it on with minimal fuss or effort.

The humble and stylish bobble cap has been a trusted companion for many an exposed cranium. It first came to prominence in France when their fashionable, and highly intrepid sailors utilised the bobble as impact protection against potentially annoying low ship ceiling impacts when the waves became a tad too rough and violent.  

As the years progressed, the bobble gradually traversed the milliner barriers of naval seamen to those fortunate land based civilians with equal head appreciation. However, its purpose was now that of a visual stimulant, just like what is achieved when a glacial red cherry is strategically popped on top of a scoop of ice-cream.

So we thought….

COVID-19 has changed everything. Buried deep in a nonchalant medical laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, sits an intelligent, sophisticated man who is a research graduate specialising in virus containment. He is an avid follower of Australian Rules Football, his team being the mighty Geelong, where the colours are blue and white. He attends each game, dressed impeccably in his team jumper, scarf, complete with matching beanie, a blue bobble centrally located on top. However, on this remarkable occasion, whilst observing his fellow colour matched compatriots, he has, for some unknown reason, experienced what many a master of innovation classifies as a “Eureka moment of creativity”! The source of this moment of excitement being, none other than, the Geelong bobble.

Hold this thought….

In Australia, and in all countries around the world, it is difficult to tell who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t. One solution is to legislate that every fully vaccinated person, regardless of their age, carry a card of certification with them at all times. But, this methodology is fraught with potential danger as the majority of people are either forgetful, stupid, or just too lazy.

But, individuals of all ages do love to wear hats. And why not, as they enable the wearer to express their unique personality, can also signify membership in an organisation, school or team. Hats come in many shapes and sizes, can have a bobble, stalk (as in a beret), ribbon or band, and can be purchased in a plethora of different colours.

The innovative solution….

It was this concept that excited and stimulated the immense intellect of our Geelong football club supporter as he sat on the edge of that famous oval situated within Kardinia Park. The phenomenal solution being colour. For those that have been fully vaccinated, the colour of blue would be used for the bobble (or hat equivalent). For those half vaccinated, a light blue colour, for those unvaccinated, any other colour could apply. The solution, being colourfully simple.

So next time you see a bobble, have some respect for this spherical fibrous cluster as it has protected mankind throughout the centuries, and it will continue to do so for many years to come.

Feed Them “Meat”

For all those publicly acknowledged carnivores amongst us, there is a common phrase that is music to your famished ears, that being, “Feed them Meat”. Yes, there are many of us that have, and still do, happily savour the burning aromas from a simmering hot-plate with our knives sharpened, and our forks perched in eager anticipation ready for the mouthwatering onslaught. 

But alas, things are indeed a changing, and for a meat eater, the days of doing so are now becoming less acceptable to society as a new form of protein is strategically making its bloodless mark on the dining plate. The competition is in the form of a plant, and it is increasingly gaining an accepted gourmet reputation amongst diners of all ages around the globe. 

The manufacturers of this protein substitute are indeed most clever and have meticulously applied all their years of masterful university learning when situated in the chemistry laboratory, when the vast majority of us meat eaters were comfortably lounging about in a state of gastronomic stupor at the burger restaurant without a care in the world, blissfully unaware that our menus would soon change forever. 

The days of the “Big Mac”, “The Whopper”, or the world-renowned cheeseburger having pride of place on the ordering menu have now given way to “The Impossible Whopper”, “Beyond Meat”, even those common as muck meats such as chicken, fish and the humble egg can now be ordered in a plant-based version. I am not one to judge, nor hinder societal progress, as every consumer has the right to choose their preferred choice of protein. 

However, putting all meat prejudices aside, what I will state here is that the real winner is innovation. 

Who would have thought, that the term “meat” is no longer meat, but rather could be an animal or a possibly even a plant. The application of innovation has forced the simple consumer into actually making a decision on whether they say “bah humbug” and continue to munch in the manner of their forebears, or do they consider the sustainability needs of future generations? Who knows, only time and the gradual grinding of their teeth will tell. 

Remember the small child, maybe yourself, who in the past, would quickly summon their creativity and surreptitiously maneuver their unwanted vegetables, particularly any item that was green, under or within the meat that covered the majority of the plate. What will current generations now do in this emerging world of plant-based protein growth? Will the reverse occur as the animal protein is speedily eaten or camouflaged and hidden in copious amounts of vegetables and other plant like substitutes as they are too embarrassed to challenge the sustainable norm?

One thing is certain, progress is good, and so is innovation. Just ask any caveman whose diet was very simple and monotonous, and who would kill for a hearty meal, as long as it wasn’t them! So as that saying goes, “Feed them Meat…or Plants”, all is now acceptable. 

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