“Minutes five in begins committee purposes general
the of meeting the hurry better had we.”
“We would have been on time had we not called by the café for coffee and buns!”
“!up us held who waitress the was it.”
“Only because she couldn’t understand a single word you said!”
“?Mean you do what.”
“Can I ask, why are you talking in that way?”
“?way what in.”
“From back to front!”
“Learn Speed through course degree university a taking I’m. Mean you what see I oh.”
“A degree course in what in what, reverse physiology… learning to talking in complete gibberish?!”
“Engineering reverse in no.”
“You do know what reverse engineering is don’t you?”
“Yes of course I do, beginning the at the end and end at the beginning basically.”
“I can see this mornings meeting of the general purposes committee is going to be a very long one.”
“Right gentlemen I bring this meeting of
the general purposes committee meeting to order” the Chairman announced with a
bang of a gavel “we have a lot to get through this morning so I suggest we get
on. Item one on the agenda, it was agreed at the last meeting of this general
purposes committee that the old wooden sign for the map of your village and information
board should be taken down and replaced with a new up-to-date electronic
“village the of Map electronic an information free as well as provide to machine the adapt to working now is department electronic and technical our. Week last arrived machine information Directomat electronic developed recently a.”
“I cannot possibly ask you to say all that again” the Chairman said “What did he say?”
“He’s using reverse engineering” No.108 said “he’s studying it for a Speed Learn degree. Allow me to translate Mister Chairman. What he said was, a newly developed electronic Directomat information machine arrived last week. Our technical and electronic department is now working to adapt the machine to provide as well as free information an electronic map of the village.”
“How will it work?” the Chairman asked.
“…number a select you basically.”
“Not you!” said the Chairman “you, you tell me” he said pointing at 89.
The Top Hat official stood up “Basically you select a number on the electronic map of The Village and press a corresponding button. Or you press a numbered button on the panel, and a corresponding number on the electronic map of the village lights up.”
“I see” said the Chairman.
“There will be one quirk about the machine Mister Chairman.”
“And what’s that?”
“The number 7 and all numbers containing the digit 7 will be removed.”
Another Top Hat official No.144 rose to his feet “Mister Chairman you will recall that tragic incident involving Number 7, and how it was agreed that the number 7 should be expunged from the village.”
“Oh yes, I see. Right carry on with that, you’re not using this reverse engineering thing on it are we?”
“No Mister Chairman.”
“Thank goodness for that” the Chairman said “speaking of machines, will someone put a tanner in that drinks machine, I’m spitting feathers!”
“We got rid of the drinks machine, it made the coffee taste like oxtail soup!”
“Well who’s making the tea now?”
“An upgrade of the tea lady, we call her Martha.”
“The pair of steel doors opened and there was a whirring sound of electronic motors and the clunk of gears as Martha entered the orange walled chamber pushing a tea trolley.”
“What the devil’s this contraption?”
“Martha is an automaton Mister Chairman.”
“That’s all very well, but can she make the tea?”
“Would you like a cup of tea?” Martha asked in her metallic sounding voice.
“Yes I would, I’m spitting feathers!”
The plain metal automaton, dressed in a dark blue dress, white frilly apron, and white sailors cap poured a cup of tea from the tea urn “Would you like milk and sugar?”
“Yes please, two lumps.”
“Would you like a biscuit with that?”
“A biscuit oh yes I’ll have a biscuit.”
Martha added a digestive biscuit on the saucer and placed the cup and saucer on the table.
The chairman picked up the digestive biscuit “Aren’t there any proper biscuits?”
“Proper biscuits sir?” Martha asked.
“You know, the ones with cream inside.”
“No sir, but I have cake.”
“Oh good” the Chairman said rubbing his hands eagerly “I’ll have a piece of cake.”
Martha turned to each member of the general purposes committee in turn and offered them a cup of tea and a biscuit, No.92 asked for coffee.
Milk no sugar” he said.
“Right” said the Chairman “now we all have tea, cake or biscuits, perhaps we can work through our tea break. Item two is the electrification of the clocks…..”
Yuck!” No.231 suddenly ejaculated, tea spluttering out of his mouth..
“What’s the matter with him?” the Chairman asked.
“Tea the it’s” 231 said.
“What’s the matter with the tea?”
“It tastes like oxtail soup!”
Be seeing you