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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

We were out and about a couple of weekends ago, He Who Only... striding briskly ahead taking deep lungfuls of fresh air, while I stumbled along behind him, framing photographs of trees and leaves on the screen of my digital camera, constantly pausing to click and then delete photographs as too boring, too blurred, too focus-less, too cliched, and altogether forgetting that life outside the tiny LCD screen existed if it wasn't captured in a timeless second to last forever in obscurity on the screen of my laptop. At the top point of one hill, I spotted a lonely bench standing on the horizon, surrounded by trees and wide expanses of grass, but facing directly into the London city skyline, all tall buildings, landing airplanes and flashing lights. Ah, I thought, this photograph will say something about modern Britain, the cut and thrust of London society, the irrepressable loneliness of existence. I stopped again, pointed, and clicked.

I checked the screen. A man had jogged into my photograph, pushing his child ahead of him in a jogging buggy, and had ruined the composition of my photograph, which was intended to capture the starkness of a harsh and uncaring city, not a portrait of modern family life. I deleted the photograph, and tried again. Framed. Pointed. Clicked.

The camera whirred, captured the picture for a moment, and then the screen went fuzzy, blinked, and went black.

What? An eclipse? What's going on? I looked up from the camera screen. No, everything seemed normal - the jogger was jogging away to my left and out of sight, the lonely bench still stood out in front of me, and to my right He Who Only... was standing with an air of practised patience and just a hint of seething, drumming his foot and looking pointedly at his watch. I tried again, switching the camera on, and pointing. It whirred, went out of focus, went fuzzy, blinked and went black again, this time without even pulling in the lense on its way out.

Oh.

I put the camera back into my bag, and we carried on with our day. But even the thrill of a weekend Starbucks treat didn't take the edge off my fear that, having reached the end of the three month warranty for my camera ON THAT VERY DAY my new toy was already dead. God damn it all.

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