Stable Partemple's Urban Pottage
number one in a series of bulb
Geoffrey Palmer tried to sell me a cellphone the other day. I heard him, snuffling away in the lounge, muttering in a matter-of-fact and terribly reassuring way about LG's new flip-phone. I immediately put the kettle on and sought out our most wartime teapot.
I can imagine Geoffrey calling Dame Judi on his slender handset, hoping against hope to catch her, dripping, as she emerges from the shower. His gnarled, Shakespearian hands calloused against the smooth buttons, wiping grease smears from the camera lens, cradling its industry-breakthrough thinness (for a 3G phone; as of writing).
He is our relic, Geoffrey. He is our WWII romance, our voice of reason. If he can handle such a handset, then surely so can we? The ticking cocoa of his intonation beguiles us... yes, the world is fast and bright and demanding, it says, but this mobile transcends such blather (and Geoffrey would undoubtedly use such a word). Ease it into your pocket and, for all its microchipped intelligence, its predictive video calling downloads, you could just as easily forget that it is there.
Stable Partemple is a futurology consultant at the Institute of Modern Now, London. He has published many articles and books, most recently "Shavings of the Culture Truffle" with Simon Schama