Standing in the queue waiting to board the flight taking me across the Channel I heard a peep peep peep noise. The tall, long blonde haired youth, even with the white earphones plugged in, turned to see where the sound came from. Even the dumpy middle aged man in jeans and shiny red face holding his large print finished word search puzzle just in front of me looked up. As he leaned over the blue ribbon barricade, his curious eyes looking even larger through the strong lenses, we all noticed the noise came from a fellow passenger’s iphone. She was squeezing and pressing the thing to stop it drawing attention but to no avail.
I asked if I could help her with the phone. Promptly a conversation started about iphones that seemed to have a mind of their own. Oh yes, there was a nodded agreement between us and other ladies of a certain age in the queue.
‘I also have one of these simple on/off Nokia’s said the owner of the noisy smartphone’. ‘Haha, I have one too. Always keep it as back up’ I said. ‘Well here’s my one’, said the frizzy haired lady ahead of me in the queue. ‘When we were on holiday in Cornwall and there was no internet signal we were still able to use this old thing’. ‘Gosh that is an old one’, said the iphone lady ‘and that one’s even older’, pointing to mine.
No matter, I just heard these ancient phones were being relaunched!! NOKIA…hmm, I wonder what that name could stand for? New Owners Keep It Available I thought to myself. Talking of ‘old’ things another acronym came to mind, NORWICH. During World War II messages were sent between servicemen and their sweethearts with coded feelings scribbled as an acronym often on the back of the envelope.
As a former student of the Norwich School of Art one of my tutors, Nigel Henderson, enlightened me to the NORWICH meaning. For years it set the giggles alight and only recently did I realise that this man, who had served in the forces during the war, befriending the well known artist Eduardo Paolozzi whilst at the Slade, would very possibly have used the acronym on his love letters. Those scribbles are a scream. When you begin to delve into the messages conveyed, they are funny, naughty and when writing LOWESTOFT or EDINBURGH not to mention VENICE or MALAYA they remain an imaginative tease. Those chaps from ENGLAND were an ardent lot.
Suffice to say the ‘old’ things have their merits, offering timeless entertainment. The acronyms for such new gadgets such as IPOD – impulsive purchase, oh dear!, or COMPUTER – Capable Of Making Perfectly Uncomplicated Tasks Extremely Rigorous are almost tame compared to one we could use for emissions on RADIO Ex-Pat….. Romance And Delight Is Offered E .. X .. P ….. ! Oh dear the listeners may well get the wrong idea about the station although the broadcast music, lyrics and even our chat show remain so very much occupied with conveying our feelings. We all do it all the time.
Perhaps, Ardent Chaps Roll ON Your Mattress is more ticklish!
Gwen Jenner – www.gwenjenner.com