I was doing a little reminiscing this morning.
There’s no law against that so far as I know, but that’s probably just a matter of time.
Anyways, for some unknown reason I remembered a little incident back in my college days.
After leaving school I went on to study electronics. I have absolutely no idea why I should have chosen electronics as a subject as my real passion lay in geography and cartography in particular. But some strange quirk of fate found me studying telecommunications and electronics instead.
So there I was, studying a subject that I had a mere passing interest in. With hindsight I should really have studied computers but they hadn’t really been invented yet so there were no courses in the subject which would have made studying difficult.
The college I was at had an open day each year where parents, friends and the Great Unwashed were invited in to show off what we were at. It wasn’t a particularly popular day as it meant turning up in the lecture halls or the laboratories when we would much prefer to be in the Common Room smoking and playing cards.
On one particular open day myself and Noel [one of my good pals] and myself were teamed up and given an experiment to demonstrate. It was [as far as I remember] a simple oscillator that didn’t do much, but it had the great advantage in that we were given one of the few oscilloscopes which had a screen displaying a little green wavy line. It looked impressive.
Because we were one of the few “experiments” that looked interesting we gathered quite a few who came over to see what we were at. We explained the principles of the oscillator and you could see their eyes glaze over. They hadn’t a fucking clue what we were talking about but then neither did we, so that was fine. But we decided that we needed to glamorise things up a notch so we invented our own spiel. We started explaining to people how we were examining the interaction between grommets and nudgers and producing a little chain reaction on the screen. This went down a lot better with the audience.
There was one old bloke who came over and showed great interest in our “experiment”. He asked all about the flange nibbler and the groover and we explained the Nudgey Reaction in great detail. We were getting quite good at the game and were very inventive. The Old Fart was delighted and went away happy.
As we packed up at the end of the day, our electronics lecturer came over. “Well, lads” said he, “you did a great job today.” Apparently the Old Fart was a sort of secret guest visitor – he was head of engineering at University College Dublin. He had spoken to our lecturer after and had praised our little demonstration saying that he had found us “most interesting and very inventive”.
The Old Fart obviously had a sense of humour.