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  • Neighbordeb's non-story story appealed to me today.

    Not least because I've fallen into one of those fallow periods that seem to follow brief bursts of writing activity on my part. Not that I have to worry about cancelling cable. I've never had cable to begin with. Every other week or so, AT&T either call or knock on my door to try and sell me their cable equivalent, U-verse, because they've just spent a lot of money laying fiber optic cable down our street and would like me to help pay for it. The salesperson starts out with a cheerful dialogue about how much cheaper it would be to watch TV through their high-speed connection. I let them ramble on for a few minutes before informing that we neither watch, nor indeed actually have a functional TV.

    This throws them.

    I point out that we do have AT&T DSL for internet access and perhaps they could upgrade that. But it never works because they don't have an internet-only package tailored to their new fiber optic and by the time they've added all the installation costs to their guaranteed-for-a-year 'cheap' introductory U-verse offer, it still adds up to more than we are currently paying.

    So no cable. But we do have a DVD player and I've been spending the week watching the first season of "Game of Thrones" that my sister most kindly gave me for my birthday after seeing me read the book while I was in England.

    It's very well done. The book was fun too.

    But for all the imagination of that tale, a reinvention of a magical medieval world, it simply does not compare to gazing at a relic of real history.

    Hence the photograph of the Bronze Age standing stone at Merrivale, Dartmoor.

    Isn't it wonderful? This carefully positioned artifact from a society removed by thousands of years from ours.

    I bet did they didn't get salesmen trying to sell them the equivalent of AT&T's brand new fiber optic cable, I thought.

    But then I looked again at more pictures from the same site. There's a long row of marker stones, two rows in fact, each marked out by parallel lines of rocks.

    Oh no, I thought. There I was, Bronze Age-me, happily sitting by my Standing Stone roasting a rabbit over an open fire.

    I hear someone come up. I look up. "Hello", says a cheerful sheep-skin attired salesperson. "Did you know we've been laying brand new rock trails up to your Standing Stone? No longer need you rely on ancient magic to enliven your Standing Stone experience. For a special introductory rate, I can guarantee you faster and uninterrupted access to all your favorite nature Gods thanks to our state-of-the-art interconnected stone relays. For only one sheep a month you too can share in the latest technology. Just scratch a mark on this slate with this flint and you are on your way to a better way of living!"

    "Sorry", I say, "I don't do nature Gods. A good rock is just a good rock."

    And offer the salesperson a rabbit leg.
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