cold drizzly morningIt was a morning that heart attacks are made of.

Bitterly cold with rain that could be best described as a miserable heavy drizzle. The sun had not yet made it over the horizon to brighten up the top of the rain cloud blanket.

The figures at the bus stops were barely discernable. Grey shapes with umbrellas against grey houses and pavements, limply illuminated by sickly yellow sodium streetlights. And it was Monday. The first day of the working week.

A pink pig hatThe bus driver was a different story. Relentlessly eccentric, laughing at a world that takes itself far too seriously. He had decorated his bus with stuffed toys of all colourful varieties, a lioness, a gorilla in a RAP outfit, a clown fish, a puppy dog in a fireman’s hat. In a plastic ice cream container taped to his change counter he offered free lollies for his passengers and wore on his head a hat in the shape of a pink pig with wings. The dismally damp Monday morning commuters could not help but smile when confronted with this theatre of the absurd. Folding their soggy umbrellas they fumble with frozen fingers to find money or season tickets.

As I watched the shadowy grinding traffic and listened to the hiss of tyres on wet tarmac, it struck me. Why on earth am I doing this to myself? Why is anyone doing this to themselves?

The truth is that we have gotten used to this way of life over the centuries, ever since the Luddites failed to stop the inexorable march of the industrial revolution. The factory or office and technology became more important than human beings or quality of life. It was this that the Luddites were actually opposed to. Technology that enslaved humanity rather than adding to what it was to be human.commuters

So here we are a couple of centuries down the tarmacadam and we now accept as normal the concept of going somewhere away from home and family to exchange time for money in order to survive. A total dependence on some one else’s business and self-interest for survival.

A plague on this 19th century poverty mindset. I needed to take control of my life. Live how I want to live, relying on my own talents and initiative. Stop travelling on buses on dark wet Monday mornings. I’ll start an internet business.

The Internet is, in effect, the next revolution. Most interestingly it enables those who are willing to embrace it, a chance to return to the idyllic days of a pre-industrial revolution lifestyle, but with broadband and enjoy a modern day version of self employed bliss.

And what aFamily chickenn enviable way of life it was back then. Picture this, (please go to iTunes download and play ‘Morning’ from the Peer Gynt Suite), a cottage in the bucolic English countryside. Butterflies flit from colourful flower to colourful flower whilst the birds sing sweetly in the lush green trees by the babbling brook. Inside the cottage the weaver is contently finishing his latest creation destined for the markets of Europe and because the price of his goods never changes, he knows how much he will be paid. His wife and children are happily helping him in his tasks. Pausing to refresh himself from his labours, he wanders out into the garden to check on the progress of the spinach, pulls a few weeds out of the potato patch and throws the chickens some food left over from the family lunch. At no time is he separated from home and family and he never gets on a Monday morning bus!

Today, thanks to appropriate technology, we have the opportunity to conduct business at home whilst packing the kids off to school, planting the spinach, feeding the chickens and maybe indulging in an afternoon delight between google-ads.

The computer has replaced the weaver’s loom, the Internet has replaced the traveling merchants, software has replaced the yarn, but I bet you we have the same aspirations for peace, joy and happiness as our ancestors. But probably not pink pig hats! They didn’t need them.

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2 Responses to “The Man In The Pink Pig Hat”
  1. Steve DeVane says:

    Excellent story.

    Congratulations for realizing the situation most of the world accepts without so much as a word of protest. The flying pig hat is indeed a good metaphor for the futile efforts some people go through to try to make life bearable.

    And, yes, the Internet has leveled the playing field for those of us who see the true possibilities of life. I hope your post will help more people take a chance to live and not just exists.

    Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.

    Steve DeVane

  2. admin says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your comment,
    The man in the pink pig hat actually exists. I didn’t make it up. He spent most of his working life in the Royal Australian Navy serving in submarines. That would certainly send me crazy! He is a happy relaxed man with the ability to stand back, observe life around him and inject the antidote.
    Actually I am making that bit up! I never really discussed his motivation with him but it worked wonders with his passengers.

    I’ve only just started my internet adventure. A bit late at 64, you might think, but for most of my life computers didn’t exist let alone the internet.

    Maybe I should buy a ‘pink pig hat’

    Michael Wooller

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