Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Have you ever had the feeling that somehow the world has changed in a significant way since you last looked at it?
I first got that feeling in my twenties when I purchased a copy of "The Clockwork Orange" - the famous Penguin one with that cover. I read it, re-read it in fact because I'd already read it once at school, and it drove me nuts because I was sure I remembered a completely different ending to the one in front of me. This bothered me for many years, until I finally found out that yes, the original ending was different, but Burgess' editor had made him change it for the American market. Apparently Americans, at least at that time, wanted downbeat endings, so that's what everyone had to have.
You may know that I recently had a small incident with my pressure cooker involving a shower of red kidny beans over the ceiling, turning it an interesting pink shade over the cooker. (Persevere and you will see the connection between A Clockwork Orange and my pressure cooker, I promise.) This incident gave me the impetus to do what I had wanted for some time, and buy a new pressure cooker, and this time I was going to get it in stainless steel, not aluminium. So I went on the internet and lo and behold, I spotted just what I wanted, the same as my old ones, with the three weight system, but in stainless steel. I did quite a bit of research, and finally reserved one at a local shop.
And then when I got there, IT WASN'T STAINLESS STEEL. I complained, they brought up their web page, and verily, the web page said it was indeed aluminium. The web page also looked different to the way I remembered it, with fewer entries, on one page only. I could see them thinking that I was getting old and losing my marbles, but I was convinced that what I had ordered had said stainless steel.
And when I got home I checked the confirmation e-mail, and it didn't specify either way.
Now maybe I am getting past it - I don't think so myself, as far as I'm concerned my marbles are rattling round just the same as they always have done. Maybe the senility elves got into the shop's website and changed everything when nobody was looking. Or maybe it's like that nice Mr Pratchett said, and I've somehow strayed down the wrong side of the trousers of time and find myself in a different leg where things are, well, different.
PS I ended up getting a different sort of pressure cooker, in stainless steel. But I would much rather have had the other one that I saw on that web page the first time.