Dawdle and chips


hands open

Lord Horatio salutes you all. Yes indeed, a big hand to all our wonderful readers. In fact my palms and digits really are quite an impressive size at the moment thanks to my decision to have chips with everything!

Inspired by the ease with which our faithful companion Whimsy the dog had been electronically tagged by the vet, I began looking into the idea of similar implants for humans and was staggered by how far we have come.

Serious experiments date back to 1998 when British boffin Kevin Warwick managed to open doors and switch on lights using a chip embedded in his hand. Now they are all the rage among techno geeks and can be used for a whole host of things.

I must say being able to do without all the cumbersome things like keys and money that clutter up our pockets and bags is most appealing. Just imagine the joys paying for a drink in the pub or a coffee and sandwich with a friendly wave.

Every time you reach for your phone it will unlock itself and logging onto a computer would be a doddle. In future the fear of getting lost while on your travels will be considerably eased by the knowledge a satellite is keeping an eye on you.

The dangers of suddenly falling ill while out and about can also be offset by having all your medical history, including allergies, close at hand. Obviously there are a few technical problems to be solved like making sure nobody can steal your identity.

However, the more people grasp the benefits of these implants the more incentive there will be to make these things safer. Lady Winifred just loves the thought of not having to rifle through her handbag every time she needs to do the simplest of tasks.

Unlike my dear wife I got carried away and decided to embrace the new technology right away. Impatient to sample the joys of a society where once again a simple handshake was enough to seal any deal and open any door I scoured the internet for a  DIY Kit.

Despite the protestations of Lady Winifred, who strongly advised me to take seek professional help with the procedure and urged me to take particular care when handling any medical equipment, I nevertheless pressed on and took the plunge.

When done properly by a qualified medic the whole thing is quite straight forward. Encased in sterile silicate glass the tiny RFID transponder – microchip to you and me – is carefully injected into the fleshy part of the hand between  forefinger and thumb.

Unfortunately my enthusiasm got the better of me. A combination of losing my reading glasses and general hamfistedness – not to mention a bottle of good old Dutch courage from the cellar – resulted in the whole episode resembling a painful game of darts.

While waiting for the swellings to go down following, I might add, a chastening trip to see the local GP there have been some unforseen consequences. Having had the whole thing done properly by a surgeon, Lady Winifred is now a dab hand around the home.

All the locks are now electronic and mysterious black and silver boxes have popped up all around Dawdle Hall to control, heating, lighting and heaven knows what else. Unfortunately, due largely to my false start, we forgot to synchronise our relative chips.

The first time I realised something was amiss was when water began pouring down the main staircase. It was, admittedly, a spectacular sight. Lady Winifred had run a nice hot soothing bath and turned the water off with a graceful wave of her right hand.

Not fully aware of the finer points of the new technology I inadvertently turned the water back on again when I popped in to the en suite to wash my hands. She was not at all amused and a battery of machines has been brought in to dry the place out.

Whimsy too has become a victim. Loud howling alerted me to the fact I had locked him in the Snug by mistake. He now has a chip on his shoulder both literally and metaphorically. Meanwhile I have been given strict instructions to keep my hands to myself!


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