After Work Beers

The amateur entrepreneur set up what looked like a record player. Younger members of the Devils’ Den audience had only ever seen these at their grandmas’ houses. They seemed cumbersome objects.

“Are you ready to go?” said the event’s host, Collette Vapinski. She had been selected by the New Ideas Show’s producers for her high public profile. She was famous for being famous.

“I’m almost there,” said the presenter. “Just two more minutes.”

“I bet you say that to all the girls!” said Collette. Her comment drew shrieks from the girls in the audience. The presenter continued fiddling for a full five minutes, and then indicated he was set.

Collette said, “Okay, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our sixth and final amateur entrepreneur waiting to impress our panel of expert investors. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your idea.”

He was confident for a guy barely in his twenties. He said, “Hello, I’m Matthew and I’d like to tell you about my Virtual Vibration technology.” This caused some girls to snigger, and the speaker stopped and said, “Calm down girls, I’m only just getting started.”

Maybe he wasn’t as innocent as he appeared. He indicated the apparatus and said, “This is my equipment. Impressive isn’t it, girls? It may look like an ordinary phonograph to you but…”

Collette looked at the panel and said, “Is that what it’s called?” Low tech pioneer Amisha Jordan, ex-banker Arthur Choo, and social media activist Juno Osh, all nodded.

Matthew continued, “In one sense it is, but with an important difference. Allow me to illustrate.” People craned their necks to see what he was doing, but his actions were hidden by a raised cover. It seemed that he had set a record spinning and then placed a needle upon it. There was a very rough crackling, and panel members put their hands to their ears. A recorded conversation was relayed; two male voices with Greek or Arabian accents.

The first voice said, “How’s it going over there?”

The second said, “Not bad, pal. I need to do another coat. I’m not sure this one will dry in time though.”

“Ah, just do it tomorrow morning.”

“The painters are coming in tomorrow. It needs to be done tonight.”

“Okay, pal. I’ll have a warm beer waiting for you when you’re done.”

The rough crackling returned and put an end to the conversation.

Arthur said, “Is it immigrants working in Britain?”

Juno said, “Music would have been much better. Something like that will never go viral.”

Amisha said, “Well done for portraying ordinary people doing honest work, not empty celebrities.” Without meaning to, she looked across the room at Collette.

Matthew removed the gramophone cover to reveal a pot spinning, being brushed by a slim blue laser beam. “These are voices recorded in wet clay, ten thousand years ago in Egypt, picked up by a laser needle and processed through a digital translator. The first guy was a potter. His words were encoded on the pot by his paintbrush wobbling as he talked. I must be honest though; the plasterer’s words were recorded separately from scratches in the plaster, and mixed in later. What do you think of my Virtual Vibration technology?”

Nothing recordable was said for a while, and then there was an eruption that would have produced very rough crackling.


One Response to “After Work Beers”

  1. Good story. Maybe he should have explained that his device also included interpretation from Aramaic to Lucernian.

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