8-Bit Software Online Conversion

CORN! When I went into the office on the Monday morning, our 'gofer' grabbed me and said in one of those sepulchral asides; "The chief wants to see you in his office.He said to tell you 'right now and no messing', he didn't half look mad". Our editor often looks mad, but I knew that old Nosey Parker,(he owns the paper)had just left, so in well worn fashion I had a cup of tea before going to collect my cards. I had no idea as to what I had done wrong, but then one is not usually aware of these things: a little drop of dutch courage and into the lions den! Now the Ed.(known as Phil when in a good mood) gave me a wry smile, always the precursor of trouble to come, and shook me to my roots saying. "This is not easy to say but, the boss has asked for you to carry out some experimental studies for him, and until the story breaks you will be answerable to him direct. I can tell you that I don't like him poking his nose into my domain". I couldn't help reminding him of Mr. Parker's nickname, whereupon he vented the spleen that had built up through N.Ps. interference, upon your humble servant; let me tell you that Phil can humble the best of servants. I was to set off for his country home (N.P. that is) in Wiltshire forthwith, or even quicker; not the simplest of tasks in the company mini in the wake of the four point two jag. My sympathy goes out to Damon Hill,a disappearing Benetton must look like the jag I had last seen near Heathrow. On the south-west corner of Salisbury plain I caught up with his nibs, well he was waiting for me really, and I found him in a quite sociable mood; there is a built in drinks cabinet in the jag; a leaky roof in the mini;so with a large scotch in hand he managed to crack a joke, at least that's how he saw it."Between us we are sharing a whisky and water,ha-ha..". I added my feeble ha-ha, believing in that ancient adage,'when the boss laughs, everyone laughs!. If one has an ounce of gumption they soon realise that more jobs are held down by diplomatic applause, than by all the dedication to their job in the world; that's why the charge hand is always such a clot. There followed the most way out explanation of his intended mission: it should have been labelled "Mission impossible". With an electronics buff we were to carry out all night surveillance on a corn field, in an attempt to solve the mystery of the corn circles. The set up was to be a triangular area with infra red monitoring manned by Jim (the buff) at one corner, N.P. at the far end, and yours truly at point three. The equipment was to be the very latest electronics plus night glasses, image intensifiers, upto date radio telephones, etc. etc. Let it suffice to say that when authority gets going on a pet hobby horse, there seems to be no end to the rigmarole that bends ones ear, to spare you the agony let's move on in time. The following morning I was sent off to Leigh Delamere service station, that's on the M.4., to collect some more gear but fate was against me, more to the point the mini was, it packed up on the m'way: how I longed for that mobile phone, luckily was able to get a lorry driver to call the boss, he would have done his nut if I had called out the motorway service crew. N.P. arrived in the jag and hitched the mini on behind, now... have you ever been towed by a angry old man in a car like that?, What followed reduced me to a quivering jelly, it must have appeared like a tin can tied aft, bouncing from side to side; at best a mini hops about a bit, but imagine doing in excess of sixty, and shifting from lane to lane. Actually there's a funny story attached to the above. I was left in the service depot whilst repairs were carried out, and seated in the canteen heard two lorry drivers having a natter."You'll never believe what I saw just before pulling in here; there's this jag doing about eighty, and a cheeky ..... mini trying to overtake him. He was flashing his lights and blowing his horn, and shifting from lane to lane trying to get past. Is it any wonder folk get killed, no doubt somebody will say it was a lorry driver's fault, we always get the blame". My nerves had not settled, and the lorry man was larger than I, so did not tell him the true facts. No doubt he will get many a pint for relating his version of my traumatic ride. So - what about the field watch: not an experience worth recalling unless your interest lies in enjoying the discomfort of others, I had no idea how many creepy - crawlies could attack one, and in addition as we had such sensitive listening equipment, slapping at the mosquitoes was 'verboten', it was no better with the ants; I got nipped on the 'locus profundus', not to be recommended even for your worst enemy. After three nights, during which we did not pick up any signals, either by sound or vision. Big Chief Sitting Bull said, "Pack up all the gear and get back to work". He boarded a waiting helicopter and lifted off; but before we could indulge in a spot of relaxation, he was back, dashing for the obbo field like a madman, not to be left out I set off in pursuit, only to be halted by N.P. , who, when he had got his breath back, "There are lines in that field, we could see them from above". "What sort of lines"? I asked."We must not interfere with the pattern in any way, so no one must be allowed into the corn". I felt the need to see for myself so,"How about climbing that tree for a quick dekko". In two minutes we were all up in the top of the oak. Sure enough there were lines, narrow lines, not more than six or seven inches wide, (if anyone mentions centimetres, you can finish the tale yourself!), in a sort of triangular shape with bulbous corners, Jim thought it was a reaction to the inferred gear, N.P. ridiculed that idea and put forward the suggestion that it resembled the Russian equivalent of our 'D',as he would have it,"They use a form of the Cyrilic script,you know". Of course we knew, you don't have to go to Eton to watch the Soyuz rockets take off!. The ensuing discussions by all the boffins who arrived, was just one big bore, all trying to outdo each other with multi-lingual 'bon mot', it's even got to me now. The only reasonable idea came from a school boy,"We have been doing a thing on Alfred's Tower, and this exactly like a line drawing of the plan section". He was right you know, yes... I can hear you, "Where's this tower". It is adjacent to the A.3O3 at Zeals,(between Mere and Wincanton, that's sufficient clues,(it is worth a visit.)) I have it from the school boy that to construct the ground plan: draw an equilateral triangle, then back to the old geometry, divide one side into eleven equal parts, let one part equal radius of each corner, inscribe a circle, and there you have it. Three walls and three round towers, one of which contains the circular stairway; Alfred's own look out to the Bristol Channel. If you hate triangles why not pack it in now? cos' there's more to come. At least I'll let you choose your own, the question is, did our corn drawing connect in any way with the following local outstanding points: Stonehenge, Silbury Hill, Woodhenge, all man made structures, and don't forget the natural outstanding high point, 'Cley Hill', adjacent to the entrance of The Lions of Longleat. All these sites have been linked with rumours of flying saucers and such like phenomenon. I can hear your comments about the by-product of 'Big Chief Sittingbull', be that as it may, read on to discover why , on dark and stormy nights I am unable to resist that ever increasing urge to take a surreptitious peak over my shoulder, there could be some(body/thing) after me. If you are with me so far, I would like you to cast your mind back to our climbing the oak, with my ever present shorthand note pad at the ready, what could I do but make a rough sketch of the triangular 'wotsit'; now this was just an everyday occurrence until.....wait for it, I was recounting the whole affair to the Ed. and inadvertently turned over two pages by mistake; lo and behold (actually that's not exactly what I said), on what should have been a clear sheet, was a perfect diagram of that blasted triangle. It was if it had been printed on some high class equipment, with nary a start or finish mark to be seen. How can you explain a thing like this....you can't; at least I can't. Eventually it was up before old Nosy, who thankfully was more tolerant than the others, "We must have some photos of it, pop down and get Fred Mercer right away". Fred arrives and in an effort to show N.P. how dedicated he is, spent about twenty minutes setting up lights, baffles, reflectors, and what have you. "There we are all ready now" from Fred. At which point the boss takes over "Put those b....y lights out. Oh God it has disappeared, put the lights on again". Mr Parker was not amused. Up until this time pandemonium was just a word, now it became a reality; Fred was blamed, yours truly was blamed, everyone was blamed, (just between us it lifted the load a bit when the rest of the crew copped out as well). My book was subjected to a host of tests, all to no avail, there was not even an indentation or any other sign that the page had previously been used. The inquest and recriminations went on unabated until a juicy murder caused the rest to get back to their proper jobs. In retrospect what a disastrous thing to happen: we, none of us, dared to breathe a word about it. No one would have believed such a cock and bull story, and what was worse, just imagine our paper's reputation if the rest of the press had got wind of the disappearing plan. It is only now, after having had the order of the boot, for reasons unconnected with the above, that I have decided to let you know that there are more things in heaven and earth etc. Why shouldn't you let your imagination run riot, and find an answer to my problem. Signed: Arbegla, 1996