HISTORY MAINTENANCE COMMISSION RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
WHAT IF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR FAILED TO GET THROUGH CUSTOMS ON HIS ARRIVAL IN ENGLAND IN 1066?
A world without William Duke of Normandy successfully conquering England would be an altogether more depressing place due to the fact Doomsday Books filled with fatalistic prophesies would dominate the publishing market their argument being that William’s commission of The Domesday Book between 1085-86, severely harmed future forays into this genre. For The Domesday Book, essentially a mammoth ledger of landholdings and resources in England, has to be one of the most boring tomes ever compiled, thus preventing any author wishing to use the name Domesday or Doomsday Book to describe their fatalistic prophecies is automatically stymied as they are all too aware the reading public associate the name with mind numbing tedium.
The Omphalos, the special computer programme devised by HMC CEO Professor Delphi, has arrived at the conclusion that without the existence of The Domesday Book stinking the place out, nearly every reader the world over would have at least one book in their personal library spelling doom and gloom for the prospects of mankind. The following example was provided which supposes an author who writes with authority about an asteroid on a collision course with our planet on October 30, 2068 at 16:53. After providing the scientific data and explanations for it the author describes why it will wipe out mankind and then gives a timetable, a sort of countdown to oblivion, that we could expect. The History Maintenance Commission then provides extracts from that timetable as a taste of the sort of depressing literature that would be commonplace in a world where William The Conqueror failed to get through customs on his arrival on English soil in 1066:
COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION
8 Years To Go
Chutch services become all ticket affairs and it becomes easier to get one’s child into Eton than to get them into Sunday School.
7 Years To Go
Manchester United quit the Premier League in favour of joining the new Universe League and announce their intention to play all their matches away from home.
6 Years To Go
Careers Officers feel their sense of self worth is depreciating with every passing day.
5 Years To Go
Alzheimer’s is cured. The following day pleas are made to reinvent it.
4 Years To Go
Fortune Tellers reduce their prices.
3 Years To Go
Due to increased anxiety levels, twenty becomes the new forty.
2 Years To Go
Spiritualists increasingly being asked by people to contact the dead not just to reaquaint with those they left behind but also to seek their advice on the best accomodation to seek up there.
1 Year To Go
The ‘Rubble’ School of Architecture is in vogue as city planners look to the future.
11 Months To Go
Basks offer 1,000,000 percent interest to any investor willing to lock their savings away for a year.
8 Months To Go
Share prices involving Condom and Contraceptive Pill and Device Manufacturers plummet on the International Stock Exchange.
3 Months To Go
First life sentences handed down for non payment of Council Tax.
1 Month To Go
Callers to customer service departments are advised that their call will no longer be recorded for training purposes and warned that they could literally be spending the rest of their lives waiting to be connected to a human being.
1 Week To Go
BBC Asteroid Week commences.
4 Days To Go
Longest waiting list in NHS history reported for patients seeking hypnosis to send them back to a previous life and then keep them there.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra at The Royal Albert Hall, London 19:30 performing ‘The Last Night of the Poms’.
Weather Forecast: After early morning mist clears will be a mild day with sunny periods, 17% chance of rain with soaring heat, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis to follow later.
Mruder, Treason and Arson now dealt with by on the spot fines.
The latest edition of The Oxford English Dictionary is published. It no longer includes an entry for the word ‘Tomorrow’.
Supermarket ‘Reduced To Clear’ shelf now extended to include the whole store.
Lifetime guarantees provided on socks, tights and stockings.
For the first time in its 108 year history ITV’s Coronation Street concludes an episode with all loose ends nicely tied up.