Thursday, 27 September 2012

150: Tie Me Labrador Down

It wasn’t just the apples that were flying about, but the plums, the blackberries and the raspberries.  Small animals sometimes floated about and in a wind not even dogs were safe.  There was a roaring trade in rope where people had to tie all their belongings to the ground so they didn’t fly away.  Anything growing under the ground was OK until it was dug up and then catching bags for potatoes and carrots were the norm.

Then he went and spoilt it all.  Big maths genius.  Meddler more like.

The Moors family have made rope for generations.  Rope bought the palatial family home, rope paid for the local church and rope funded good works in local villages, not to mention the benefits to the people of this country who have been able to secure their possessions again floatage.  We were not unreasonable nor did we overcharge.  Certainly prices weren’t cheap but then if rope were cheaper everyone would be able to afford great lengths of it.  Not everyone has possessions to tie down in the first place.

Newton spoilt it all when he went and invented gravity.

‘Forces make everything fall towards the centre of the earth’ he said, in that squeaky voice of his.  That made it worse.  Financial ruin at the behest of one who merely squeaks.  Once people heard about gravity, they tried it out.  And when they tried it out, it worked didn’t it.  Things stayed where they were put, most of the time.  Balls rolled away and dogs could run about, but pretty much things on the ground stayed on the ground.  So what did they need Moors’ rope for?

The family was ruined almost overnight.  The big house was sold, the factory scaled down to a workshop and the village poor left to fend for themselves.  There were miles of rope unused and unsalable.  The Moors responded with what they saw as poetic justice.

Late one night a group of hooded young men broke into Newton’s rooms and covered his head with a sack.  They bound him from chest to thigh in rope so he could totter but not move his arms in any way.  He was bundled out into the darkness and tied to a stake that had been sunk in his garden.  Then they left him alone. 

At first light one returned and snatched off the sack.  He could see a dozen or more members of the Moors stood on the roof of his house.  They were armed.  They had apples.  They started to drop them on his head.  He started to squeak ‘Ow!’  Newton was only rescued by his grounds man, when he set out for the fields an hour later.  His head was bruised and swollen, his voice hoarse from crying out.

The irony of the situation was that in exacting the punishment they chose, the Moors family proved to themselves that Newton was correct about gravity.  In time they too gave up tying things down.

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