Wednesday, 4 May 2011


You are now going to be wondering what the devil the mad curate is going to say that is remotely pertinent to the Trigger Reef-fish, or by its proper name, the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

Keep wondering, friends. 

I spent five or six whole minutes trying to master the pronunciation of this word this morning, after it appeared in an episode of Octonauts (that the kiddies watch). For your edification, you say it like this:


Five or six minutes.

I was going to write on a topic today, which is now placed into perfect relief by this remarkable name, and more especially the time that I took to learn its pronunciation. I had been thinking about the way that a lot of us sustain our lives technologically. For me, as stated previously in other posts, I am a gadget freak. The world of David Cloake is largely worked out by the workings of an Apple device. Wanna read da Bible? Got an App for that. Wanna read da newspaper? Got an App for that. Wanna confess my sins to the Lord? Gotnapfudat. Want to squander imaginary millions? Gotnapfudat. Wanna listen to heavy metal or polyphonic choral splendour? Gonafudat. 

Some of us will remember the noble Commodore 64, or the Vic 20, the ZX Spectrum, or even the little PacMan hand-held games of the Eighties. With those PCs, it would take five or six minutes to load up a game while watching dancing horizontal ribbons of colour on our portable TV set up in the dining room. Then we would spend the entire afternoon mastering Level 6 of Nonterraqueous. This tendency to persist with things for a long time was normal in all other spheres of life. If something was worth doing, it was worth devoting time to. 

These days, we can load applications in a split second. We can converse with people the other side of the planet in real-time, from our hand-held devices. We can get much of what we want, when we want it. But then we spend hardly anytime doing it. If I play a game on a computer now, it is opened started attempted and closed in less time than it took to master 'Humuhumunukunukuapua'a'. I also think that this is a characteristic of so much more of our lives than perhaps we might be happy to admit. We eat faster, drive faster, wait less, patience mostly eroded. Applied to our spiritual life, we all know well that this is the case. Priests will all tell you (in their more candid moments) how rare prayer time or even silence truly is. We live in an on-tap on-demand 'Got An App For That' world, where we save all this time just to have less than we ever had before. 

What I need is an hour a day more. Got an App for That?


  1. And doesn't it show when we try to keep children and teenagers interested and engaged in church or assemblies? One of the big problems teachers face is the very limited attention span of so many young people today and it looks like their elders aren't much better either :-)

  2. Love the fish! Want to paint it - what's the photo source? Yours?
    You're obviously not old enough to remember the Osborne 'portable' computer. It's weight was greater than my sewing machine (heavy)and took for ever to do anything.
    The answer to your question about an app for needing an extra hour a day is yes. It's called an alarm set for an our earlier than usual - sorry you already have a pair of those don't you?

  3. What a blessing and curse is technology! I am overjoyed at all the internet opportunities for searches/learning, not to mention the ability to get/stay connected to people.

    On the other hand, I wonder what happened to the simple art of play (envision tree climbing or hide-n-seek), or lazy Sunday afternoons, or book reading. Too many of our young have little knowledge of these amazing pass times. I'm thinking we olders too.

    Great post for a post-modern world (and sometimes me) determined to live on the fast track! How precious is the counterbalance to "be still and know" He is God.


  4. If you really need an extra hour a day, how about this for an idea. You've already (unwittingly) given up real coffee, how about giving up real ale? It would probably taste so awful you would have to give up pubs for life!

  5. I'm really sorry but your picture is not a humuhumnukunukuapua'a! It is a picasso triggerfish it's markings are very different

  6. Thanks for the correction - at the time of writing I was something of a novice in the field. I have to say, though, that they are all very pretty swimming things!




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