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Shipwrecked (A Christmas Tale)
by Pigeon

...well, sort of...


Once upon a time, a ship got caught in a big storm in the middle of the night. It sunk, which is a problem you get with ships, they can sink. But two of the people on board managed to grab lifebelts, and they did not sink.

In the morning, they both found themselves washed up on desert islands. The islands were quite a long way apart, so each of them could just about see there was someone on the other island, a little dot moving about. They couldn't signal to each other with semaphore or anything, though, it was too far for that.

Jesus saw the castaways sitting on their desert islands, and he told Father Christmas to give them a present. He chose the presents himself, wrapped them up, and gave them to Father Christmas to deliver.

"Which one is which?" said Father Christmas.

"Doesn't matter", said Jesus. "They're both the same."

So Father Christmas diverted his reindeer out over the ocean and found the two desert islands. There weren't any chimneys for him to climb down, so he just dropped the presents on the beach.

In the morning, one of the castaways found the present lying on the beach, and eagerly unwrapped it. Inside there was a load of wire, some nails, some magnets, and some old tin cans. The castaway sat there looking at the wire and nails and magnets and tin cans, thinking "What the fuck is all this?"

The other castaway also found a present lying on the beach, and eagerly unwrapped it. Inside there was a load of wire, some nails, some magnets, and some old tin cans. The other castaway sat there looking at the wire and nails and magnets and tin cans, thinking "What the fuck is all this?"

So they carried on living on their desert islands, much as before, except that now each of them had some wire and nails and magnets and tin cans to fuck about with.

Then, one day, the first castaway discovered how to fuck about with the wire and nails and magnets and tin cans in the right way to build a radio transmitter. (Well, why not? When Marconi built the first radio, wire and nails and magnets and tin cans were the sort of things he built it out of. That's all there was to build radios out of in Marconi's day.) It wouldn't be the sort of transmitter you could use to call for help with, but it would still be a good thing to have.

So the first castaway built a radio, and thought "Great, now I can chat with the other castaway over the radio."

But there was one small problem.

The other castaway hadn't discovered how to build a radio yet.

So the first castaway sat there on the beach with his radio, thinking:

"This communication asymmetry is getting to be a real drag, why didn't we just do a load of old disco hits like the record company wanted?"

And the other castaway sat there on the beach without a radio, thinking:

"Oh-a-oh, give me a radio
Don't want smart bombs, just rock and roll
Oh-a-oh, give me a radio
Don't want a system that ain't got no soul"




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