Monday, 31 October 2011


A porthole appeared in the side of the object, which seemed to show a view of the inside of a high-technology laboratory.

Subsequent investigations revealed that the lab being seen was in Italy, and was conducting experiments to determine whether neutrinos passing through the earth from Cern, over 700 km away, were really travelling faster than light and so breaking the principles of relativity.

What confused researchers, and caused much discussion at the Dog and Digitiser, was that the view through the porthole was taking place exactly one second in the future. There was also a poster on the far wall of the lab seen through the porthole, which was not in the real lab, and which showed a photograph of an elderly tousled-haired man sticking his tongue out at the camera ... and which looked strangely familiar.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The object has been behaving strangely ... even more so than usual ... during the past weeks. An opening appeared on one side, like a shop front, and for a few days at a time it appeared to behave like different kinds of public building. Over time it has been a restaurant, a bar, a book shop and an advice centre.

People were understandably wary of entering the 'buildings' at first but, apart from the lack of any staff, the stores functioned in the appropriate manner. Those adventurous enough to go in were able to 'buy' a meal or a drink or a book ... or get advice ... but did not have to pay for anything. The premises were fully automated and anything 'bought' simply materialised on the counter in a manner reminiscent of a Star Trek replicator.

Some observers in the Dog and Digitiser were suspicious and the most likely theory advanced was that the object was in some way finding out about people's taste and problems. Whether this was for altruistic reasons remains a mystery. However, several book publishers reported receiving quantities of used banknotes in brown envelopes labelled 'ROYALTIES' with statements listing the books sold by the object.

The object has now closed down its retail operations and, once more, is a featureless block.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


It has rained almost continuously for five days. This is of no concern to the object because, as with the proverbial duck, water just runs off. In fact, the object is seen to be not only impervious to water, but also does not get wet. Water in no way clings to the surfaces of the object and tends to form drops which rapidly move towards the ground.

The local council, however, are most concerned about this and say that it is the object's responsibility to disperse such rainwater as falls upon it, ideally into soakaways or, failing that, into appropriate drainage for which a charge should be levied.

None of this seems to bother the object, whose latest party-piece is to behave like a large block of water such that when prodded, waves can be seen to radiate away from the point that is so attacked. It is most un-nerving to see this happening on a vertical surface.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The object has been troubled by rioters. The police say it did nothing to discourage potential looters since it occasionally took on the guise of a department store while resolutely resisting any attempt at breaking in. Any bricks or bottles thrown at it were returned along the reverse trajectory to the thrower; but later inspection revealed that the missiles had somehow been turned into soft foam replicas of themselves.

After an hour or so of fruitless mayhem the object suddenly gave off a bright burst of light and everyone in the vicinity stopped what they were doing, looked puzzled and then walked off, commenting that they were late for their dinner, or the dentist or some other imagined appointment.

Within a few minutes the area was deserted and quiet again with just foam bottles and bricks lying on the ground to testify to the incident.

Monday, 1 August 2011


A number of real estate agents have been seen wandering around the object. When challenged one said that she had been summoned by a note pushed under the office door which asked her to value an 'unusual bijoux riverside property' for sale or rental.

After a while, and some heated discussions, it appeared that each of the agents was seeing a different property, and none were actually seeing the large jet-black block that was actually there. One saw 'a delightful three bedroom cottage boasting period features', another described 'a modern system-built four bedroomed property in the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright' and a third simply said 'I'm not touching this wreck unless they patch the roof and shore up that crumbling wall'.

Friday, 15 July 2011


The object appears to have been eavesdropping on phone conversations and text messages in the vicinity. This first became apparent when the content of text messages appeared written across the surface of the object. Also, occasionally, the object could be heard ringing or playing ring tones in synchronism with passers-by ... much to their annoyance.

The fact that not one of the messages made any sense to anyone other than the writer and addressee did little to dampen the outrage at this unwanted interception.

Sunday, 26 June 2011


It can now be revealed that the object has been visiting the Glastonbury Festival over the past few days. Whether it was amongst the crowd, hiding atop the tor, or masquerading as one of the stages is unclear but there have been reports that the object was seen by several of the festival-goers.

Since there is no Glastonbury Festival next year, negotiations are rumoured to be underway on the possibility of holding a festival on the top of the object next June but there is some concern about the effects of altitude sickness for participants, given the object's size.

Friday, 10 June 2011


A visiting bishop (perhaps from Berkeley) observed that its size is not an attribute of the object itself because the size of the object depends on how far away it is. Thus the object appears to be a different size to different observers. He also rejects its shape for similar reasons, and even its blackness. So how can we say that the object consists of anything more than the qualities we observe?

Trees fell in otherwise empty forests ... in the bar of the Dog and Digitiser a single hand clapped ... and in a dilapidated caravan in a nearby field, two priests were seen arguing over the size of a cow.

Saturday, 4 June 2011


The object seems not only to look black; it is black at all wavelengths.

Mobile telephone companies were investigating complaints of a hole in coverage near to the object and it became apparent that it was blocking signals. No signals were detected if the object was between the cellphone and the tower. Further investigations revealed that this also applied to television signals and any other radio wavelengths not long enough to be refracted around it.

The strangest result was from thermal imaging. The object appears black when viewed through a thermal camera, which would normally mean that it is extremely cold. However, those brave enough to touch the object have said that it feels to have no temperature at all: neither warm nor cool to the touch.

No radiation of any kind or any wavelength has so far been detected coming from the object.

A passing engineer pointed out that a totally black object is absorbing radiation and must be storing it somewhere. "If it is heating up inside", she said "it is keeping it well hidden."

Monday, 30 May 2011


The local council is attempting to levy local taxes on the object. "It is in the borough so why should it not be subject to a levy like all other buildings" they say. "Au contraire" say others. "It is clearly not a building as there is no entrance or exit and no occupants."

"In which case" suggest the council "it is a vehicle and should be charged for parking."

The latest edition of the postal services database revealed that the object had been given a postal code but this was in anticipation of the arrival of fan mail. For the time being, such fan mail as did arrive was being kept in a small wooden box in a closet at the sorting office.

Bailiffs who attempted to gain entry to the object in order to collect on the allegedly owed charges were confounded by the fleeting appearance of a number of doorways in the object's exterior. However these doorways disappeared whenever anyone got within a few feet of them, accompanied by a slight popping sound.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Lord Justice Cocklecarrot, sitting in the high court, has today heard an application for injunctive protection from a party identified only as BDO in respect of a possible relationship with an person or persons identified only as RBD and requesting total privacy.

Numerous commentators have noted that it seems odd that a request for privacy from what is well known as (but can not be reported to be) a very large black block residing in a local park should even be considered by the courts. It also became apparent that the plaintif's lawyer was being briefed by means of short notes pushed under the front door of her office.

His lordship finally ruled that he would not allow the injunction but he would ban any mention of this fact by any means other than online gossip.

Monday, 16 May 2011


The neighbours have been complaining about the object.

"I can see it from my kitchen window" says Mrs X "and it's just a big dumb eyesore."

Mr Y, who hangs out regularly around the back of the object points out that "apart from occasional noises and the odd trick to amuse the television crews the object isn't making a positive contribution to the neighbourhood" and wonders how long it will take the local planning department to act. "It lowers the tone" he said.

The planners, meanwhile, are biding their time. A source reports that more research needs to be done on the impact of big objects in the environment and council leaders are contemplating fact-finding missions to Cairo, New York, Ayers Rock and Machu Picchu.

There have been reports that the object has occasionally affixed what looks like an electronic facsimile of a yellow planning notice to its side. This contains blurred illegible text with the large word APPROVED stamped diagonally across.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


It has emerged that, in some parts of the world, science fiction television programmes featuring big objects have been banned. It is not immediately clear why this should be.

"Why" some governments argue "should there only be one big object, should not all societies have one?" Some say ... "The history of our great nation is big enough and has enough drama for ten programmes." Others say nothing, because that is their way.

Northern countries claim it is a southern conspiracy. Outer countries claim it is an inner conspiracy. Colder countries claim it is much more important to keep warm.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


The interviewer sat with his legs crossed, leaning slightly forwards with a expression of intense curiosity on his face. "Minister" he said "given that scientists have been unable to discover just what this big thing in the park is, is there any reason to think it is dangerous?"

The minister smiled. "Well", he said, "I'm glad you asked me that question. One thing we are certain of is that this is a perfect example of why the previous government's policies over big objects just didn't work and it is now up to us to sort out this mess. Is it a right wing object? Is it a left-wing object? Is it a centrist object? We just don't know. I am taking the highly unusual step of convening a commission to study and report back on the object within the lifetime of this administration".

"I see", interjected the interviewer. "But is there any danger here ... any danger of you actually answering my question?"

"None at all" said the minister.

Monday, 25 April 2011


During the course of the day numerous logo-bedecked vans with satellite dishes on their roofs appeared and parked near the object. These soon produced people who promptly set up cameras and lights and reporter/presenters who then began to describe the scene to their distant audiences. Technicians soon began muttering amongst themselves, complaining that the object was so big and so black that it was difficult to frame a shot that gave a decent background for the presenter.

At this point, the object's surface began to display an image, which eventually became a perfect representation of the scene on the other side of the object, effective rendering it invisible to the cameras. However, this rendition was in black and white, which had the added effect of making the cameras seem to be faulty.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


The object was heard to be humming to itself. Several experts were brought in to try and determine what it was humming, since it appeared to be a melody of some sort.

Opinions varied, ranging from something vaguely classical to Pink Floyd or Jimi Hendrix tunes. This was used, by some of the red-top newspapers, to provide proof that the object was of extra-terrestrial origin since everyone knew Hendrix had to be an alien to be able to play so well; although others simply declared it to be some kind of radio receiver.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


The city was rattled by a moderate earthquake. Commuters noticed more shake than usual on the trains, traffic policemen fell off their podiums, and a glass tankard was broken at the Dog and Digitiser.

The Geological Survey announced that, strangely, the centre of the disturbance was measured to be at or very near to ground level. Sometime later, scientists noticed that the object appeared to be sitting further into the ground than before but they couldn't decide whether this was as a result of the earthquake or whether the object caused it as it settled.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


A conference was called to discuss theories as to the origin, structure and purpose of the object.

Initially it was suggested that this should be hosted at a prestigious engineering college not far from the park where the object was located. However, after much discussion by telephone and email it was recognised that the main function of any conference was to allow the participants to network. So the event was held in the upstairs room of the Dog and Digitiser public house, from which the object could be seen across the river.

Proceedings of the conference were speedily published but turned out to be totally incomprehensible. Nonetheless, several of the papers were cited during the following few weeks.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Numerous experts were summoned to investigate the object. Two eminent professors attempted, independently, to determine its exact size; using a long piece of rope, some planks of wood, and a laser. Sadly they were unable to agree and called upon a statistician to calculate the probability of either of them being right.

An expert in remote sensing, fresh from working for NASA on studies of Martian rocks, used infrared radiation to work out the substance of which the object was made. Since his beams were bounced back at him completely unchanged, despite the object appearing to be unreflective, he was unable to discover anything. He also complained that, as his subjects were usually millions of miles away, he was used to brewing tea while waiting for his results and was having trouble dealing with anything instantaneous.

A young man wearing a curious hat tried to test the object by heaving half a brick at it and was chased away by police.


A large, jet-black cube was discovered in a quiet part of the city, near the river. As far as can be ascertained, it materialised sometime between four and five in the morning in a small park and occupies most of what was previously a plain area of grass.

Before long a group of curious spectators gathered, shepherded outside a barrier of yellow tape by a couple of police officers. A reporter, canvassing for opinions amongst passers-by, asked an elderly man walking a remarkably small dog if he (the man that is) had any views as to what it might be. "It's just some big dumb object" was the response.

It shortly began to rain and some of the bystanders noticed that the cube did not get wet.