Where is Thumbkin?
Where is Thumbkin?
Here I am, Here I am,
How are you this morning?
Very well, I thank you
Pointer (sometimes called middle finger) has a shameful secret. Whenever his owner has a point to make, so to speak, Pointer (when he goes by the alias of Rude Finger), lets people know how his owner feels about a situation. Rude Finger communicates and punctuates with vim and vigour.
Not my Pointer, I hasten to say. He has used his skills if not for the benefit of Mankind, then for the benefit of his owner. He used to play a minor role in keeping my biro balanced while thumb and index finger gripped it. He’s at a bit of a loose end now that I have given up biros.
Pointer has also been known to work with Pinkie, Ring Finger, and Index Finger to divide and separate into a Vulcan salute: live well and prosper. Pointer and Index spread out to make a peace sign. I’m sure Douglas Adams had Thumbkin in mind when he wrote the Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy. And let’s not forget that Thumbkin is the reason, so I have heard, that we have it over the rest of the animal kingdom. I have always felt that one can’t do without the other; that each finger relies on the others to work as a collaborative whole.
It seems my thinking is out of step with the rest of the world. Pointer has total charge of my literary output now and has already created two articles. A first for us both and an absolute miracle. Pointer was once a proud member of a band of ten brothers moving effortlessly across a QUERTY keyboard, creating words at a hundred words a minute while I watched them grow and form into a meaningful and a cohesive whole, or as close to it as you can get in a first draft. My thoughts and my fingers seem to be in sync when I type. My sister who is half way through a novel on her iPad disagrees. She doesn’t have a problem with it, but she’s always been a two finger typist so it wasn’t much of a demotion for her. Then I bought myself an iPad for my birthday and didn’t know what to think.
I remember the introduction of television and when I was part of the Couch Potato generation so I can’t be as blasé about this fabulous electronic phenomenon as the little girl sitting opposite me on the train would be if she cared. She is playing on her mother’s iPhone. Doctors and health professional types worried about getting my generation off the couch and out of the house. Who would have predicted that decades later we are no healthier but thanks to progress we are finally off the couch and taking our entertainment with us on trains, planes and automobiles. Our entertainment can fit snugly in our back pocket or handbag.
Pointer has become the star of the iPhone, Tablet and iPad show. Writers once talked about the connection between the hand, the pen and the words they formed on the paper. At the same time much was said in hushed whispers about saving trees and the planet.
Apologies to Pointer and his brothers. I’ve resisted as hard and as long as I could but I’ve been seduced by the convenience of it all. There is this cunning comments box in particular that I can’t resist. Remember hand writing notes in the margin? This is neater. And if you’d seen my handwriting, you would know what I mean. I was always adding and inserting new thoughts to the original till I couldn’t tell where it began or ended. Have I got progress resting on the palm of my hand? Or is it a backward step that I’m taking? I’m really confused. And worried that next step up the ladder may see Pointer out of a job.