Standing at the dock, waving – waving like mad! The crowd is solemn yet restless; they want the proceedings to get underway so they can retreat from the cold, exposed pier back to their warm houses and places of business. Yet they know they must stay, if only to be seen to stay by the others. If only they knew that was exactly what was keeping them all there – the fear of being seen to leave. With a train of thought like that, maybe no one would ever leave, they would all be perpetually stuck on this dock, waving forever. Finally, the ship groans to life, a small cheer starts to ripple the frosty air yet just as quickly dies on its feet as people realise its inappropriateness. The vessel gets tugged slowly out to the open ocean, the crowd – still waving – start to shuffle in place. It’s almost over, they can leave, and they can stop pretending to have ever cared. The early morning mist slowly envelops the beast, then it’s gone. Almost like it was never there to begin with.
The crowd pauses a moment, as if afraid it might reappear – it of course doesn’t. The hands drop out of the air as the undulating crowd quietly dissipates like a drop of oil in water. Soon the dock is empty. It was like nothing happened.
As soon as people are far enough away, so as not to seem rude, some start muttering a whole host of platitudes. It’s so sad. I guess it was time. I wish it were still being published. We probably should have bought a copy – you know for the kids. Oh, its $1,300, oh well, I suppose it was time, not everyone can afford that – not in this economy… The further away people went the more vitriol entered their conversations. How can they charge that much money. No wonder they are sunk. I am surprised they were publishing as long as they did. Don’t they know the internet is free. Well not technically, but the information is there for the taking. What about the CD ROM’s, do they still make those. I’d prefer to Google something any day. Encyclopaedias are only for the rich…
Fare thee well Britannica.