Poetic Licence

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The number of home-users of the Internet doubled to 5 million in the first 10 months of this year and 40 per cent

of the people in Britain, 18.6 million, used it to spend pounds 2bn in the past 12 months

`Internot' - the Last Man Unwired

The stories broke and empires sold

As people sought and bought as told

But miles from the cutting edge

He cycled out to shop for veg.

"This InterTent," he'd asked one year

"D'you think it might catch on round here?"

No answer came, in spite of it

But roars of laughter at his wit.

And as they all turned to their screens

To click and tap at their machines

Log on, curse ads, peruse their mail

He popped out to a jumble sale

While others used the Internet

To buy a house, consult a vet

Divorce, invest, or book a flight

He played the sax by candle-light

"You'll have to go online. You must

Or eat your rivals' cyber dust."

Commercial suicide, they'd stressed.

He sat there yawning, unimpressed.

But even with subscriptions soaring

The matter seemed ... well, slightly boring

"One day you'll HAVE to know this stuff."

"Or what? Won't I consume enough?"

"Oh very neat. Just click the mouse.

A retail outlet in my house.

And how convenient for the banks.

To close their branches down. No thanks."

"But all this information. Look."

He glanced up briefly from his book.

Replying: "You said I'd HAVE to drive.

I never have. I'm still alive."

He used no credit, knew no PIN

Paid cash when any bills came in.

The Internot slept long and late.

And nothing happened. Which was great.