Friday 5 February 2010

The biometric nursery

15st 5lb, 9.0 units. I staggered into my office for the first time in days, then had to leave early to meet Mrs H, so that we might jointly review a couple of nurseries where she is thinking of parking The Baby when she returns to work. On the one hand this does not seem a bad idea in principle. Like the swimming lessons and music classes he has been attending, in an attempt to ensure that The Baby does not turn out like his father, learning to mix happily with other children would no doubt be a priceless asset and prevent me from passing the social cripple gene on to another generation.

Maybe it was the time of day when we called, viz tea-time, but what both nurseries mainly seemed to do with infants of The Baby’s age was sit them in rows of high chairs so that they could devote themselves to dismantling ham sandwiches and staring morosely at passing strangers. The rooms where they were sitting didn’t look particularly clean, either, but then our kitchen doesn’t look particularly clean any more, and it’s only got the one baby in it. The people in charge all had oodles of NVQs and stuff, and sounded good-natured if ever so slightly simple. Which is, I suppose, exactly what you need to be if you are going to spend your entire working day communing with beings less intelligent than a Border terrier.

Mrs H and I wandered around, nodding knowledgeably, and decided that we both preferred the one with the bouncy soft tarmac in the outdoor play area, and the vegetable plot and the rabbit that is inevitably going to die as soon as The Baby gets attached to it. Mrs H was impressed with the high level of security, too.

“You do realize,” I said, as we drove away, “That there is no way that I am ever going to agree to be fingerprinted so that I can use their biometric access pad?”

She grunted that she had foreseen some such objection, but surely I could see that it was a marvellous way of keeping passing paedophiles out of the place, and surely I would want to help by being equipped to pick The Baby up when necessary?

I repeated my line about fingerprinting being for criminals, and it being up to all of us to resist the insidious spread of these intrusions on our liberty, which would end up with us all being microchipped and scanned every time we wanted to buy a bottle of wine from the supermarket.

She clearly hopes I’m going to relent and be reasonable about it.

Which way would you care to bet?


CC said...

My money's on the Mrs., sorry! ;-)

Keith Hann said...

Ah, but Mrs H's money is on me sticking to my guns. And she knows me a little better than you do!

pauleaston1 said...


Biometric technology does not store fingerprints. It recognises minutiae points on the dermal ridges, converts these into data then encrypts the data for later recall. Safe as houses dear boy, as my clients in the sector can assure you. Go on Guv. Give ‘em your dabs. Why not have little CH recorded at the same time? It’ll save us the trouble of hunting him down in later life.

I remain (et&c), Paul.