(Woman is taking her husband to the doctor)
W: He’s really ill. I think he’s got Information Overload.
D: Does he talk in his sleep?
(M keeps surreptitiously reaching for the mobile phone in his pocket and wife keeps guiding away his hand and reprimanding him)
D: Does he have any particular interests?
W: Only following celebrities on twitter these days.
D: Could he describe his symptoms to me.
W: Go on George
M: (Breaks out into incoherent babble of scraps of disconnected information about the contemporary world full of isolated references to celebrities)
D: Yes I see. Quite a severe case. How long can he go without using his mobile phone?
W: Well on a good day he can sometimes go for 5 minutes.
(M makes a dash for his pocket)
W: No George. No George. You’ve got to stop it.
M; Sorry. Sorry
D: I recommend he tries a session of Facebooks Anonymous and I prescribe a stiff dose of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, War and Peace and the last Labour Party manifesto.
M suddenly dashes for his pocket and starts tweeting: ‘I’m at the doctors. Great tweet from Sue Perkins this morning. Going to an Olympic party tonight will be great’ etc etc) .. The other are shouting No! No! Stop it! Nobody wants to know that! (Doctor looks straight into George’s eyes and says steadily and firmly ‘I shared a shower with Ed Milliband. I shared a shower with Ed Milliband’ Gradually the man’s attention is caught and by fits and starts he stops tweeting and then he collapses exhausted and gasping)
(It is a meeting of Facebooks Anonymous. People stand up and testify. ‘I went to Grimsby and couldn’t stop myself tweeting I’m at Grimsby’ ‘I’m really ashamed. I facebooked I’m on a train’ ‘Sheila facebooked me to say she had a kangaroo in her back garden. I didn’t want to know that but couldn’t stop myself replying Good on yer Sheila. Hope he’s not driving you hopping mad’ etc George suddenly stands up and starts spouting incoherent bits of text from Karl Marx, War and Peace and the Labour Party manifesto, all mixed up with Hello stuff about celebrities)
All shouting: No! No! Go away! Youre’ re-infecting us. Scab! Blackleg! You’re sick, you’re disgusting. Prison’s too good for you. Oh no! No! (They all reach for their mobile phones and start tweeting nonsense)
- Doctor I think I’ve caught I.O. from my husband
D: What are your symptoms?
W: (pulls out mobile phone and starts tweeting incoherent scraps of sentences from Karl Marx, War and Peace and the Labour Party manifesto)
D: Oh dear. Yes it’s I.O. alright. I’ll ring for an ambulance (He pulls out his mobile phone and says Could you send at once an am…oh no! Help! (he too starts spouting from Marx etc)