ATTENTION all i-phone app designers.

I know you’re out there, because someone’s made a fortune out of GPS software that helps you figure out where you left your car, software that makes your screen look like a pint of beer, or identifies any building in any city in the world.


My request is far more necessary and urgent:  Face Recognition Software.  How hard can it be?  Just six or seven billion people on the planet, a snip for your average smartphone.  I know there’s a kind of Big Brothery element to it that might upset some folk, but I don’t care. I can’t go on like this.

Sure, I had a lovely time in Edinburgh — great event, fantastic audience, sun shining, cozy yurt, waterglass full of whisky (OK, that showed poor judgment). But really. I simply cannot spend the rest of my life squinting vacantly at people who look vaguely familiar.

Many years ago (when my brain was still young and keen) I sat next to a woman at the airport who looked vaguely familiar.  I wracked my brains but couldn’t think how we knew each other.  She turned out to be Jackie Kennedy.  How much do I need this software?

One little app. Is that too much to ask? You hold up your phone, it reads the face, gives a name, occupation, and a quick rundown of where and when you last encountered each other.  What you talked about would be nice too.

Some day we’ll all turn to each other and say, “what on earth did people do before Face Recognition Software?”

I suppose in the olden days people muddled through somehow. Probably they did what I do now.  Smiled broadly at everyone just in case they turn out to be close personal friends.


6 thoughts on “Still King.

  1. Lynne Harris 8 years ago


  2. Marilyn Brocklehurst 8 years ago

    Couldn’t agree more! I met someone in Whitby last week who cried “Marilyn!?” with such warmth – I hadn’t a clue! Was in her school in Essex for a whole day the last week of term – and we had bonded delightfully – all gone! Maybe it’s an excess of good red wine…

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Phew. I’m not alone.

  3. Nina Killham 8 years ago

    Hilarious. And a great idea. Someone’s going to make a mint. Though I must say I usually have the opposite problem. I remember others but often they peer at me curiously, not quite placing me. Maybe I should start wearing a funny hat….

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Oh god, I’m sure that’s me peering uncomprehendingly. I apologize. To everyone. Think of it as a disability.

  4. bookwitch 8 years ago

    You ad libbed well on Saturday! Didn’t you know it was me? My next mission in life has to be to do an ‘Eleanor Updale’… If I do, you’re welcome to ask who I am.

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