I previously thought that the reason you used to see miles of cassette taped entwined in the bushes at the side of motorways was because the driver discovered that his or her Mother had accidently put a “James Last Plays Christmas Carols” tape back in the driver’s Black Sabbath or Pink Floyd cassette box. Needless to say, that kind of disaster when hurtling along the M1 could obviously engender a malicious and wholly illegal “chuck it out of the window” process. But it seems I was mistaken.
According to the Surrey Advertiser newspaper (a local rag available in the southern part of England) nefarious devil worshippers are intentionally recording dark and dangerous spells on cassette tape and then diligently encircling sections of the Queen’s Highway with it to initiate a huge crop of accidents and other unfortunate occurrences. In particular, at junction 9 of the M25 they have prompted a noticeable increase in the number of motoring accidents and suicides from people jumping off the footbridge. A group of believers from the Pioneer Engage Church even organized regular vigils and prayer meetings to “cleanse the benighted interchange”.
Now I’m fairly open to wild new theories and improbable suggestions. I mean, I even accept that information technology can create a paperless office. And that sat-navs actually do use satellites circling way above the earth rather than reading the location from barcodes in the white lines on the road. But I’m finding it hard to believe that the magnetic properties of cassette tape are sufficient to overcome the Earth’s residual magnetism at a level sufficient to affect human behavior. Especially as we’re repeatedly told that holding a powerful microwave transmitter right next to your ear is not the least bit dangerous.
As an aside, I just watched a program by Stephen Hawking about how time works that said the clocks in the GPS satellites need to be manually adjusted as they gain a billionth of a second every day. This is, it seems, because the effects of gravity make time run slower close to the Earth than at the satellites’ altitude. Supposedly, if they didn’t do it, your sat-nav would be out by six miles every day. Maybe the reason I still get lost some days is because the guy who winds the knobs took a day off sick.
So, anyway, the Surrey Advertiser soon received several disbelieving responses to its article, including one from a reader who (perhaps through intimate knowledge of the practice) pointed out that most evil spirits these days use MP3 players because they are far smaller and more convenient to carry when crossing into the dark realm and back again. More likely is that, when our intrepid band of believers analyzed the contents of the tape, they accidently played it backwards and by sheer luck hit upon the bit in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven that supposedly includes satanic phrases recorded in reverse.
But maybe it’s the reason that people hang old CDs on strings to scare birds away from their vegetable plots. It probably works best with heavy rock music ones. I suppose I could subject the theory to scientific test by burying a hard drive containing all the satanic album tracks I’ve collected over the last forty or so years under the hedge at the front of our garden, and counting the number of people who fall over as they pass by…