Now I have heard it said that if a butterfly flaps its wings in my back garden it can cause a hurricane in the Philippines or Singapore or somewhere equally warm and exotic,
Not wanting to appear ignorant I looked up the source of the saying, and from what I read it can be attributed to one Edward Lorenz, who I am sure is most learned, and is the basis of a chaos theory hypothesis which speaks to the randomness of outcomes given any number of contributing factors.
That is about as far as I got before my ignorance and intolerance of such nonsense got the better of me and I decided that surely it must be complete tosh and it would be most appreciated if people would just stop saying it.
I would like to suggest that Mr Lorenz get outdoors more and get a proper job. Has he even seen a butterfly? I can just imagine his lofty minded colleagues patting him on the back and congratulating him on his recent thesis whilst on the inside he is laughing his tits off and wondering how he might get into the head of the English departments knickers.
Okay, now if this is true then surely we need to kill all butterflies. As beautiful and whimsical as they might seem, they cannot be allowed to run amuck causing severe meteorological events. That just will not do.
Do butterflies possess some magical storm inducing power? What about the effect of other winged creatures? What about bats and eagles? Could a fly flapping furiously in Egypt cause a light drizzle in Cape Town? A lot of questions I realise but ones to be answered surely. Heavens, can high winds in the Sahara be attributed to activities of a small flock of gulls in New York?
Perhaps I am taking it too literally and getting myself vexed over nothing. I am thinking that I should have continued reading instead of submitting to my ignorance.
There are obviously many things that I do not know, but what I do know that I just went out into the garden with a tea tray and spent a minute wafting it up and down, simulating the force of a thousand angry butterflies. I do not expect this to have any effect on anything (unless my neighbours saw me then perhaps there may be an awkward aversion of eyes next time we cross paths), but if by chance Manilla is ravaged by monsoons, hurricanes and tidal waves next week then I take it all back.
Fancy something else?