“It all started last week. I was hanging out the washing on Tuesday at about 11:23. No, tell a lie, it must have been the Wednesday, because that’s when the dustmen come. Oh no, hang on a minute, they changed that. Something to do with ‘rationalisation’ after the two districts were merged, wasn’t it?
“Now, where was I? Oh yes, the start of all the trouble. As I say it was last Tuesday at about 11:23. I say about, and I know that’s quite a precise time, but when you’re talking about something as shocking as this it’s important to know when it happened. The other thing is that the clock is digital and I distinctly noticed it when I heard the… well, the noise.
“I’m not sure really what you’d call it, sort of a whine, I suppose. We still don’t know what it was, but as I say that’s when the trouble started…”
“Er, thank you, Mrs Hargen,” the hassled young reporter cut in. He’d only just got this live feed job at Auto Cable News (East). It wasn’t going well. “We were hoping for some more detail?”