Above, Freddie’s flag folly.
The True Story Behind Muddy Marbles
Freddie ran through the playground clutching Bobby Charlton to his chest. Having instigated a swap with Nathaniel West, who was in the year above and held all the (Panini) cards, Freddie was ecstatic. To the utter amazement of his classmates, Freddie not only had acquired Bobby Charlton but he had got him a for a couple of Leeds players and half a stick of Wrigley’s.
Word of Freddie’s deal spread, not only the school but the entire village. Before anyone knew it, Freddie had swapped a couple of Coventry and Forest players, for Georgie Best. As the owner of a complete Panini 69 collection, Freddie was acknowledged the Swap King and before long, found himself conducting swaps on behalf of half-a-dozen of his classmates. Then, came ‘Mexico 70’ and with it, a host of collectables. Alongside a special Panini sticker collection, there were Esso Shell World Cup coins, Texaco player busts, Total Petrol’s Gold Figure Set, Sugar Smacks action figures, free with each box. The array of collectables for Mexico 70, was mind-boggling.
Concerns within Freddie’s investors began when he seemed, to them at least, to be giving far too many items to complete collections. Who really cared if they had all Total’s gold figures when it had cost them half of their Shell World Cup coins? Freddie though, assured them that he knew what he was doing. Matters came to a head though, on the eve of the World Cup Final. Freddie got wind that his rival, the bespectacled Barry Barclay, was in negotiations for a complete set of little plastic World Cup flags. The sixteen flags representing each of the countries to have reached the finals. Freddie was incensed. He had grown to dislike Barry, partially due to his weird accent but mostly, because Barry Barclay had a Chopper.
Determined to scupper the deal Freddie made a counter offer but it was turned down. The owner of the flags was a girl who cared little for Panini stickers or even, World Cup coins. If Freddie wanted those flags he was going to have to pull something special out of the bag. His inner circle was doubtful. The World Cup was practically over and interest as had waned the instant England went out so, who cared about a load of flags? Freddie did. He was determined to stop Barry getting them and with a satchel loaded with Mexico 70 collectables, he made his way to Abn Amro’s house. A flag waving Freddie left an hour later with an empty satchel. He had done the deal and stopped Barry Barclay. Double bubble was how Freddie saw it…
A fortnight on, Freddie found himself front of the Headmistress, facing questions over the whereabouts of his classmate’s possessions. The short answer was Abn Amro’s house but ultimately everything they had, was tied up in those flags. Items even Freddie now viewed as useless. Tired of his unhelpful attitude, the Head called in Freddie’s parents and, after hours of intensive negotiation, Freddie’s bail-out plan was, finally agreed…
His parents would pay each of the other boys a fiver on the proviso that he worked that debt off in chores over the next two years. Freddie felt it draconian, while also having the sense to keep his mouth, firmly shut.
The measures laid down by his parents, while punitive, a least made sense. The Headmistress’s stipulations however, left Freddie most befuddled. She claimed that his status as school’s second most successful swapper (Dam – you Barry Barclay), left little room for other kids to gain a foothold in what was after all, a time-honoured boyhood pastime. Her words, not Fred’s.
Her plan for remedying this entailed Freddie selling off ‘at a fair price’ a section of his amalgamated wealth. Naturally, the Swap-king (Barring BB) was against the plan but again, felt it best not to express his feelings. It was eventually agreed that his marble collection, which vast, would be sold off. Freddie was disappointed on two counts. Firstly, those marbles were one of his first ventures into collecting and two, the wheeling and dealing that went into them is something he was rightly proud of.
Below, the syndicate’s marbles.
At the time of it being confiscated by the Headmistress, Freddie’s marbles had been inflated by donations from his friends. These had been made due to a muted mega-swap with Barry Barclay. Barry had proffered his entire Batman anthology, cards (Complete collection), action figures and Bat-mobile… For their marbles.
Eventually and much to the Headmistress’s delight, Santi, Spanish kid who’d joined school only a year earlier, showed an interest in Freddie’s marbles. Much to Freddie’s annoyance everything appeared to be going swimmingly, at least had been, until they got into the deal’s fine details. The problem was, how many of marbles were Freddie’s and how many, belonged to his pals?
Santi gave up once but with the encouragement of the Headmistress, came back and tried again. While Freddie didn’t want to sell, the pressure for him to do so, was intense. Yet, no matter how hard they tried, the task of separating these marbles, was proving impossible. Many had been branded but not only had much of the marks been scratched off and when a label, for instance blue paint, remained intact, more than one boy claimed the colour.
ICX4 were an odd bunch no one else took much notice of and as such, could call themselves whatever they liked. They had first formed in ‘Computer Club’. This was held every day, after school, in the Science block. Frustrated by the imposed time limits, they took to meeting on Saturday and Sunday mornings. With each member taking turns to host. As there weren’t that many ICX4-ers, none of the parents objected and truth be told, most were relieved that their kid finally had friends that weren’t imaginary.
Below, two ICX4-ers, doing maths.
With no form of social life to distract them, the Boffins conducted experiment after experiment, until eventually becoming so confident that, on hearing of the Marbles fiasco, boldly claimed that they could fix the problem by:
Developing an approach that combines Resolving the Identity of a data entity against a known end state by means of a comprehensive Content Engine which contains an implementation of a commercially universal entity set of Organisations, Individuals and Instruments (based on Client vendor data licences) all of which have been built into a single holistic ‘external universe’ – businessDNA addresses the issue of false positives by only Resolving to a Single Relevancy Entity and reduces False Positives, to a statistically minimal issue. With businessDNA the Identity of a Record is either Resolved or not Resolved and where it isn’t resolved, tells the processing team what possible entities the record could be. What entities are at the address provided and, if an entity of similar name, is in the locality.
No one at school listened. Undeterred, the ICX4 boffins continued their experiments into algorithms and all that. Now days they have three major financial institutions on their client roster. If you’ve no desire to lose your marbles, get in touch.