A Guildford man has been honoured in the People’s Courage Awards for 2006 for showing ‘outstanding bravery and strength of character’ in throwing out a number of old computer cables, even though he could not remember where they came from and could not be certain that one of them might not come in handy again at some point in the future.
John McHugh 26, had apparently been complaining for some time that he was no longer able to close the bottom drawer of his home workstation, as it was so jam-packed with old power leads, redundant chargers, USB links, iPod speakers, power cables, redundant modem cables and the printer wire from an Amstrad 8256.
‘We suggested stuffing the lot into a Tesco’s bag and chucking it on top of the wardrobe,’ said flatmate Bryan Whitesmith. ‘Or storing them all in the loft with the vague intention of maybe trying to flog them as a job lot on eBay one day. But none of us could have guessed for a moment what John was actually going to do.’ According to eye-witnesses, the normally cautious local librarian simply took the packed wooden drawer out of the workstation, walked out of the front door and tipped the entire contents into a wheelie-bin.
‘We were stunned’ said Whitesmith. ‘There was a curly off-white cable with like, a round five pronged little plug on one end and a square blue plastic bit on the other. That must have been essential for something. And the redundant phone chargers might have worked as a back-up charger for another mobile phone that he might purchase in the future. It was madness.’
But when McHugh’s courage came to the notice of the organisers of the People’s Courage Awards, they knew there could only be one winner.
‘We are fed up of giving out these awards to blokes who have rescued people out of the sea, or kids that have kept smiling through terrible diseases,’ said a spokesman. ‘Chucking out mystery computer cables; that’s what I call courage.’ McHugh said he was going to spend the prize money on computer peripherals, specifically connecting his universal card reader to his lap-top, adding ‘I’m sure I used to have a cable for that somewhere.’