This week in Mash History: Tim Berners-Lee gets bored on the toilet, 1989

THE internet is the dominant technology of the 21st century, with millions using it every day to look up Anna Kendrick’s age, bukkake porn, or Benedict Cumberbatch’s height. 

But did you know it was originally conceived neither for the betterment of human lives nor the advancement of international business, but as something to do when taking a lengthy shit?

Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and suffering from a bowel complaint when he decided to invent the internet rather than read the same February 1989 issue of Auto Trader yet again.

He wrote: “We have made so much progress in every field of human endeavour. Yet after every night on the Guinness I sit here, chained to the pan, bored out of my mind.

“I bring along a copy of The Sun, like any sane individual, but soon tire of its lone topless photo. And when I get angry and shout at the newspaper nobody can hear me, much less reply. This seems to me a fundamental failing.

“What if there were a way of linking every individual who is currently seated, elbows on knees, looking for aggressive, pedantic interaction? All from the comfort of your own crapper?

“While moving my bowels, I could be moved by information: updates from loved ones, messages from an employer, or even the height of Rick Moranis, all in a single scroll of the thumb.

“Think of the revolutionary implications for the working man. A bathroom break becomes time reclaimed for himself. He can use it however he wishes, even to fetter away his hard-earned cash on sports betting. The power is his.

“I will explore this concept further, but right now my arse is cramping so I need to wipe and flush.”

And so Sir Tim gifted humanity the gift of being able to do almost anything from anywhere, but most importantly mid-dump.

Next week: to 1723, when Antonio Vivaldi dropped the hottest track of the summer.

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Your astrological week ahead for June 1st, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

Go on. Splash out and treat your wife to half a frozen Dr Oetker Ristorante pizza tonight. She’s earned it.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

The worst part of being in a police line-up is seeing the weird-looking oddballs who the cops think resemble you! Apart from when they find the body parts, obviously.

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

You said yourself it’s a little star. You wouldn’t shut up about it twinkling. Why are you wondering what it is?

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

Election! Trump sentencing! Lindsay Lohan’s 38th birthday! July really is shaping up to be quite a month.

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

Is water wet? Well, no, actually. Things with water on them are wet. Now do the right thing and kill yourself.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

Could an overdose of adrenaline during the Falklands War get you out of paying your TV licence? It’s got to be worth a shot.

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Unless it’s smashed to bits. Then it’s f**ked.

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 21st

You’d love a relaxing weekend in the countryside, but it’s just not worth having to solve all the murders.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

It’s not ‘See It, Say It, Sorted’ or ‘See It, Say It, Sort It.’ It’s ‘See It, Say It, Sore Tit.’ Is everyone stupid?

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

Is competitive Irish dancing just them getting faster and faster?

Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

When you’re shown someone’s baby and say you could ‘eat them up’ everyone smiles. But when you say ‘I could cook him in an oven’, everyone freaks out. Where’s the line?

Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

Having a third nipple is nothing to be ashamed of, but you wish your dad would stop getting it out at parties.