For an extravert, I’m actually quite shy. So when I see the cool kids egging each other on to spread their various memes across the internets, I tend to sit wallflower-like and wait for them to come to me. I don’t jump up and down saying “pick me! pick me!”. Not without a certain amount of pain, I admit. Then, when I finally do get tagged, what happens? I remain unaware for almost a month. Having finally been made aware of The Viscount”s generosity (or pity) during an infrequent ego-sweep, I resolved not to make too much of an effort in the direction of humour, irony or post-modernism. Instead, let’s treat this as seriously as a first date deserves.

  1. What’s in your pocket?
    A handkerchief, dusty mauve with a check of yellow, red and ochre, thanks to The Squeeze’s inescapably good taste; a mobile phone, whose interface I totally, totally loathe, even though the man in the shop assured it was much improved over previous models from the same manufacturer, lying toad, dumb manufacturer; a coin purse; a dog biscuit (you never know).
  2. Is the pork ready?
    Almost always, and on almost every street corner. But the secret to an above average porchetta is not the pork but the bread. And the best I know is at Zio Mauro’s. Visit, I’ll take you.
  3. Have you ever had to rock to and fro to make your poopie go?
    Yes. It was horrid. But I’ve taken to drinking lots more water and since then things have been OK.
  4. Do you like onions?
    Yes, especially agro dolce. But not with porchetta.
  5. So, how big is it?
    It’s about the right size, usually.
  6. Budweiser or real beer?
    Real budweiser.
  7. What do you feel about your nose?
    Sometimes it seems too big. Sometimes too small. Infrequently, to punish me for being old and remind me of being young, it gives me a zit.
  8. Children: Baked or broiled?
    Well done. W.C. said it first, and best, but usually apocryphally.
  9. Do you like it when I do this?
    Yes, I do. Please do it again.
  10. Do you like the sound of chickens?
    Once again, yes I do. In fact, I miss the sound of my chickens quite a lot. Some day, I’ll hear them again.
  11. Would Beyonce clip her own toenails?
    No. But then again, who gives a flying fuck?
  12. Do you like pork?
  13. If the butter is soft, does the bus arrive on time?
    There is no correlation, but most people don’t realise that. Most people are very bad at correlation versus causality. Indeed, they’re really bad at all kinds of probability and statistical inference. I think that’s a serious problem. Really, I do.
  14. When do you get up?
    Around 6.00 mostly. Sometimes later. Seldom earlier.
  15. How did you survive childhood?
    What’s to survive? It was OK. But if you approach life right, it doesn’t have to end.
  16. What do you do before bed?
    Last thing? Slug oil and brush teeth.
  17. What are your hidden charges?
    No hidden charges, ever.
  18. Who’s behind you?
    A good woman, usually.
  19. Why don’t people go to the bathroom on TV?
    Because no-one wants to watch that. Or if they do, they’ll fork over good money to do so.
  20. What’s a soylent green popsicle?
    Disgusting, probably. Unsustainable, definitely.
  21. What does it taste like?
    Good, probably.
  22. Why doesn’t Consumer Reports rate hookers?
    Because there’s no demand.
  23. Does George Bush replace the toilet paper tube?
    See 11 above.

There now, all done. And the reason I hadn’t done it till now, mon cher Viscomte, was not the result of an excess of cool. It was an excess of dorkiness. Just for fun (dorky, I told you) I followed the chain back aways. (I’m aware I’ve ignored certain forks in the trail; someone else can take care of them.)

The Viscount got it from Bobby, who set the bar really high, and took a day and a half to deliver. Bobby got it from Brother Ned, and needed just six hours. Neddie was infected by Blue Wren, whose daughter Dragon Laugh (obviously a made-up name), says that “a co-worker ... made this one up.” I guess we have to take her word for it. Half a day from daughter to mother, another half a day from the bird to the jingster. and then I come along and hold things up for the best part of a month.1

I’m sorry.

But back on a serious note, does anyone actually study the spread of these things for real? It could be informative. It could also be colossally boring, but not in the right hands.

Anyway, I’m going to tag The Communicatrix, because I like just about everything she writes and because, like a modern infected traveller, it will get this pathogenic time-thief out into a fresh population of hosts. If she’s susceptible ...

  1. 2022-07-23: All, amazingly, still available although not all still active. Old Skool rules. 

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