A 35-questions-about-yourself-type-meme, shamelessly stolen from DeeDee Ramona, because it’s fun, and also a way of generating blog content even while my brain is dripping out of my ears as a kind of thick grey soup…
1. Are you currently in a serious relationship?
2. What was your dream growing up?
I always wanted to be a lighthouse keeper.
3. What talent do you wish you had?
A real-world version of apodyopsis, but only when I want it to happen. Superpowers count as talents, right?
4. If I bought you a drink, what would it be?
A fabulously expensive champagne cocktail, darling. Or, you know, a can of Morrison’s Value lager – whichever is fine…
5. Favourite vegetable?
Nick Clegg (ooh, satire…). Seriously, though: Red Kale.
6. What was the last book you read?
The last book I read (as opposed to re-read) was Parallel Lines by Ian Marchant. It’s a memoir/ travel book/ history book based around a series of rail journeys in the UK, but it’s about 4,316 times more interesting than that makes it sound. It’s also one of the best-written books I’ve come across in a long time, even if the author does have an irritating habit of calling cannabis ‘spliff’, as in “My mate and I decided to share some spliff”. I guess it’s a deliberate mistake, an in-joke, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating.
7. What zodiac sign are you?
Couldn’t give a rat’s arse. (Unless a rat’s arse actually is one of the signs of the zodiac…)
8. Any tattoos or piercings?
No. The unadorned human body is already beautiful, and can only be made worse by people scribbling on it or making holes in it. Also, I’m a total wuss and scared it might hurt, but I try to hide the fact by spouting pompous (and vaguely pervy) nonsense about the beauty of the unadorned human body.
9. Worst habit?
Er…stealing memes and then not following the rules properly. (Sorry for not posting my answers in your comments, DeeDee, but it seemed like everyone had moved on. I am, as ever, the World’s Slowest BloggerTM.)
10. If you saw me walking down the street, would you offer me a ride?
[Engage sleazy 70s porn star mode] Honey, you can ride me anywhere you like. [Disengage sleazy 70s porn star mode]
11. What is your favourite sport?
Does masturbation count as a sport?
12. Do you have a pessimistic or optimistic attitude?
I’m a general optimist, in the sense that I think most things are getting gradually better most of the time, but I’m also a specific pessimist, in that I generally assume that good things won’t happen in my life. Welcome to the depressive mindset.
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
Make polite conversation by asking you where you’re from originally, since we usually call them lifts…
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
The 9 month period in which my great-granny, my granddad and my mum all died was pretty lousy.
15. Tell me one weird fact about you.
I’m (distantly – very distantly) related to a super-rich cofounder of a major US technology company. I’ve often wondered if I should exploit the connection by asking for a job, but if I did it’d be like that scene from the first series of The IT Crowd where Jen is listing her qualifications for managing the IT department: ‘reading email; writing email; opening email; sending email; forwarding email; deleting email…I could go on’.
16. Do you have any pets?
Well, I do spend a lot of time stroking something (see answer to question 11).
17. What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
You’d find an emphatically shut and locked door, and an Aethelread pretending, despite the evidence to the contrary (lights and TV on etc), that he’s not in. Sorry, I don’t do spontaneity.
18. What was your first impression of me [i.e. DeeDee]?
I’m not sure it was my first impression, but I can remember trawling through your blog not long after I’d started reading it and being profoundly impressed by the way you manage to keep your life pretty much together despite being ill sometimes.
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
I find them banal.
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
Well, it can get tiresome, sometimes, having people stare at my washboard abs, and my taut pecs, and my massive biceps, so I’d probably change my perfect musculature for something more saggy and rotund… wow! Who’d have thought it? It changed just like that, as soon as I mentioned it!
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
It’d depend on the crime, really. For anything that involved causing genuine hardship or distress to a real person I’d be your conscience.
22. What colour eyes do you have?
I keep a lovely pair of green ones wrapped up in cotton wool at the back of the freezer.
23. Ever been arrested?
No. They never found out about the eyes in the freezer…
24. Bottle or can soda?
Well, I don’t really do fizzy drinks at all these days, but I can remember that, as a kid, there was nothing more exciting than sitting in a pub garden with a glass bottle of Coke with a straw in it, so I guess I’d have to say bottle.
25. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Why, I’d send it straight off to that nice Mr Osborne at the Treasury, with a note attached to it saying that since “we’re all in this together” it seemed like the least I could do. I’m sure that’s what Fred Goodwin does with the spare money from his pension.
26. What’s your favourite place to hang out at?
Hanging out implies a degree of relaxation and comfort. I don’t really ‘hang out’ anywhere, but I can be seen vibrating anxiously in a number of locales.
27. Do you believe in ghosts?
Do I think that most people who experience an encounter with a ghost genuinely see/hear/feel something that seems utterly real to them? Yes. Do I think that perception has any connection with something that exists outside the confines of their mind? No.
28. Favourite thing to do in your spare time?
See the answers to questions 11 and 16.
29. Do you swear a lot?
I do tend to use good old Anglo-Saxon words like piss, shit, arse, etc as nouns much of the time, but I don’t really consider that swearing – I’m just avoiding the mimsy Victorian preference for alternatives which are supposedly more acceptable because they derive from Latin and Greek. In terms of using rude words to express anger and frustration – it varies.
30. Biggest pet peeve?
That I’m gradually becoming, no matter how hard I fight it, a grammar bully. I mean, look at question 26 – it ends with a preposition. Of course, as soon as I saw it, I instantly reminded myself that ending sentences with prepositions is a wholly unexceptionable thing in informal usage, and that I make literally dozens of similar grammatical ‘errors’ every time I set finger to keyboard, and that, anyway, the only cardinal rule in language is that anything you say or write should be as easy to understand as possible, and I had no difficulty whatsoever understanding question 26. But there’s no getting away from the fact that I noticed in the first place. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have done, and I’m worried that, in another ten years, I’ll be writing books with titles like Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
31. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
32. Do you believe in/ appreciate romance?
Do I think that a combination of evolutionarily-directed behaviours, cultural memes and commercial exploitation mix together to produce the phenomenon labelled as romance? Yes. Do I appreciate it? Oh, dear me, no, far too level-headed for that, haven’t got the time for it, much prefer my own company, definitely not looking for a boyfriend, haven’t got the patience for dating, probably tell anyone who asked to get lost, etc, etc.
You know, it’s the strangest thing: ever since you asked me that question I haven’t seemed able to get this piece of grit out of my eye. Not quite sure why it’s making both my eyes water like this, or my bottom lip quiver…
33. Favourite and least favourite food?
34. Do you believe in God/ a higher power/ whatever you want to call it?
It would be lovely if it were true, but the available evidence does not support the hypothesis.
35. Will you repost this?
It would appear so, albeit in a slightly edited form.