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Thursday, March 27, 2003
Some plain speaking to plain questions

From time to time, I feel compelled to compose answers to "The Friday Five". I do not know if the list below is up-to-date but I have decided for two reasons to deal with these queries. Firstly, because dongle so perceptively and persuasively answered three questions I posed a few days ago (March 21-22), it is appropriate to try to emulate his analytical skills. Further Mrs T, if you look to me, as I suspect you do, as the source of all wisdom, it is only fair that I should let you know my position on the most pressing questions of the day.
1. What is one thing you don't like about your body? Don't be silly. I am the most perfect physical specimen of a 172-year old male known to medical science.

2. What are two things you love about your body? I love my bulging money belt and my ability to sit in the lotus position for weeks on end.

3. What are three things you want to change about your home? As you probably know Mrs T, I currently live in Bagshot Mansion, one of the largest stately homes in the country. Having decided against moving to Van Hoogstraten's Hamilton Palace in Sussex, I am hoping to be able to put in an offer for what's left of Saddam Hussein's palaces. The old tyrant will soon have no more need of them just as Van Hoogstraten was obliged to move to alternative accommodation (He was imprisoned for murder. What do you think we should do with Saddam, then?). Oops, that's probably more than three, isn't it?

4. What are four books you want to read this year? I must reread my seminal work "The life of E", so regrettably plagiarised by Yann Martel in his Booker prize-winning "The life of Pi". I also need to revise certain passages in the holy book of "The True Faith". I shall be re-reading Albert Camus's book "The Outsider". I want to know what it feels like to be outside things when, in fact, I am always the centre of attention. Finally, "101 lucid ways to win friends and influence people" by the US Hebrew Gog [anag.].

5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself? If I reveal them now, I wouldn't be keeping them to myself, would I? Still, to give you the flavour here are four: When the crown of Airstrip One is offered to me, I promise to decline it; I promise never to kiss Donald Rumsfeld; I promise never to be derogatory about the drongos in Australia and I shall never reveal details of my battle with cellulite.
My fifth promise is implicit in my final comment: I hope that you appreciate my openness and humility in letting you so close to the real me.

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