Meme, I Give In

Is there anyone on the Internet who has not yet grasped the nearest book in their grubby little carpal tunnel afflicted paws, opened it to page 23, and typed the fifth sentence into their blogs? No? It’s just me then.

You know why I held off so long on this? It’s not because I’m above the replication of such uninspiring exercises (though of course I have been above such things in the past, and will likely resume my policy of firm disdain in the future), it’s because I couldn’t figure out which book was closest, because there aren’t any on my desk. How shameful is that? Rather than lazily stretching out my hand to have my fingertips brush against Gravity’s Rainbow or Wallace Stevens or even a smartly utilitarian programming manual, I bash my knuckles on two empty glasses of milk before finally reaching an old utility bill:

Any amount over $25 will be assessed a delinquency penalty of 3%.

Page 2, page 23, close enough. But– do I really keep books at such great remove from my everyday life that I have a more intimate relationship with Pasadena Water and Power than with the imaginative splendor of the English language? How can I remain in this modern company of letters, purporting to correspond as an equal with those who would never allow Lord Byron to drift more than 10 feet from their sides? I am a traitor to the global nation of the mind!

But wait! The stack of bank statements and pay stubs and hair scrunchies and tape also includes my sewing machine manual! Page 23 is in Spanish:

Si no lo hace, puede da ar el gancho pase por el ojo de la aguja y enganche el hilo.

And so you see I am a sophisticated intellectual after all, and my life is full of books. Some of them are even properly bound and not just stapled. That is why I maintain a blog, to indulge, express, and display my reified intellectual whimsy and thereby deepen my relationship with sophistication!

You may express admiration amongst yourselves now, for I am going to bed. Good night.


  1. des wrote:

    Well, I haven’t and I’m not going to, cos the closest book is the Berlitz Danish-English/Engelsk-Dansk ordbogette, and it isn’t really into sentences. The next is the cognate Norwegish, then the boss’s dynmical systems text, and I can’t typeset the maths (I haven’t checked p23, but IT’S ALL MATHS).
    But Spanish, yes indeedy and for sure. I just typed “cd Projects; mkdir Mediterranean” this morning, and it felt good.

  2. Rana wrote:

    Hee. The truly closest book was one that would have given me a line of rather arcane knitting instructions.
    I have to say I’m enjoying seeing where this meme goes as it spreads around the blogosphere.

  3. yami wrote:

    Aha, I knew people were cheating!

  4. Simon wrote:

    I, for one, won’t give in on this meme. Not only because it actually would have been Gravity’s Rainbow in my case…

  5. Rana wrote:

    Well, they _were_ all within arm’s reach, while sitting…
    If I were going by what I have at work I’d have to quote from a water bottle or a calendar or a jackalope postcard.

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