Monday, June 8, 2009

Personalized P.S.'s

On John's recommendation, I started reading Nathan Austin's Survey Says! on the train this morning. This book is seriously, literally hard to put down. It's just a list of answers given on Family Feud over a couple of seasons, but arranged in alphabetical order by the second letter, which is so much better than regular alphabetical order, and, methinks, also better than some more deliberate manner of arrangement. A sample:
I declare war! I'd have to say decorating. Adjust the seats. I'd like to go with "drawers." A doctor. A dog. A dog. A dog. I don't believe this, but tarot cards. I don't, but some people might buy alcohol. I don't drink, but don't you wake up with a dry mouth?
I'm going to go back to the Bible on this one, with King James. I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I'm going to say their life-span. I'm going to go with a slit. I'm going to go with a snake. I'm going to go with a donkey. I'm going to go with encore. I'm going to go with family stories. I'm going to go with fish. I'm going to go with Go Fish. I'm going to go with his girlfriend. I'm going to go with Jessica Simpson. I'm going to go with laundry.
That is some Dr. Seuss flarfy trance magic.

This totally reminds me of the Google game I was introduced to via Mathias's blog, whereby you type the beginning of a phrase into Google and let the autofill suggestions tell you what silly and fucked up things your compatriots are searching for. Poetry meets SEO!

Also, this book makes me feel like a very "active reader," because I can try to guess the questions. "There is nothing good on T.V." Reasons to kill yourself!


I think I promised some Mac-fan-bashing at some point. Allen pointed me to the following quote which is illustrative of the annoyingness of Mac people: "I still take it as a personal affront that Mac users have had to wait so long for a usable build of Google Chrome."

He actually had to explain to me why this is a good example, and he explained it thusly: An analogous statement would be: "I still take it as a personal affront that soy-milk-mixed-coffee drinkers have had to wait so long for Starbuck's [sic] to serve their new frappuchino in a soy version." I.e., if you're going to opt out of the mainstream, don't whine when the mainstream doesn't roll out the red carpets for you!!!

Nuff said?

P.S. Have you noticed my fondness for the term "opt out"? It just gets the job done.

P.S. If you are a Mac person, I hope we can still be friends.


  1. Macs are the *rightful* mainstream... one day the world will see the light...

    P.S. We can still be friends;)

  2. Family Feud is an American television game show that pits two families against each other in a contest to name the most popular responses to a survey-type question posed to 100 people.

  3. For the record, Mac-fan-bashing was not really my intent. I just thought that that guy must be really bored, to *still* take it as a *personal* affront that [small subset of computer users] have had to wait for [release of new web browser for small-market-share platform {for which there are many perfectly acceptable alternatives}].

    I mean come on, nuf sed, get out and small the trees!

    And I knew that "Starbuck's" looked wrong, gah.

  4. Everyone's really bored, that's the disease of civilization.

    Controversy gets people talking!

    Does "small the trees" look wrong? SMALL TRAINS!

  5. Improved analogy. "I still take it as a personal affront that soy-milk-mixed-coffee drinkers have had to wait so long for Starbucks to serve their new frapp in a soy version. Oh, btw, Starbucks does serve frapps with whole, half-and-half, 2%, 1%, skim, et al. Oh, also btw, Dunkin Donuts has a soy frapp, as does Panera Bread, Not-Your-Av-Joe, Uncommon Grounds, World-of-BeanCraft, et al."

  6. In the future, no one will ever have to wait for Google Chrome.

  7. Even poor starving children in Africa will have access to cross-compatible Web browsing.

  8. i am wishing for the flaming destruction of google chrome. i already have enough browsers to support!

  9. Elisa, I'd put that line right in my poem except for the problem that you're the one who wrote it.

  10. Oh, you know, death of the author and all that.

    I meant to write in this post that the Survey Says book reminds me of Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There ... aside from the fact that you actually wrote your lines. Something about the nature of the "gimmick," that one could arguably enter anywhere and "get the idea," but I read both start to finish anyway.