Thursday 12 December 2013


Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say "when." 
Well it's NOT here yet, it's nearly two weeks away, but nevertheless I'm sure you're getting antsy about what to buy for that tiresome and rowdy nephew who, last year, knocked your favorite coffee-cup off the table and broke it. I could suggest a folksy remedy for disguising ritalin as smarties and Tom Lehrer has his own solution:
Relations, sparing no expense'll
Send some useless old utensil,
Or a matching pen and pencil.
"just the thing I need! how nice!"
Here's an idea that will go with young Bucko's attention span limitations but keep him quiet in a corner until the brother ("phew!") takes his family back home.  It's a book, it's chock-full of data, it makes you think, indeed some pages make you stop in your tracks and it costs £5 delivered. I lashed out and bought 5 copies - one for each of the families I know which have extremely well-behaved, savvy and symmetrical teenage and sub-teenage boys.  But it will work for girls also.

Today I got an e-mail from that nice chap in Amazon who sold the package to me: "did '1,339 QI Facts To Make Your Jaw Drop' meet your expectations?".  Well yessir! it surely did.  You could get sniffy and call it knowledge for the tweeting generation but it still lives up to the QI mission statement to be quite interesting. Sampler here at TYWKIWDBI.

How does that work though?  It's 350 pages long, bound with a sort of hard-cover, it's been researched and written by the QI team, published by Faber, typeset by Palidrome, printed by CPI in Croydon, trucked to Amazon in Fife, unpacked, warehoused, discovered by an amazonadrone, packed up and posted, air-freighted to Ireland, unbundled in Port Laois, trucked to our Post Office and driven up our buckety land by Paddy the Post. Jings! If I wanted to post the thing back to England it would cost €5 for the stamp! Part of it is economies of scale.  And Amazon doesn't just sell books.

Bingle Jells!