How the Internet made me laugh today

by Diane Duane

And before I even made it out of bed.

In the inbox (because my Google address finally, inevitably I suppose, made it onto somebody’s mailing list):

“Compliments and Greetings. Please kindly allow me introduce myself. My names are Alan Backford, I am an accountant, by age 31 Years, graduate of the American Open University in Dubai, I am an English and I have returned to England for one reason; for the up bringing of my children in an English orientation. I was the head of the account department of a Private Bank in Netherlands and I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you….”

Yeah, I just bet you would. Alan dear…let me intimate you with certain facts. (a) If you are “an English”, your school must be waaaaaaaay down the league tables. (b) The Powers that Be and I will be working fairly closely together in the coming weeks. So if you abruptly come down with a plague of boils, don’t be surprised. It’ll stop the minute you stop spamming.

(An “English orientation”? Is being English a lifestyle all of a sudden? I feel a Python sketch coming on. “Yeah, I went to this party…and somebody asked me if I, you know, wanted to try some tea…and then one of them took me out back and…and said, ”Ere, mate, come on, let’s play some cricket…'”)

Then, in the referral logs from, this query to Google that brought someone to our site:

“What country does Swiss cheese come from”

Oh my gosh. And who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? (But later Peter pointed out to me that the most likely answer to this question is “America” — as, in Switzerland, the cheese with the big holes is Emmentaler. The Swiss themselves [oh, all right, the Raetii then, be that way] haven’t had a caseus Helveticus since Julius Caesar’s time. [And that was probably Sbrinz anyway.])

Well, I hope we were of some assistance with the question.

…And there was something else as well, but it’s slipped my mind at the moment, as it was jarred out of place by something cutting Siff’hah suddenly said to Arhu, and I had to stop and write that down.

It’s good to start the day laughing…

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