Generally, I don’t know what you’re talking about

Generally, I don’t know what you’re talking about
It’s nice that people wander in here from google searches and then stay to read.

It’s cheering/charming/nice.

What’s even nicer is that they sometimes then send me an email to continue the conversation about whatever they’ve been reading.

Which is also pleasing/interactive/encouraging/nice.

However.

More often than not – and more often than that as the archive continues to grow – they’ll start their email by referencing whatever it was they were just reading, starting from whichever page google threw them into the archive at.

“Re your attitude to crayons, I can’t say that I agree.”

Um…

“I was just reading about that date. I met someone like that once”

Like who? Like which? I don’t think I’ve ever been dating queen, but I’ve probably described a fair few from way back when.

So therefore which way-back-who are we whenning? What?

“What a great list. I couldn’t agree more. Good luck finding a boyfriend. Here is my phone number. I think I love you.”

Ah, clearly my list of “reasons I want internutters to hand me their phone numbers, unsolicited, and with no chance I’ll ever contact them again”. I remember it well. It was clearly some time before I moved in with my beloved, two years ago.

“You have some interesting opinions on the holy trinity…”

Do I? When in the name of all that is godly did I write about that? And why?

“… Do email me to talk about your ideas further, and about Jesus. I am a baptist minister.”

I am an agnostic blogger. I will email you back when hell freezes over, which unfortunately can’t happen until I start believing in it. It’s complex.

“I notissed you have had artikles published in a newspapper. How? I am a writt1er to and would like to gett myself in a paper witting for money. Can you tell me ho?”

I don’t know, but it had quite a lot to do with spelling. And don’t call me ho.

Email upon email that I simply cannot fathom the source of, and therefore never reply to.

However. Someone emailed me over the weekend, and though it took me a couple of minutes to work out what they were talking about, it was actually easier than most.

Re:3. it’s:

There was a young lady from Slough
Who developed a very bad cough
She wasn’t to know
It would last until now
Let’s hope the poor girl will pull through

(I wrote it some years ago as a “Mrs Trellis” letter for ISIHAC, but you can also find it on page 48 of “The Almost Totally Complete I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue” book. Buy a copy – I need the royalties.)

Which was, it turns out, a reference to this 2002 post, where I’d been able to remember approximately a poem, but not exactly, and here was the author himself to supply the rest, helpfully plugging the book it came from – while cheerfully negating any reason for me buying it. Hurrah for the internet. It is amazing.

But that really is the exception to the rule. For a littleredboat-related email to appear in my box with the faintest chance of me knowing what it is talking about is a situation as rare as an actually amusing email attachment arriving in the same. It simply never, ever happens. Mostly it’s people violently disagreeing, or passionately agreeing with things I’m not even sure I wrote in the first place.

I’d publish a plea for them to include a url, or even a date reference here – but what’s the point? They’ll never read this page anyway. That would be too, too easy. They’ll probably read it in three years time, and send an earnest rebuttal.

In which case, you know, hello and all that.

And if you are reading this in 2008 and considering sending me an email about it, don’t forget to mention something about torches, first dates, the album I was talking about that you wish you could remember the name of that you were given for your bat mitzvah, crayons, the possibility that we know each other, and your political affiliations.

And, you know, that thing I said once in 2001, and completely agree with. Or something. Here’s my phone number.