By Gareth Edwards

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Trolls, toothpaste and the meaning of life

More answers to your questions from the only blog that is under the impression that it can talk authoritatively about pretty much everything in the universe. OK, not the only one. 

How do they put the stripes in toothpaste?
The stripes occur naturally in toothpaste in much the same way that geological strata are formed. Essentially the immense pressure inside a squeezed tube of toothpaste generates colossal heat and this causes some of the toothpaste to change its molecular composition. This results in stripes, or to use the correct term, “seams” running through the toothpaste.  The process happens in all toothpaste but is really only noticeable when it causes the distinctive red colouring.  The phenomenon can be observed naturally in the Great Toothpaste Shales of Saskatchewan, revered by the Inuit as “Sig Naltu”, or “Great Striped Giver of Minty Confidence”  

Is Islington fair?
It all depends on what you mean by Islington. Does the question refer to a) the London Borough of Islington? Or to b) the well-known card game where player one is dealt four cards face down and the remaining cards are placed in a pile face up in “the pool”. Player two then shouts “Islington” and punches player one in the face and takes their shoes. If a) I’d say more strawberry blond. If b) it depends on what you mean by “punches player one in the face and takes their shoes.”

Is life meaningless?
Not in everyday usage, but if you say it over and over again life will eventually become meaningless. This is also true of spoon, polo-pony and lartipond. Curiously, the reverse is true of cumberkew.

Why do trolls spend so much time hanging around bridges? Why are they so grumpy?
When bridges first became popular in Olden Times there was no obvious way for bridge builders to recoup their investment and so trolls were employed to shout “Who’s that walking over my bridge” in a frightening manner at travellers and then collect a small fee. The system worked well and these Troll Bridges became common,   and over time the trolls made comfortable homes for themselves under the arches or even built small dwellings for themselves known as Troll Booths. However, frequent bridge users came to resent the trolls for their slap-dash customer service skills and in the end a health and safety incident involving some unsupervised billygoats was seized on by critics who demanded the trolls be properly trained. Sadly the trolls struggled with the phrase “We recognise you have a choice of bridges, thank you for choosing this one!” and their attempts to fill in a Risk Assessment form describing measures to minimise goat attack were laughable. Soon the trolls became resentful and shunned human contact, until their effectiveness as revenue collectors was hopelessly compromised and the system was abandoned.

Where are my glasses?
There. On the chest of drawers…. No, under the magazine. Under the…. Well they were there earlier…. I’m TRYING to help….  No, I didn’t put them in the chair…. Well clearly if I’d known they were there I wouldn’t have sat on them…. Are they? Good. They made you look like a mental owl.

So it's probably best to leave it there. Do keep the questions coming and be more tolerant of trolls where appropriate.


  1. Why do I need to know my waiter's name?

  2. Oh, btw, my appropriate troll-tolerance level has improved by at least 27% since reading this blog.

  3. Somewhere over the rainbow - do I need a fix on that?

  4. What is the proper compensation due to an individual who has helped one to locate some plum sauce?

  5. Thank you, I will be much kinder to trolls from now on.

  6. What is the one weird old tip that will help me lose belly fat?

  7. Is the grass always greener?