By Gareth Edwards

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Racoon-skin banjos and maths on horseback

This is the blog that aims to explain everything one question at a time for the rest of forever. So if you are wondering what it all means you've come to the right place. Although not necessarily on the right day.

Is the grass always greener?
My American cousin Hydrant J Walker was a successful "lawn colorist" but his whole life long he yearned to leave behind his work as a grass-greener and follow his dream to be a fifty-two string racoon-skin banjo player in the Appalachian mountains, where he actually thought the grass would be bluer. In general though what you want is a grass-half-full outlook on life.

Why can you never find the end?
If you are talking about sticky tape, a handy tip is that you shouldn't look for the end. It will come when it will come. if you mean life in general, just run your fingernail around the outside edge until you feel a tiny ridge. Nine times out of ten that will be the last extinction of your mortal parts.
If the number four upside down looks like a chair, what does the number 8 look like?
We don't yet know. In the margin of his last notebook the 18th Century Greco-German mathematician Filo Sachertorte asserted that it looked like a funny snowman with a massive head, and that he had an elegant proof of this that he devised while riding to Basel that he wrote on the back of his horse, under the legend Quadruped Erat Demonstrandum. This horse has never been found, and the proof has become something of a Holy Grail among mathematicians, although not among Arthurian Knights.
What time is love?
Is five past four, love.

When (if ever) will ladybirds stop appearing in my study and dying on the carpet?
Just a thought, but are you singing strangely beautiful songs about the serene peace of ladybird paradise with the window open?

How many times is it acceptable to forget your neighbor's name?
There is no excuse for forgetting your neighbours' names when you consider that a simple rummage through their discarded documents will provide you with not only names but also a wide range of great topics for small talk. Now that people recycle you don't even have to get covered in coffee grounds and old bacon fat to get to know your community. Just ten minutes of midnight sifting the night before the recycling lorry comes round and you'll always have a friendly comment to hand. "Hey Janice, so, bad news about the loan I'm guessing?"

So as the sea of ignorance recedes just a couple more inches from the sandcastle of learning I bid you farewell for now, but keep the questions coming lest all be utterly lost beneath the cold grey waves.



  1. The cockles of my heart are delightfully warmed whenever you answer one of my questions.

  2. Why doesn't my local Sainsbury's have Taste The Difference Pastrami any more?

  3. If a plus times a plus is a plus and a minus times a minus is a plus, why aren't minuses dying out?

  4. What are the words 'predcule' and 'patess' that I have just had to type in?

  5. 'Shoronpa'? (It just keeps going.)

  6. The real answer to 'why can't you ever find the end?' is 'Pritt Stick'.

  7. How important is it to pronounce words correctly, even when reading silently?

  8. I'm suspect of the phrase, "You can't go back again". Are my feelings of unease justified?

  9. Are there more questions than answers?

  10. (With ref. James Bachman) My friend Sally Stares thinks that Sainsbury's Taste the Difference products should come with a sachet of the thing they taste different from, so you can compare. Is this the best idea you have ever heard? If not, what is?

  11. NASA says that most of the universe is made of a mysterious substance called dark energy. Does this have anything to do with Darth Vader?

  12. After Hitler's downfall, where did his doppelgangers find employment?