By Gareth Edwards

Friday 31 August 2012

Ravens, Santa and the Shower Tray of Death

More of your questions about the universe answered by someone who has actually lived there all his life.

Truf (from my 6 year old) Are Santa and God real?
Think of a Christmas present. It has been wrapped carefully. It contains a wondrous gift of intricacy and beauty. Could this object really have got here by the chance collisions of plastic and metal components (but not batteries obviously) over millions of years? Of course not, Richard so-called Dawkins! So it completely logically follows that some intelligent and benign force must have fashioned it in a workshop at the North Pole and brought it to your house in a hypersonic sledge. And that mystical being is what believers call Santa. As for God, I’m afraid that’s just your eternal father in heaven dressed up in a beard trying to make Christmas feel “special”.

@tghelani What is hair for?
Hair is to stop the shampoo from flowing straight onto the floor of the shower.

Sthen0 I want to know who put the empty peanut butter jar back in the cupboard?
It’s possible you may have children. There’s no need to panic about this: if you leave out food and money a typical child infestation will clear up of its own accord after around 18 years, coming back after that only to raid the fridge and leave their laundry for the next three years. Then moving back in for a further four years. Then finally moving out and never bothering to write or phone.

anotherartstudentWhy is a raven like a writing desk?
The ways in which ravens are like writing desks are countless. For example both are solid objects, both have legs and both can fly upside-down except writing desks. But the question is not “In what way is a raven like a writing desk?” but “why?” And that “why?” is a howl of despair from the man who formulated it, Lewis Carroll.
It is not widely known that Carroll’s most famous works, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass were originally part of a trilogy written one hot summer in a poorly-lit house with huge windows near some rocky cliffs. Carroll, having just completed his third book, spent the evening reading extracts aloud to an appreciative local sherry bottle. Tired but elated he then retired to his study but tragically in the gloom rather than placing his manuscript in the drawer of his ink-stained, quill-covered writing desk he accidentally placed it in the beak of a large raven who happened to be there. The raven turned and flew off through the open window and the book was lost. Many years later Luke Oddbutter, a local birdwatcher, found an abandoned nest high on a crag lined with the now-illegible pages of Alice in Space.

@clangerfan1 Why do butter, cheese and steak all have their own knives?
It makes them feel safe on the streets, but the irony is that it only leads to more violence.

suk_pannu Why doesn't anyone make a 700mm x 800mm shower tray with a left handed waste? Is there a chirality about shower trays I'm not getting or is it, as we've long suspected, a global conspiracy?
I have for some time dreaded this coming up but I undertook to answer every question and I must honour that promise no matter what the consequences be, or indeed are. So… in 1973 a meeting was held in a secret underground bunker inside a larger secret underground bunker in Bunker Hill, Massachusetts. Present were the heads of the CIA, Mossad, the Stasi, the KGB, The Quakers, The Sweet and The Académie Française. The purpose of that meeting only became clear last year when in the archives of the Marylebone Cricket Club a young researcher came across a catalogue of non-standard bathroom fittings and on the cover a hastily-scrawled – Hang on! What are you doing in my house? Get out! Wait a minute! I know you! You’re….. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.


  1. I've been mulling over precisely these very questions all day and, hey presto, THERE was your blog post! You're a life saver.

  2. Thanks again. Your answer concerning butter knives really hit home. As a precaution, I have given away my melon baller and orange zester.

  3. Is the statement, "No, it's me, not you," always a lie?

  4. Who invented whistling? And how and when did it come to be the most annoying bloody thing in the universe?

  5. How many grains of sand makes a 'heap'? (Sorites paradox) :)

  6. Love the Badger facts.

  7. candyflossandvodka27 September 2012 at 21:17

    Who would win in a fight? An orange or a lemon?