Daily Archives: July 9, 2012

Tag! I’m it.

A week ago, rthepotter at Minutiae picked me as one of the players in a tagging game – like most, the rules are to answer some questions and send the game on to others.

I’m (finally) answering the questions, but at the moment I’m not feeling aggressive enough to tag anyone else. If anyone wants to pick up this particular ball, feel free to answer rthepotter’s three questions (below) and pass the game along to bloggers of your choice.

1. Who is the most annoying character in literature?
I put more thought into this than it probably deserved. So many books have annoying characters. Who to pick?

Maybe Lovelace from Clarissa? But he’s not exactly annoying; actually, his letters are entertaining. It takes a while to realize that he’s a totally selfish charmer whose only pleasure is spinning elaborate plots to destroy other people.

Mr. Sleary – excuse me, Thleary – from Dickens’ Hard Times? Reading his lisping dialog sets my teeth on edge – but should we blame the poor man because his author gave him a speech impediment?

No, neither of them. How about a much more obscure figure – Dittany Henbit from the tooth-achingly sweet Grub-and-Stakers series of cozy mysteries by Alisa Craig / Charlotte MacLeod? For some reason, I found these books bearable several decades ago. Now? The only good thing I can say about Dittany and her friends is that they showed me what “twee” means.

2. What is the most pointless or weirdest object you can’t bear to throw away, even though you know it is silly to keep it?
Somewhere around 1990, we held a Christmas party in the department where I worked at the time, and a friend made fancy headbands for all the women. I still have mine. (That’s a paper fan and some lace pinned to the right side of the headband. And artificial poinsettias on top and down to the left, and long arching sprays of trembling silver stars.)

3. Can you tell us about an unusual weather event you have experienced?
I was working late one afternoon, alone in the office, when I looked out the window and saw that the sky had turned green. Not a pretty emerald green; this was an ugly medium olive. The clouds developed a scattering of udder-like bulges. I never saw anything quite like it before or since, but it was no surprise – actually, it was a relief – when after a breathless five minutes or so, a strong wind bent the trees sideways and heavy rain swept past. The green clouds looked unnatural and unearthly while they lasted.