## In Which It Turns Out I’m Just A Fool Who Got Fooled, Foolishly

So the other day I mentioned the English sport of competitively dancing while the opposing team throws a beer-soaked rag at you and I supported that by linking to Wikipedia’s entry about the English sport of competitively dancing while the opposing team throws a beer-soaked rag at you. There I figured the matter rested, since England has all sorts of things to do and they will include things like hitting each other on purpose. Also I swear I saw this show where there was a football match that had gone on at a public school for over a century now without either team scoring or being expected to score, but I can’t find the reference now and for all I know somebody’s gone and scored.

Anyway, my love came across this and figured that can’t possibly be. And then went and actually read the article and came to the conclusion that it didn’t make any sense, and the more you looked at it the less sense it made. And read the citations, all of which made very little sense and the less the more you looked at them. And the comments, which in the least sensible thing of all, don’t make the reader despair of the concept of humanity.

So there we have it. The whole thing looks to be a hoax, more or less. At least, it started out as a prank perpetrated for the comedy show It’s A Square World and it’s sort of stumbled on from there. I should have known, since the whole of England is pretty much a prank that got going so successfully that sometime around when they pulled the “Parliament of Bats” and nobody called them on it they realized they were stuck holding an actual country. I suppose dancing while the opposing team throws a beer-soaked rag at you isn’t likely to have such far-reaching global implications. Still, I feel a fool for not going and actually checking and I can only thank my love for showing where I was fooled. It was called the Parliament of Bats because attendees weren’t allowed to take their swords in with them, not because they were small flying mammals, which is all the more shame.

## Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

New pen day! It’s new pen day! Everybody has new pens and they’re feeling so good that even thought we called off work early the index was up something or other, who cares, it’s new pen day and everything can be all right with the world!

# 105

## Don’t Know How I’m Supposed To Live Like This

But the Star Trek web forum I keep prowling around has been down for “some backups” for the past fifteen hours. I’m sane, still, but it’s tough going. How am I supposed to carry on without cracking jokes about how even the guy who played the helmsman on Star Trek: Enterprise doesn’t remember the helmsman on Star Trek: Enterprise? Or telling fans of Deep Space Nine that nobody cares how its first two seasons were better than Next Generation‘s, they were still boring? It’s important to my identity that I pass my spare time being all cranky about a bunch of TV shows I insist I like. But I’ve got some very important thoughts about whether the Genesis Torpedo could even in principle reshape a star and they have to be shared with people who are wrong.

## Musical Confession (A Note)

After a conscience-wracked night I’ve decided to come clean. I told a joke about the deli guy whistling the opening of The Towering Inferno yesterday, and that’s not actually so. I disguised the name of the movie so as to protect his privacy, but now I think I was doing a disservice to the historical record, which hasn’t been released in MP3 form yet. It was actually the first fourteen notes to The Poseidon Adventure.

I am, of course, fibbing about this too.

## Corrections

In this column recently we erroneously quoted Michigan state Senator Carl Levin as saying, “a mapping $\phi: M \rightarrow M$ for a manifold M is structurally stable if any $C^r$ perturbation is topologically conjugate to $\phi$, where $C^r$ is a function $\psi$ such that $\psi$ is close to $\phi$ and that the first r derivatives of $\psi$ are also close to the respective derivatives of $\phi$”. State Senators are notoriously shy, reclusive, almost mythological creatures and it was not our intention to embarrass one by printing his name where anyone might see it. We apologize for the error.