Sunday, January 1

Fun and Games

The first post of the new year (not counting an update to an old post entitled "Homicide, Suicide" below).

I don’t recall how it started, but one of my friends in London and I started a “subliterary game” (to borrow a phrase) in which we try to come up with the most incongruous fictional book, in which the first half of the title is the title of a real book and the second, alternate title (à la Twelfth Night, or What You Will) is Alan Jackson’s country hit “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” Inside jokes are often inane, and this is no exception, but it keeps me entertained. My favorites so far:

Being and Nothingness, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

The Education of Henry Adams, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Principia Mathematica, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Leviticus, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and
Beautiful, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

The Gulag Archipelago, or It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

I have long enjoyed inside jokes like this, so I was delighted to learn of the game played by Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie, in which they rewrite the titles of Shakespeare’s plays as Robert Ludlum novels (The Bourne Identity, The Aquitaine Progression, The Janson Directive, etc.). Their best effort was probably The Elsinore Vacillation. Brilliant.

In a much less erudite vein, another friend and I had a running gag involving the spamification of meats other than ham, the goal being to come up with the least appealing name or concept: Spoysters, Sputton, Spangaroo, Spawn (Swan), Sponk Fish (rhymes with Monk Fish), Spod, Suckling Spig. Splobster is still my favorite.

Either you find this nonsense as amusing as I do, or not, in which case please just move on.

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