Yesterday I was set a virtually impossible Meme by the charming and erudite Chairman Bill, otherwise known as Badger, or Bodger, or something fairly similar by his intelligent, gorgeous and enchanting missus, Hay...
I actually started to follow The Chairman's blog a few years ago - Perhaps he will be able to say when exactly he began, for once again, long nets of white cloud my memory!
The Chairman started out as a bit of an 'urban myth'. He was trying at the time to sell a beautiful converted Dutch barge on - (He still is, that is, trying to sell the lovely boat, but no longer on ebay...) I must add, "Other online auction sites are available..."
He had taken out a sales advert and, as prospective punters asked him a variety of questions, he began to ramble, extremely intelligently, on life, science, the universe and all sorts of diverse and fascinating things... much in the manner of this tome, It was all 'enormousely' entertaining, fabulously witty, and became a thing of legend...
Over time, Chairman Bill decided to move into the Blogging World proper, and there he continues to rant to a select and even worldwide audience of lurkers, on life's injustices, the world of advertising, and his life-moments to treasure; His writing is tinged with his own, (peculiar, in the best possible meaning of the word!) sense of humour, there are occasional whiffs of e-liquid and artificial cigars, rumours of fantabulous house-building to come and current caravan-living.
The Chairman's blogs are ever tainted with his occasionally jaundiced but always wise experiences of life and you can sense traces of the salt of sea-breezes... for the Dutch were famously intrepid, ocean-going folk, as you know, and The Chairman is half Dutch after all!
Oftentimes I dare not even comment on Chairman Bill's blog, for he and many of his commenters are far cleverer peoples than me, and I am not up to the verbal sparring that takes place there...
Bill began by proffering his answers to 20 of Monday's questions, and he has flung down this, the ancient gauntlet of challenge as follows:
"Chairman Bill said...
Now I'll set you a task. Take the answers I gave and derive 20 totally different questions to which they are the answer... (Eeeeekkkk! For I did say he was as tricky and slippery as the proverbial eel, didn't I? but I cannot resist a challenge...and yet know some day I will live to regret this...!)
Extra points for wit and humour.
Chairman Bill's answers were as follows...
1. Osama Bin Laden
2. Pete Doherty
3. My ex
5. Beef (rare)
6. Either - they're both dead
7. Kate Beckinsale
8. Candy Dulfer
11. Indonesian restaurant
12. Decline to answer
14. Johnny Depp - he's alive
15. Before the last lottery draw and buy a ticket
16. I'm the boss
17. Chairman Bill - thoughts
So here goes... Deep breath!
1. Who is the butt of the world's jokes and hatred? Here are some photo clues...
Answer: Osama Bin Laden
2. Who is the most useless poet to have ever come out of Durham?
Answer: Pete Doherty
3. Tell us, who and what was the Ginger Pot-Holer?
Answer: My ex!
4. What cheese would you never eat, even if your life depended on it?
5. "Where's the... Insert four letter word for cow product...
6. This is a cop out of a question, but I've spent a humongous amount of time thinking of something better to say! So, please forgive me?
Who was the better racing driver, Paul Newman or Steve McQueen!
Either - they're both dead... Terrible, I know, and for the record, I loved Paul Newman, and his juices, and adore his wife's acting too!
7. Who is Samantha Beckinsale's less talented, albeit more successful in Hollywood, actress half-sister:
Answer: Kate Beckinsale
8. Who enjoyed elicit sax with the wonderful David A. Stewart ( - I love him, even 'though he's from Sunderland, and a Mackem! -)
9. What comes in 18 flavours, ranging from old favourites like regular tobacco to more exotic flavours such as Coconut and Liquorice, Apple, Jasmine and Chocolate?
Answer: e-liquid (which fuels the e-cigar - Go ask The Chairman, if you're curious, for he's the expert on such things, now that, according to Hay, he smells no longer like an old folks' home!)
Personally, I'd rather have chocolate, proper!
10. Which city did I flee to one cold Duesseldorfer weekend in 1999, only to fall in love with the city, and want to take my family there many times?
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin! I was working briefly in Germany in 1999, and loving the experience, but one weekend I was accosted by a well-dressed and well-spoken beggar at the U-Bahn station, demanding money with menaces - When I told him no thankyou, he shouted out very loud, and in the best possible, polite, German, "Get back to your own country!" Ahem!
Shortly thereafter, I was commuting to work and waiting at the tram stop as usual, on a cold day when it was teeming with rain. One prospective passenger bustled past with his girlfriend who had her umbrella open. She must have caught another man with the tip of her umbrella, for an altercation ensued. Some violence broke out between the two, and the offending boyfriend was shoved with extreme force, sending him shuttling into me, which in turn sent me hurtling into a crowd of other people waiting for the tram. I was hurt, and shocked and confused, and no-one apologized to me or even acknowledged what was going on... I went that very evening after work to Duesseldorf train station, and booked a ticket to Amsterdam for the sake of my sanity. With mulled wine, and a variety of cheeses, apple pie and Dutch pancakes and the relaxed wit and wisdom of the Dutch people, I nursed myself back to returning to and loving Germany once again, but Amsterdam had stolen another piece of my heart!
11. What kind of restaurant was this photo taken in?
12. What is the meaning of the Buddhist legend of the Three Wise Monkeys, who see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil?
Answer: Decline to answer...
13. What is the nationality of Grizzler, my son?
Answer: Scotch............; Seriously I know I am digging a hole for myself here:
I could be boiled like a haggis with a thistle through my heart on Burns' Night, for saying that - I know of course, that the answer is Scottish, and scotch is in fact The Chairman's favourite tipple, because he said so...
Never get the two things mixed up, for traditional kilt wearers in Scotland carry a scary black knife, the Sgien Dubh ([skiən dyː] "skee(a)n doo")
Bow to goddess Wiki once more, folks: "The name comes from the Gaelic sgian dubh meaning "black knife", where "black" may refer to the usual colour of the handle of the knife. It is also suggested that "black" means secret, or hidden, as in the word blackmail. This is based on the stories and theories surrounding the knife's origin and the meaning of "Dubh" in Gaelic, in particular those associated with the Highland custom of depositing weapons at the entrance to a house prior to entering as a guest. Despite this practice, a small twin edged-dagger, ('Mattucashlass'), concealed under the armpit, combined with a smaller knife, ('Sgian dubh'), concealed in the hose or boot, would offer an element of defence or of surprise if employed in attack. An alternative theory is that the name is derived from the use of bog oak as a handle for the knife, with bog oak traditionally being a black colour". Phew! And back to the tricky Chairman's Question Time!
14. Question - Guess who has just been found under Fhina's (A Woman Of No Importance's) bed?
Answer: Johnny Depp - and he's alive
15. Where would you go if you were given a trip in HG Wells' Time Machine?
Before the last lottery draw and buy a ticket
16. What is this famous musician's favourite saying?
Answer: I'm the boss
17. You might not know this, but a man who is worth over $50 billion was arrested, probably for traffic violations, in New Mexico in 1977. Who is he?
Answer: Chairman Bill - thoughts?
Bill Gates is currently Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, but is about to leave the corporate world to focus on his worldwide charitable foundations together with his wife...
You may also not know but in Japan, they have replaced the impersonal and unhelpful Microsoft error messages with Haiku poetry messages. Haiku poetry has strict construction rules - each poem has only 17 syllables; 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third.
They are used to communicate a timeless message, often achieving a wistful, yearning and powerful insight through extreme brevity, such as this,
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams...
ACHTUNG! COMPETITION: Speaking of Haiku, you might want to take part in a clever Haiku Kung Fu competition over on the Etsy eightyeight words site :
Up for grabs is a beautiful hand-made silver necklace adorned with the wonderful word, "Smitten." Fabulous!
18. What does Elephant and Castle mean in Cockney rhyming slang?
19. What is nature's reminder that you are, in fact, a little girl inside?
20. What does this man, and indeed, Chairman Bill, need most in his life to help him kick the evil weed?
After this challenging Meme, you may be interested to know that: