Often, when meeting new people, the conversation proceeds from smiling at a witty comment, to asking personal or leading questions over the course of the encounter. It is rather like dating, except that no commitments are made and no stupidity ensues.
Sometimes this leads to great friendships, often merely good-natured acquaintance.
Writing a blog is rather like that; people notice you, and start asking questions. There is often a genuine wish to know more, and usually no agenda at all is inherent in that questioning.
Sometimes there IS an agenda. Often that only becomes apparent over the course of several days or months.
I standardly assume that most people are just curious.
As the queries below will demonstrate.
All of these are real.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How old are you?
Not saying, as I feel a lot younger. But old enough to be an uncle.
What is your favorite pipe tobacco?
Too many to list, though among English-style blends Greg Pease's Westminster gets very high marks; in the Virginias I like Samuel Gawith products (Golden Glow, Best Brown Flake, Medium Virginia Flake, and St. James Flake).
At present I am going through my fourth tin of Dunhill's Ready Rubbed in as many months, and also smoking some of my own concoctions.
What kind of food do you like best?
Noodle soup, curry, Hong Kong Chachanteng, dim sum, Chinese Bakery, and burritos. Plus junk. I love junkfood.
Are you seeing anyone, stalking anybody, or even looking for another girlfriend?
No to the first two, although there is a young lady in my neighborhood who is very attractive. And as for looking for another companion of the heart, intellectually I suppose I am, but I am not pursuing the matter with any great dedication.
I still believe in magic.
Are you vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, sugar-free, or kosher?
What I ate for dinner last night included wheat noodles, soy sauce, shellfish, and bacon. Followed by ice-cream. All while mentally beating the snot out of vegetarians, vegans, and health freaks.
But I do like to think of myself as totally kosher.
In the sense of trustworthy and reliable.
Morally and ethically kosher.
Where is the best place in Chinatown for milk-tea?
Consider these two: New Hollywood (荷里活茶餐廳) on Pacific, and Washington Bakery & Restaurant (華盛頓茶餐廳) on Washington.
But there are also others.
Best cheap pork siu mai?
New Fortune Dim Sum (富祥點心) on Stockton at Sacramento.
Best jook and yautiu?
I really enjoy what they sell at Yummy Dim Sum and Fast Food (金華點心快餐) on Stockton between Clay and Washington. But for sit-down table service and damned fine jook and yautiu prepared to order, go to the Utopia Cafe (蔘滿意粥) on Waverly.
Best cheap hargow?
Dim Sum Garden Restaurant (園林點心) on Jackson Street.
Do you date white women?
At present, I don't date at all. Haven't gone on a date in a very long while. Not going to waste my time on some dumbass just for nooky.
I haven't met many bright lovable women, very few who are unattached,
and none who have been insane enough to wish to date me.
The hunt for a green and scaly mutant continues.
What are your political points of view?
Screamingly liberal, and bloody-minded. My joints are still very flexible. Plus I justifiably regard the majority of republicans in office as morally bankrupt scum and Christians.
How do you feel about vaccination and genetically modified organisms?
Anti-vaxxers should be locked-up for child-endangerment. Such fools must have no place in our society. As for the anti-gmo crowd, they are largely idiots, except for the poltroons.
What is it with you and tobacco?
It is a close emotional bond. I frequently cry myself to sleep hugging a tobacco plant.
Are you a machine?
Okay, yes. Yes I am. And I'm here to deliver all of you as sex-slaves to the Lizard People.
Also, I'm made of Spam™.
Is running a blog such as this difficult?
How do I start blogging?
Are you dominant or submissive?
Do you like flat-chested women or big breasts?
I do not find enormity aesthetically appealling.
Do you have a large penis?
Some people ask far too many questions.
Still, mooooooh, ay? Mwoohohohohoo, ay? Hohohohohoho, ay?
Look... are you insinuating something?
These questions were culled over a two-year period. I always meant to answer them -- and as you may have noticed, others were dealt with at some length in previous posts -- but felt that as the subject of an essay there was not enough there for some, and loads too much for others.
I am, I believe, a very typical single man: pipe-smoking, bearded, meat-eating, and tea-swilling to a fare-thee-well. No, my taste in music does not define me. Nor are there any sports I spend time obsessing over.
I have no interest in reality shows.
If you were to ask me my favourite type of poetry, in all honesty it would be sonnets, but what I would probably say is bawdy limericks. Then spend hours trying to convince you that limericks are the highest form of literature, capable of great depth and meaning, and deeply resonant, entirely like no other verse.
I am not the man to invite along white water rafting, I shall never climb Annapurna, nor rough it in the rainforests of the Mato Grosso. I have already done a fair amount of traveling in odd places, future trips will be limited to those parts of the world where they have hotels, decent coffee or tea, tobacco, and a large number of bookstores or bucket shops.
I am not planning any voyages anytime soon.
But Oxford and Cambridge beckon.
So does Amsterdam.
The questions I might ask of you are: Are you seeing a doctor? Does it itch? Have you ever thought what it would feel like if it were fondled? Want to go set fire to something? Do you speak English? Do you want me to smear you all over with peach ice-cream during the hot weather?
Are you happy to see me or is that your frowny-face?
Are you an irresponsible adult?
Wanna go eat some grubs?
I have social polish, but I forgot where I put the tube.
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