A Meme Trick.

My beer-writing compatriot Stan Hieronymus, not satisfied with having complicated my life by urging me into the tangled web to deceive which is WordPress, tagged me last week with the 4×4 meme thing, of which I’d never heard and, all things being equal, of which I would have remained perfectly content in my ignorance.

What is it? Stan explains it as well as anybody has at his Slow Travelers website (part of a set, collect them all–the man has entirely too much free time).

He noted in his email “tag” that the internet is closing in on me, something I’ve become fully aware of with the steady stream of invites from folks on Facebook and similar social sites that I’ve been receiving of late, some of them I actually known and many of that latter group persons I would never have thought of as willing participants in such endeavors. It’s a strange new world out there.

What the hell, if I am doomed to become one with the universe, I’ll lie back and enjoy it.

The basic idea, for those too lazy to go read Stan’s explanation, is to pick four categories/questions and four answers to each, telling people things they might know about you. Why this is a a good thing I don’t know, and the risks get higher, because you needs must subsequently tag four other unsuspecting bloggers who will, if all goes according to plan, do the same ad infinitum.

It’s like a chain letter, only worse. Comes late September, I think (doing the calculations in my head), everybody in the world will therefore have participated and, as in the Arthur C. Clarke story, “The Nine Billion Names of God,” the stars will start going out one by one and the universe will end.

Armageddon to some, a life’s work successfully completed to George W. Bush.

The thing is, if you break a chain letter something awful might happen and I am, truth to tell, pretty much awful-ed up at present, so…

Let us go then, you and I, into the heart of darkness and stories yet untold:

Four good times spent with famous people (mostly drinking)

Martinis in the dark and dirty rear room of a long-gone suburban Philadelphia bar with novelist Robert Ludlum on a Friday night as he tried to convince me his books were really true.

Margaritas with former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver turned novelist Peter Gent in a sedate center city Philadelphia restaurant on a Wednesday afternoon, drunkenly tossing spitballs at Main Line ladies enjoying their afternoon tea.

Passing a bottle of Jack Daniels back and forth with jazz giant Dave Brubeck on an early spring night while we dangled our feet in the swimming pool at Disney World in California and talked politics until dawn.

Dinner with Harlan Ellison and his extended family in a New York hotel on a Sunday night after spending three days following him around for a magazine profile.

Four unforgettable propositions I’ve received

Wistful: “We could have such a great time if you weren’t so hung up.” — one-handed fellow grad student, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Blatant: “My family owns that motel up on Rt. 30. We should meet there some afternoon.” — woman I just met, cocktail party, Exton, PA

Professional: “Sex! Sex! Two minutes!” — Street walker, 2am, Prague, Czech Republic

Not Gonna Happen: “Would you like to come up to my room for a drink?” — Sad-eyed homosexual man, St. Patrick’s Day, New York City

Four interesting places I have stayed

One week, Lismore Castle, Ireland

One night, Paris hotel which catered exclusively to black American expatriates

Six days, gated resort hotel, Princeville, Haiti

One week, Joyce Chen’s house overlooking Kalihiwai Bay, Kauai

Four “What Ifs?” (a girl, two jobs and an unfinished novel)

Else, Amsterdam

Sports Editor, Daily Local News, West Chester, PA.

Feature Writer, Tourism Bureau, Bermuda

“Truth Is the Perfect Disguise”

Just to maintain my record of obstreperousness (of the genteel sort), I shall, for the moment at least, hold off on the “tagging” thing.

Be afraid, my blogging friends out there, be very afraid.

UPDATE: Mr. Robert Davis has wandered into my clever little trap. He is officially tagged.


9 thoughts on “A Meme Trick.

  1. What an interesting exercise. I may try this…

    I don’t know, however, if this gave any of us any more insight into your character. These all seemed pretty normal…. for you. 🙂

  2. “One night, Paris hotel which catered exclusively to black American expatriates” – unless my memory of your face is horribly wrong, I don’t believe “exclusively” is quite right here. 😉

    Was the Ellison weekend at that NY Con that we had the CIS Forum dinner?

    So, did Ludlum manage to convince you?

    I’m SO glad I don’t have a blog….

  3. In order:

    It was “exclusive,” I just didn’t know it until I checked in.

    No, that was not the Con. It was before that. Ask APL.

    Not quite, but one more martini…

  4. Anything *like* a chain letter is evil, even if the purpose is benign or for fun. On the other hand, challenging people to tag themselves (a more accurate description of the 4×4 meme thing) only on publicly visible blogs and web sites instead of strictly through email would avoid the chain letter onus. That you seem to be taking the latter tack is admirable.

    By the way, Disney World is in Florida, not California. DisneyLAND (Walt’s original theme park) is in California.

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