For the last — and first — contest I held, I gave a full week till the deadline. I didn’t know who was out there reading my stuff, or if anyone new might stumble along and decide to get in on the fun. The contest closed with seven contestants, four of whom I know in real life (no, not my mom, but she helped judge the entries), and all of whom posted their suggestions in the first 48 hours.
I have since learned that most blog entries receive comments within a maximum of three days’ posting. This time, then, I shortened the lead time to 7 00 Saturday morning EST/ 11 00 GMT / 21 00 Saturday evening in Melburne.
It has been 24 hours now, and so far there is only an ominous silence (tempered by munchings of oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies). In a panic, I consulted with a real-life reader over the phone.
“This contest is a lot harder than the last one,” she said, between bites.
“It is a bit,” I conceded. “But basically, it’s: you think of somebody famous and give them a blog title. You only give them a username if you want me to write a limerick.”
“All I’ve come up with so far is the Marquis de Sade,” she crunched.
“The Marquis de Sade? The Marquis de Sade? Explorers, inventors, cartoon characters, and you came up with the Marquis de Sade? That’s — like — oh, whatever. If you’ve got something, post it.”
“Except,” she said, licking the chocolate off her fingers, “I haven’t thought of a blog title for him yet.”
“Oh.” Straightening up again from the wall just before my forehead made impact, I tried: “How about, Mad, Bad, and Sade?”
“I suppose,” she said, flicking cookie crumbs off her knees. “But who else is there? I mean, there’s Homer…”
“Ah, but which one?” I challenged. “That’s why you need a few words for the disambiguous…ness… disambigi…fication… to know which one you mean.”
“Well, you’d know which one was meant if his username was ‘Doh’!” She snapped her dinner napkin before folding it. “But what could his blog title be?”
“You could call it The Idiossey.”
“You see? You’re brilliant!” she gushed, her mouth no longer full of home-baked goodness.
“But I’m poor.”
“We can’t have everything,” she lectured. “Gotta go, there’s a meeting at one. Why don’t you post the ones you’ve just come up with, as examples?”
So I am.
“The Marquis de Sade, 18th-Century mentally unstable writer. Blog: Mad, Bad, and Sade.”
“Homer, of the TV cartoon show The Simpsons. Blog: The Idiossey. Username: Doh. My limerick word: Kwik-E-Mart.”