Thursday 5th January 2012
I was sad to notice that one of my favourite ever bits of vandalism of my wikipedia page has been removed by one of the eagle-eyed and obsessive and sometimes humourless guardians who patrol its cyber corridors. Every now and again someone will put something that's offensive or joins in with a running joke or often both, but things like that don't last long. After Edinburgh I tried to edit the page so that it said that during the Fringe newspapers had started referring to me as "The King of Edinburgh". I linked to some articles which did just that, without, of course pointing out that it was something I had encouraged via my blog and podcast. It was the perfect lie, with apparent citations on the web pages of reputable publications. I thought that that might close the circle for other lazy journalists and then the epithet might actually get printed in articles without the knowing participation of the writer. But someone almost immediately turned up to quash my plan, linking wikipedia to my blog and then saying that I had started the rumour myself. I thought this was a bit prefecty of whoever was doing it. It was just a bit of fun and not wholly a lie and didn't need the caveat. I tried to change the page back to what I wanted it to say a couple of times, but each time I did the mysterious pursuer of absolute truth would return to add the missing pertinent detail. Eventually I gave in and deleted the whole passage. But the superhero of information was not going to have that. He or she put back his version of the whole thing. Not content with having a victory in the battle, he or she (let's face it, it was a man/boy) had to have it all his own way. A silly jokey idea was now a seemingly undeletable detail of my life. It's not often I come up against someone more persistent and annoying and pedantic than myself. But I had done so and thought they were a cock. Now I know how you all feel. Sorry.
Anyway, that all happened ages ago. More recently some unknown and subversive hand had added a tantalising detail to the entry which said, "Richard has one of the largest collection of Thundercats toys in Europe sourcing rare and misprinted pieces from all over the world." Now, isn't that just a perfect lie? Just believable enough to be true, seemingly too odd to have made up. And really funny. I saw it, laughed and then sat back, expecting some faceless knob-hole to delete it or ask for a citation. But hours passed and then days, then weeks. It looked like this ludicrous titbit had snuck through. I realised that if some journo was using the website to prep their interview they might well come across this "fact" and ask me a question about it. And I determined that I would hold up the lie and try and describe some of the pieces. If that was then printed in a paper or on the internet, it would become the citation required for the webpage. It would become "truth". It would be a victory over the jobsworth idiot who had wrecked my King of Edinburgh triumph. For once he was not eagle-eyed enough to spot it.
Before Christmas I did a long interview with an Irish journalist. She was clearly a fan of my work and very knowledgeable and asking original and interesting questions. I liked her. She then asked about my Thundercats collection. This was the moment I had been waiting for. But I couldn't do that to her. She was too nice and she had only read wikipedia as part of her thorough research. I think she would also have quickly seen through my ruse, largely because of my almost total lack of knowledge about the Thundercats. A stupider and lazy journalist would not and would suck up my lies like it was ear cocaine. I would bide my time.
But too late. Someone (my old nemesis? It doesn't really make any difference - all the people who do this kind of joke lie cleansing are all the same) has spotted it. It has gone. Don't bother trying to put it up again, it will only get taken down. And I am pretty sure that the person sitting there waiting to take it down is getting off sexually on this kind of tussle and probably masturbating (citation needed).
2012 is a lesser place for the loss of such whimsy. Yes, the truth is important, but at the expense of joy?
With great power comes great responsibility.
This statement is also true when about minimal power from someone who is largely impotent.
I suppose my only course of action is to actually start a collection of rare Thundercat merchandise. It's the only way we can win. I am going to have the greatest collection of Thundercat toys in Europe, with many rare and misprinted items. If anyone has got anything they don't want to kick me off, then do let me know.
They don't call me the King of Edinburgh for nothing.
And the good news is that the Kindle version of Bye Bye Balham is now available to buy from Amazon. It's only £2.99 and you can get it here. You can download a kindle app and for most smart phones and computers and read it in that if you so wish. The book is just £2.99, so the price of a coffee and a morning newspaper, unless you read the Metro whilst drinking Nescafe whilst sitting on the sofa in your pants, weeping. If it does OK I will look into continuing the experiment and maybe put some new non-blog stuff up there too. Please show your support if that sounds like a fun idea. Nice to have this outlet I think.
All the dates for the Talking Cock tour can be found here
Buy the Talking Cock book here
Tickets are now on sale for both my Edinburgh Fringe shows. "We're All Going To Die!" is on at the Pleasance Beyond at 8pm Book here
Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is at Stand 1 daily at 14.10. Book here
You can get video downloads of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from Go Faster Stripe
A video explaining the idea can be seen here
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Also on your kindle (or any smart phone or tablet with the kindle app) catch up on the early years of Warming Up (with extra retrospective additions) with Bye Bye Balham and The Box Lady and Other Pesticles (only ï¿½3.53 each)
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