Wednesday, July 09, 2003

It is a well-known fact that during cocktail parties one will be met with a question probing one's knowledge of literature. For example, that charming brunette you've been flirting with for the last half an hour changes subjects suddenly after yet another amusing tale about corporate bonds, and asks you: "Speaking of low-yield insurance bonds, does that not remind you of the scene in Gulliver's Travels when the Liliputians feel threatened by Gulliver and therefore try to destroy him, which is clearly symbolising the struggle of special interest groups to control society at large?". Now of course, being at this cocktail party, nay!, even having come up to this lady and had a conversation with her clearly implies that you've read Gulliver's Travels. But you knew that, right? Didn't you? Are you a rugby player or a Hollywood superstar? If not, I recommend you find out everything important about every conceivable classic book that could be brought up in conversation, but without actually reading them [that would take too long and would be a waste of your time, unlike reading the blog of a nobody who doesn't have a clue how to chat up ladies]. To start you off: Harry Potter for Beginners [Source: BBC]. Now no-one has in actual fact read more than one of the Harry Potter books (if they say they have, they're lying, and you should perhaps consider doubting their very existence), and most people you'll meet in day-to-day life (and more importantly, at cocktail parties) have not read any of them. But that won't stop them mentioning it to you in casual conversation [especially now that, thank goodness, Big Brother is seen as what it really is: boring, boring, boring (like the Labour Party election campaigns)], so click on the above hyperlink to begin your exploration of what shall henceforth be called Conversation Books, to be strictly defined as "those books that no-one has read but everyone pretends to have read so as to seem clever and therefore sexually attractive". [Contrast this with Mark Twain's definition of classic books: "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." I'm not a plagiarist, see?]


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