Tell us about yourself
That is one of the questions I most hate to be asked. What on earth is there to tell? One direction is the Muhamad Ali route – “I am the greatest!” Some people take that route and walk you down the highway of their lives, everything from winning the egg and spoon race (age seven), to coming second in the three-legged race (age 9), to finishing third in the slow bicycle race (age 11). And that’s just the start. A similar route is the 007 route – license to kill – shoot from the lip – a blast from the past – history, herstory, my-story – by me!
No way. My history is a mystery and long may it remain so. There are many magic moments (thank you Perry Como – my mother’s favorite singer) and many tragic moments. Some might be worth mentioning, most I’d rather keep quiet about. I think sometimes of the famous examination question – write down everything you know – except I can’t remember who was examining who, nor why they were being examined. Sounds a bit like the Civil Service to me, before they ask you to swear the Official Secrets Act.
On the other hand, if a person asks me a direct question, I will try to answer it to the best of my limited ability. Who is Lisi? I don’t know. Her identity has baffled the literary critics for close to 400 years and I certainly haven’t been able to solve it. Why did Cervantes write the Quixote? Try asking him yourself – but I guess if he’s been silent since 1616, he will remain silent for a lot longer. Not everyone is – or wants to be – the Memory Man – “We know Easter is a Moveable Feast, when did Easter Sunday last fall on Boxing Day?”
Trick question – Easter Sunday is a race horse, not a holy holiday. Boxing Day, in Britain, used to be the day for point to points and obstacle races for horses. But the Memory Man knew that. He also knew the name of every jockey, every horse, their weights, their odds, the order in which they finished, and the name of the fence which caused Easter Sunday to fall on Boxing Day.
So, tell us about yourself. No. I won’t. I am not the memory man and I will reveal as little as I can. Remember the old song – “Yesterday is history, today is still a mystery, but what a day it’s going to be tomorrow.” Right – now I am ready to tell you about myself. I am not yesterday’s man, I am today’s man, and today is still a mystery. Sorry, I can’t do better than that!