The Speedysnail 7th Birthday Extravaganza

That’s right, it’s seven years to the day since Speedysnail was launched. Seven years of bashing out words and pictures for the entertainment of myself and others, whoever you are. And what an enormous pile of words and pictures it is.

I remember when turned seven thinking how impossibly long-lived that seemed in internet years, even in actual human years—and yet here we are.

[Pauses to ponder significance of this milestone.]

[Realises there isn’t much. Goes back to typing.]

So! Seven is a good age to have a birthday party—a birthday extravaganza, even—and what’s more extravagant than giving away stuff? Yes, after seven years I’m itching to share the bad luck wealth, so for an extremely limited time am giving away not one but two fabulous items. Both of these come from the luxurious Roppongi Prince Hotel in Tokyo, which gave us a bunch of 1000 yen vouchers for having our linen changed every second day instead of every day, then told us we could only spend them in their hotel shop, then when I tried to spend them all on a fancy bowl admitted that the good stuff in the glass cabinet had to be ordered in specially... so I grabbed whatever else was going, just on principle. Now I’m passing these beautiful objects on to YOU! so that they don’t clutter up the shelves in our study.

Object the first: six paper-wrapped pencils with bonus eraser in an attractive decorated cardboard case. Be the first kid on your block to sharpen them!

Japanese Pencils

Suitable for writing, drawing, or holding up in front of computer monitors in obviously posed photos.

Object the second: a genuine 100% cotton rising-sun headband or hachimaki, worn “for a mental stimulation purpose to express one’s determination” when demonstrating, studying, or carrying portable shrines.


The symbols represent “fighting spirit”, which is what you’ll need to win it! Here’s all you have to do: leave a comment on this entry. The most entertaining comment will have first choice of the items, and the runner-up will get what’s left. Comment on anything: the weather, what you had for lunch yesterday, the movie you saw last week, your favourite Speedysnail entry of the past seven years, in prose, iambic pentameter, hyperlinked treasure-hunt form, soft-sculpture letters seven feet high, or some other medium that stretches the bounds of the humble comments box. The most amusing, thought-provoking, or other-superlative-ing comment wins!

The Small Print: Competition closes in seven days, i.e. at 7 p.m. GMT on Sunday 6 August 2006. Judging will be entirely subjective and may or may not be influenced by nepotistic considerations and the author’s strange sense of humour, but what have you got to lose (apart from this competition). Anyone can enter, even members of the author’s household, although that kind of defeats the purpose of clearing this stuff off our shelves. Enter as many times as you like, because I’m insanely jealous of weblogs that get a hundred comments on every entry. Extra marks for outrageous sycophancy, but points off if it doesn’t sound sincere. Unremitting bile will also be eligible, as long as it includes clichés or logical errors that allow me to feel superior to you. Please leave a working email address so that I can find out where to post the stuff if you win. All decisions will be final, because it’s not like I’m made of paper-covered pencils and 100% cotton headbands.

30 July 2006 · Site News

Why are you doing weblog stuff when you could be cooking dinner? Hint, hint. I'm hungry!

Added by Miss Hungry on 30 July 2006.

Due to the fact that I can no longer remember how to write (let alone sharpen) using any implement other than a keyboard (it's advisable to also have it plugged into a computer, though I've found I can successfully change the shape of the keyboard so it's more 'ergonomic' if I KEEP swiping it across a piece of paper with sufficient force), I'd like to count myself OUT of the running for the pencils.

However, that headband. *swoon* Good eyes, dude. How did you know that there'd be a girl living in the 80's fashion time lapse that is polyesterised Prague DESPERATE to fit in. Trying with all her might to regain her 15yr old punky brewster style mullet (without daring to go too near a kadernictvi, in case the bad colouring jobs follow her down the road) by watching and rewatching Karate Kid films on continuous loop?

Are you a mind reader? I want it.

Added by Naomi on 31 July 2006.

So far you’re in with a good chance, Naomi. (Miss Hungry got a consolation prize of Dinner instead.) I’m guessing that all the other eager commenters are waiting until the last moment to swoop in with their entries eBay-style, so they can catch the opposition unawares. Either that, or everyone’s on holiday. Or you’re the only one who wants a headband and/or pretty pencils. Or I’ve vastly overestimated the number of people who read this.

Added by Rory on 31 July 2006.

I can't speak to the estimation of your reader-base, Rory. But don't reach for the gong just yet. Last I looked, you've given us at least six more (wait -- maybe at this point it's five-plus more?...I hate this kind of calendrical math. Bah!) days in which to vie for those beautiful, beautiful pencils. Look at them all stretched out in their case -- like six kimona-wrapped supermodels taking a disco nap together, before hitting the club scene!

And that headband...I don't deserve that headband. Nor does Naomi. Nobody deserves that headband. Except maybe Ralph Macchio. (And as he lives closer to me than to you, if you send it here I will see that he gets it.)

OK, gotta think. Entertaining. What does Rory find entertaining....hmmm. He likes jokes about the Periodic Table (/2005/08/fickle_2_fingerz.html#more), but I'm not sure I know any of those. At least, none suitable for polite company. Though there's one about the farmer's daughter, the young lab researcher, and the vial of ununquadium that I'll forward by email to anyone who's interested.

But wait! The Speedysnail also loves limericks, right?


So, no problem! Some limericks about the Periodic Table are sure to impress! Let's see: "There once was an alloy of Molybdenum/That something some-something..." Hmm . A bit harder than I thought. I know; I just need to Google a bit to get a couple of samples. Get the juices flowing.

Oh, hell.

All right. Never mind about the limerick.

All right, I'm stumped. Anyway, happy seventh, Rory. Without Walking West, I might have never been entirely convinced that, you know, someone else might once have read my weblog. Without Doktor Komputor, vot vould I know about ze Vorld Vide Veb? And most importantly, I would be absolutely blindsided in the area of soft-drink selection in Japan. For that alone, you deserve the gratitude of millions.

As you can see, I'm out of ideas for entertainment, and I'm down to the mere syncophancy. Here's hoping.

Added by BT on 1 August 2006.

And not JUST the syncophancy, but the sycophancy as well. Dammit.

Added by BT on 1 August 2006.

oh rory, you can't go giving away that headband. it looks so at home on your head! i cannae think of anything witty right now, so happy 7th b'day to the snail :)

(hope miss hungry enjoyed her dinner!)

Added by shauna on 1 August 2006.

Aha, but if you look again you’ll see that the headband in the photo is different, with characters that say “Number One”. I’m keeping that one!

That’s some fine syncophancy, Bill.

Added by Rory on 1 August 2006.

Oi, Bill. You might be closer than Rory to the Macchiato "Crane stance" Kid (I can't remember how to spell it exactly - that'll have to do) but how many portable shrines do you think he carries these days?

I can assure you, I carry many more. Very "cawwy up[stairs], cawwy down[stairs]." indeed.

P.S. No guessing what the shrines are dedicated to. Though if you imagine they include floral wreaths decorating glamourshots of my good self...I shan't be correcting you too much!

P.P.S. Rory: pencils to the sycophant (for want of a periodic table, and an extra "N"itrogen) and headband to moi, SURELY!

Added by Naomi on 7 August 2006.

Drum roll, please...


Added by Rory on 8 August 2006.

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