So this week’s Sunday Times Column has a story behind it.
It’s based on a comment posted here on this blog a few weeks ago, by one RK, Mumbai.
I’m eternally grateful to him for the idea.
I also hope somewhere in here I’ve answered his question.
Happy reading, and happy monday.
A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick
DID WE FINALLY BREAK GOOGLE?
I feel like I’m always banging on over here about Google said this, or Wikipedia said that, or the computer feels this, or a website did that. But I do spend a fair share of my day sitting in front of a computer, so it can’t come as too much of a surprise that I resort to it an awful lot.
These days (and nights) it’s where I go to stay in touch, date, chat to my mates, chat to my perfect strangers who have become mates, and look at pictures of ridiculous cats (have you seen the one of the cat playing the harmonica? Seriously!)
But finally I think something incredible may have happened, I think we may have finally broken the internet. *Gaping fish mouth of shock.*
This all came about after the April Fool’s Dayc olumn, the one about foolish dictators. On that fateful day I received a letter from someone named ‘RK, Mumbai’.
I love getting letters from readers; it makes me feel as if I’m not all alone over here, rambling on to myself like a crazy person. But this specific letter ramped me up from pre-teen girl in front of a unicorn-excited, to pre-teen girl in front of Justin Bieber-excited, because, thanks to RK, Mumbai, I think we may have finally found something the computer-machine doesn’t know.
In the column I had mentioned how I thought some of these awful dictators should die a cruel death by ‘slow poisoning, a coup, or mass-mobbing with Chinese bangles’, and so following on from that, RK (we’re on first initial terms now) wrote in to ask:
‘… Quick Q: What exactly are Chinese Bangles?? Google failed to shed any light…’
So, I went online and did a search on both Google and Wikipedia, and s’true’s Bob (or rather, s’true’s RK, in this case), there wasn’t a single relevant listing. Not a description, not a photograph, nothing. Lots of bangles that are Chinese, but not a single Chinese bangle.
Ten points and a bottle of scotch to RK, Mumbai.
Who knew that if we actually Googled enough crazy stuff, (for example, on Friday, doing research for work, I found myself Googling ‘Did Napoleon like cheese?’ Turns out he wasn’t a fan). Who knew that if we finally fed enough ridiculous questions into our machines, that eventually we would come across the one question that Google would be unable to answer! The Google Nemesis, Google’s Achilles Heel, Google Kryptonite. And who knew it would be the simple Chinese bangle that tripped the net up, and not something about boobs?
A Chinese bangle, to the best of my knowledge, is something we used to give each other as kids. It’s when you take both your hands and wrap them tightly around someone’s wrist and then you twist one hand the one way and the other hand the other way. It’s hilarious. When you’re twelve. It’s rig
ht up there with tickle torture, burping in your brother’s face, giving wedgies, letting off stink bombs, playing tok tokkie, and putting itchy powder in your younger sister’s bed.
Why it’s necessarily a Chinese bangle, and not from any other country is beyond me (and of course the internet doesn’t say), but then I guess all the toys we played with when we were kids were made in China, so why should the bangle be any different?
At least that’s what a Chinese bangle means to me. Perhaps if it’s not on the computer then it never really happened, and it’s all simply in my imagination? Or maybe it never made it out of the cul de sac we grew up in, in the seventies. Do kids still do it today? I couldn’t tell you. Probably not if there isn’t an X-box or Nintendo version of it.
Hey, maybe we should create a page on Wikipedia for the Chinese bangle(trademark now pending), or create an International Chinese Bangle Remembrance Day at the very least, lest it be forgotten.
I actually hadn’t thought about them in decades, until at a party over the recent festive season, after many, many, many too many drinks, a friend used the term to describe a hand job an ex-girlfriend had once given him. Yeah, who needs an International Chinese Bangle Remembrance Day now? With that imagery in your head, it’s unlikely you’ll ever forget it.
Thanks for writing RK,Mumbai, I hope that answers your question, and congratulations on breaking the internet.