Saturday, 12 July 2008

Pop quiz, hotshots!

I've always been awful at introductions. I never have a clue about what information is invaluable to forming a first impression. Name, obviously, helps. But then what? People tend to introduce friends with names and jobs, but that's a bit pointless when you're a student. Your course is an obvious choice, but then if you're me you barely turn up to lectures anyway - it hardly defines you. Unless you add a description of how you approach your course. That's why I always introduce myself with a firm handshake and "Hi, I'm Stephen. Maverick Theologian."

Proust had it right. Which is not a sentence you'll often hear thrown casually around in these parts. But when it came to self-definition, the man knew what he was doing. Throughout his life he filled out on several occasions a questionnaire (not of his own creation, mind) that sought to define him a little better. It ignores the sort of questions that its MySpace equivalents ask. No 'what's the nearest purple object to you?' here. So, in the name of cultured introductions - My Proust Questionnaire:

The principal aspect of my personality: Laziness. I push the boundaries of it, I really do. I rarely sleep less than ten hours, and if I need to be woken up early an alarm is useless. I sleep through fire alarms.

The quality that I desire in a man: The wonderful ability to be less attractive to women than myself.

The quality that I desire in a woman: Patience and tolerance. With me.

What I appreciate most about my friends: Their money.

My main fault: I use too much toilet paper.

My favourite occupation: Procrastination. My favourite art form, too.

My dream of happiness: It involves bubble bath. And Natalie Portman.

What would be my greatest misfortune?: Death would be pretty shit, I imagine.

What I should like to be: A dolphin. Or a toddler.

The country where I should like to live: I've always wanted to live in France. But not Paris, cos in the world where everyone lives where they dream to, 98% of the world live there. It's a pretty cramped dream city.

My favourite colour: Ginger hair.

The flower that I like: Is it wrong for me not to have a favourite flower? I can't even spell half of the flowers I know, and I can only recognise roses, daisies and daffodils correctly. I truly am a real bloke. Or summat.

My favourite prose authors: I love Nick Hornby, and all associated works - bar Fever Pitch. My favourite novel is The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, though. So he gets mention too.

My favourite poets: William Blake. Spike Milligan. All the great Romantics, you know?

My heroes in fiction: The Old Man from Hemingway's book. He's exactly the sort of man I want to be when I'm older. But Cuban.

My favourite heroines in fiction: I've not really read any novels with a strong female lead, other than Breakfast At Tiffany's. So yeah, Lisa Simpson.

My favourite composers: Sufjan Stevens

My favourite painters: Toulouse Lautrec

My heroes in real life: Seeing as I'm turning into him more and more everyday, to say my father is as much a compliment to me as it is to him...

My heroines in history: Eva Braun. Just kidding. The wife behind every great bloke leader. Except Eva Braun.

My favourite names: Alfred, and all its variations.

What I hate most of all: Nagging. I get a lot of it...

Historical figures that I despise the most: All the obvious ones. And Axel Rose.

The militray event that I admire most: The RAF 633 Squadron's Annual Summer Jamboree.

The gift of nature that I would like to have: X-Ray vision! That's what this question means, right?

How I would like to die: Old, fat and happy. Two thirds of the way there!

My present state of mind: Questionable.

Faults for which I have the most indulgence: An intense love of me.

My motto: The same as my blood type. B+.