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March 2, 2003

Posted by Teresa at 10:13 PM *

Am I being too frivolous? If so, there’s no help for it. Here are two silly quizzes: Which SF Writer Will You Marry? and Which New York City Subway Line Are You?

A third quiz, sent in by Alison Scott: Which London Underground tube line are you?

Also, because you never know when you’re going to need a random quote from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, I give you the the great and mighty Gibbon-o-Matic. Just now I got: This variety of objects will suspend, for some time, the course of the narrative; but the interruption will be censured only by those readers who are insensible to the importance of laws and manners, while they peruse, with eager curiosity, the transient intrigues of a court, or the accidental event of a battle.

(Haven’t you always wanted a Gibbon?)

Finally, because I don’t see why I should be the only one to suffer, an oddment I received in the mail:
The Chain Letter of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians

With Charity all things are possible.

1. This epistle comes to you from Philippi. Grace be to you and peace. Spiritual gifts will be delivered unto you within four days of receiving this letter, provided only that in your turn you send it on.

2. This is no joke. Send copies to whomsoever among the gentiles you would comfort in their tribulation. Do not send material things. Charity vaunteth not itself, and is not puffed up.

3. While visiting the household of Aquila and Priscilla, a Macedonian proconsul received the epistle and was greeted by his brethren by a holy kiss. But he broke the chain, and now he is become as sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.

4. Gaius bestowed all his goods to feed the poor, and gave his body to be burned, but it profited him nothing. He failed to circulate the letter. However, before his death, he received the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

5. Do note the following: Silas had the gift of prophecy, and understood all mysteries, and all knowledge, and had all faith, so that he could remove mountains. But he forgot that the epistle had to leave his hands within 96 hours, and now he is nothing.

6. In A.D. 37, the epistle was received by a young Galatian woman who put it aside to copy and send out later. She suffered many tribulations: thrice she was beaten with rods, once she was stoned, and twice suffered shipwreck. On the latter of these occasions, she spent a night and day in the deep. Finally, she copied the letter. A trumpet sounded, and she was raised incorruptible.

7. Remember: Believe all things and hope all things. The chain never faileth.

— Paul
Comments on Amusements:
#1 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2003, 10:58 PM:

Since you're the second person to point me to the subway quiz, I took it. Like my evil twin, I ended up the JMZ, which I'm pretty sure I've never ridden. But the quiz is sophisticated enough not to just stick you with the line that you choose in the "perfect day" question, so I'll give it that.

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2003, 11:01 PM:

It says I'm the ACE. I can live with that.

I've taken the M plenty of times -- it's one of the ways to get from my station to connections at Pacific/Atlantic -- but never the J or Z. That's one weird line. It looks like it was laid out by Zorro.

#3 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 12:09 AM:

It says I'm the 456.

I would be happier with the quiz if any of the clothing options where close enough to what I am actually likely to wear to throw a rock; not at all sure I translated correctly.

#4 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 12:53 AM:

It says I'm the ACE. However, since I've never been to New York, I have no idea what this means.

The other quiz says I should marry Neil Gaiman. Uh, sorry, that's just wrong. Ignoring piddly matters like existing relationships, genders, sexual orientations, etc... I still don't see it. I'm more of a Scott McCloud guy.

#5 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 01:07 AM:

About halfway through the SF writer quiz I could tell it was going to marry me off to Cory Doctorow.

#6 ::: Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 04:33 AM:

I turned out to be the District Line.

#7 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 07:14 AM:

This morning's best Gibbon: Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule.

#8 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 09:45 AM:

I'm also the District Line as well as the 123 in NYC. But I'm not going to marry Neil Gaiman. China Mieville, now...


#9 ::: Jennie ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 10:01 AM:

I am apparently the 456. But that doesn't mean much, as my answer to most of the questions was "none of the above", so I chose the one closest. It wasn't very close in a lot of cases. So I don't feel quite so weirded out about getting the same result as Graydon.

Last night at midnight I was supposed to marry Neil Gaiman, except for the Difficuties with that. This morning, in the oh-so-cold light of Monday, after a night spent wrestling templates into shape, Ted Chiang is apparently the only one for me. I don't know what that says about either Mr. Chiang or me.

#10 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 10:26 AM:

Aside from being the A, C, and E (I coulda told you that), I appear to also be the District Line. Which is fair enough, since I've probably ridden on it more than any other Tube line.

Of course, the District Line is also the source of that fine expression "He's really East Ham," which, as any fule kno, means "one stop short of Barking."

#11 ::: BethN ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 10:46 AM:

Looks like I'm the 4-5-6 and going to marry Neil Gaiman. Which I have no problem with, since I ride the 4-5-6 more than any other subway line, and can never resist an English accent.

#12 ::: Vera ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 10:54 AM:

I am supposed to marry Ted Chiang. :-)

#13 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 11:54 AM:

I, too, am going to marry Neil Gaiman. Which is convenient, because it means we'll be able to share our cool black T-shirts.

New York City Subway: JMZ
London Underground: Circle Line

#14 ::: Bill Woods ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 12:21 PM:

"In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul instructed
send ten copies to the Thessalonians and the
Ephesians. But the Ephesians broke the chain,
and were punished by the LORD ..."
-- Joe Bay

#15 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 12:31 PM:

So, where on the JMZ line would I get off to find Kelly Link?

#16 ::: Jeremy Osner ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 01:05 PM:

I am scared to find out what subway line I am; I would probably be the Prospect Park Shuttle, or the 2nd Avenue line. The chain letter was one of the more hilarious things I've read in a while; thanks!

NB. Everyone who has not already done so should hie to d-squareddigest and read his analysis of economics in Pound's Usura canto.

#17 ::: Jennie ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 02:09 PM:

I am also, apparently, the London Central line, and likely to tolerate buskers.

Well...yeah! As long as they know more than three tunes.

#18 ::: Jennie ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 02:30 PM:

Oh, yes, and my Gibbon for the day seems rather useful:

"History, which undertakes to record the transactions of the past, for the instruction of future ages, would ill deserve that honourable office if she condescended to plead the cause of tyrants, or to justify the maxims of persecution."

#19 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 06:07 PM:

Stefan, you take the M to Pacific Street in Brooklyn, then walk south a few blocks along Fourth Avenue.

#20 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 08:50 PM:

Apparently I'm the Circle Line. Hmh.

The trouble with Theresa's Gibbon quote above is that, taken out of context, it seems to argue against monarchy, while it actually opens a section extolling its advantages. Too long to quote here, but it may be read online here.
I rather like the one I got:

"Another damned, thick, square, book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr. Gibbon?"

- William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, upon receiving the second volume of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire from the author, 1781

#21 ::: Madeleine Reardon Dimond ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2003, 09:00 PM:

Another bride of Ted Chiang! Should we form a club, or at least a mailing list?

#22 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2003, 02:22 PM:

I'm surprised Harlan isn't on the list of SF writers. I mean, statistically, the odds of you marrying Harlan... it's really just a matter of time.

#23 ::: Fef2rag ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2003, 06:10 PM:

Charlie's going to be really upset - I got Ted Chiang too.

#24 ::: Celia Marsh ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2003, 06:42 PM:

Well, I was limited by the number of people I could think up cute answers for in a short period of time, while pretending to work. :) My not-so-serious exit poll indicates that most people are going to marry Neil Gaiman. I'm not sure why. I suspect it's the color black, or maybe the cat. Or both.

#25 ::: BCNi ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2003, 05:10 PM:

You received the chain letter because I too was looking for a fellow sufferer. Some folks have way too much time on their hands.

#26 ::: Roz Kaveney ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2003, 06:50 PM:

It is embarrassing enough that I am going to marry Neil - I suppose it is just about made tolerable that I get to share him with Alan.

#27 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2003, 08:26 PM:

Hey, I'm A-C-E too, Patrick! I probably only qualified on the tourist ticket, though.

What has me really pleased is that I actually got, mmm, more than half of the local references. Not bad for a Winnipeg girl who's been living in Jersey for just three and a half years.

#28 ::: Neil Gaiman ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2003, 04:41 AM:

And I'm the Central Line, it says, which I find most unlikely. I've always thought of myself as a Northern Line sort of person.

Also took SF quiz and will apparently be marrying myself. Which is probably against the law, and even if it isn't I already feel sorry for the ushers, trying to figure out which side of the aisle to seat the guests.

#29 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2003, 06:32 PM:

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."

- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 3

#30 ::: Maureen Speller ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2003, 06:09 AM:

In what is becoming a less than remarkable coincidence, I too shall be marrying Neil Gaiman (seems to be a hell of a queue).

But Neil, I think you're probably okay marrying yourself so long as you're not also the sibling of your dead spouse, if you see what I mean. If you're your cousin, that seems to be all right.(We should never have started talking about laws of consanguinity in class this week.)

I am, though, charmed by the thought of the ushers struggling to seat people appropriately.

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