Hannibal and Me … and Mr Crotchety

There are reviewers, and then there are reviewers. And then there is … Mr Crotchety.

Who is Mr Crotchety?, you ask.

He (and I am reasonably confident that he is indeed both human and male, as allegedly pictured above) first presented himself to me in 2008, when he wrote a reader letter to The Economist about a piece I had written (about “Slow Food”). Here is that letter:

Date: 16 September 2008

To: letters@economist.com

Subject: slow food

Regarding: (11 Sep 08) Revolutionaries by the Bay

Many years ago I sat down in a Slow Food restaurant in New England. It seems like only yesterday when I walked out. The food was not memorable, but the service was glacially slow and inattentive (this was before global warming). Does the service have to be European also?

Mr. Crotchety

That set the tone for all that was to follow. Mr Crotchety, possibly encouraged by me, poured himself into the blogosphere and, under his increasingly notorious nom de guerre, began spreading his wit more widely.

Here on The Hannibal Blog, for example, we were soon turning the epic tale of Hannibal the Carthaginian into its … limerick version. (Read through the comments in that post, too: We expanded the mission to Zen Senryus.) In retrospect, it is hard to believe that both Polybius and Livy overlooked such an obvious literary device.

But Mr Crotchety never over-indulged himself with his blog commentary. Sometimes he crotched, sometimes he didn’t. Over time, I became aware that an entire subculture of the blogosphere was secretly yearning for one of his ambushes. They bestowed the ultimate kudos.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that this same Mr Crotchety has now, via Sprezzatura, written his own and inimitable review of Hannibal and Me. Follow the link, and may the kvetching and crotching continue over there….

8 thoughts on “Hannibal and Me … and Mr Crotchety

  1. Two gripes:

    1. An entire subculture of the blogosphere does not appreciate it when you praise Mr. C for commenting with moderation. Thanks a lot for that.

    2. Posts with limericks encourage over-indulgence in blog commentary in the most irresponsible way. Ever heard of dram shop laws?

    • Never heard of dram shop laws. Let me guess. Legislation supported by the anti-Limerick lobby.

      At least now you know how to send comments through the roof: Just stage an occasional Limerick-off, as you’ve done already. (Tried to find the link, but couldn’t.)

  2. Awkward…

    Particularly since I apparently killed all traffic here and at S&S. This is just one more reason why I don’t have my own blog.

    • Mr. C, at my place, traffic is up, even if comments are down.

      Anyway, these are…ahem…(and thanks for giving me this the chance to say this) the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

    • @ jenny, that’s just me OCD clicking since i don’t subscribe to comments ;0

      Mr.C, i’ve been the last comment on more than one blog. try not to take it personally.

    • @dafna: please continue your OCD clicking. You can even ratchet it up for future posts.

      Illusions are all we have.

      (Yours is not the last comment.)

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