Letters Column for February 2007

In February 2007, the Spring Festival travel season in China began. Over 156 million passengers were to travel by train, and two billion bus trips were expected.

Nobody knows what happened to those people.

Probably they traveled by train. And by bus. Respectively. But they may have vanished entirely. Or they may have never existed at all. Some of them may even have been vampires, chupacabras, or hybridized human bees.

In February 2007, at least three domain name system root nameservers came under a denial-of-service attack. People forgot their names. The world fell out of order. Everything dissolved into the primordial soup that preceded our existence, and was lost forever, and the end.

That did not happen.

I was making that bit up.

In February 2007, a suspicious brown substance was found in an envelope. Scientists raced to the scene and performed their science. Soon it was clear to all peer-reviewed publications that the new substance was in fact inherently suspicious and the abandonment of the “soft” science psychology in favor of the hard empirical study of qualia radiation began.

Is this satiric take responsible or irresponsible? Is it conservative, liberal, or peculiar in its implications? Later, the mysterious Dr. Jenna Katerin Moran was to entirely forget the details of the incident in question.

She would not know.

In February 2007, Fatmir Rexhepi, interior minister of Kosovo, resigned. Shane Gibson, the Minister for Immigration for the Bahamas, resigned. Singer Britney Spears, controversially, shaved her head. The European parliament approved a report on secret CIA flights. General Motors was rumored to be in talks to buy DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group in its entirety. Vietnam — somewhat belatedly — started in on its new year.

Why did they wait? Why did these things happen in February, and not January?

We asked the mysterious old man who lives in the sky over Vietnam for his commentary. He spoke sincerely and with passion on these subjects. Regrettably we at Hitherby do not speak, nor understand, Vietnamese, nor were our recording devices capable of transcribing it. His response one must extrapolate from context; that job, o gentle reader, falls to you.


In February 2007, James Cameron discovered ossuaries that once contained remains.

Senegal released unofficial results.

Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the agency approve.


Listen, o gentle reader.

I promised you in my last letters column that I would leave you in suspense for as long as possible about whether there would be a letters column for February 2007.

I hope I have fulfilled this duty well.

Best wishes,


9 thoughts on “Letters Column for February 2007

  1. Five years passed?

    Call me a small-souled nitpicker, if you like, but either there’s a temporal wogly somewhere here or else your duty is not fulfilled as well as you think.

  2. I am unclear as to whether the mere assertion that something is the letters column for February 2007 is sufficient to make it so, absent the presence of any letters within that had been written in that month.

  3. Well, I think we’ve all learned some valuable facts about 2007. Which is not to endorse the practice of waiting 5 years before writing a letters column.

    Anyway, while I do anticipate Nobilis, my anticipation does not extend so far as to establish a login for RPG.net, so instead of participating in the relevant Nobilis thread, allow me to wish you a very happy birthday here.

  4. Thank you for your kind words! And really it’s only 5 years for small values of five. ^_^

  5. I’ve been reading the archives and noticing that there are at least a few tags which don’t make the cut for display above. “Shelley”, for instance, who appears as Shelly or Shelley or Sheila in a number of legends, but who I don’t recall appearing in a history. Shelly often seems to be linked with John, and it wasn’t until I looked at posts tagged John that I realized John is Tainted John whom Liril transformed.

    (There are a few tags with only one entry, such as “Ogre Express” and “Ginette”. I wonder about that.)

    (And of course writing this comment I went off looking at some other tags. Seems like Tigers in their Cages and Coming Home ought to be tagged “Iris”, along with the other two that already are….)

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