Even at our great age we are capable of being embarrassed. And electrified. Here is what happened to embarrass, electrify, and amuse us. We came home after an odd day at the odd library only to find we had forgotten to bring with us something to read. We know. Stupid. We work in a bleeding library for X’s sake. But we are oldish. And we wanted to get away from the spreadsheets as fast as humanly possible. So there we were at home where we had mixed ourself a serious and really very tasty martini, and we had nothing to read except a book that had been lent to Mrs. Wolfe about the unrelated Mrs. Woolf and the Servants and a copy of The Essays of Elia. (We agree. That is one pretentious sofa-side selection.) So we thought, “We remember these Essays from the paternal bookshelf where they rested undisturbed throughout our childhood. Just what the **** are they?” We picked them up, sipped some delicious gin, and within seconds were enjoying the sensation of hair standing up as we realized Elia – Charles Lamb – brother of Murderin’ Mary Lamb – was the World’s First Blogger!! Are we the last to know? The first to discover? We can’t remember seeing anything about blogging Lambs, but you would have to be a bleeding eedjit not to realize within forty five seconds of reading this hilarious man that blogging is not just old, but centuries old. Centuries! Charles Lamb, employee of the South-Sea House in London was cranking out amusing essays on company time long before most of our ancestors had even found their way to North America, centuries before Al invented the internet! We’re not kidding. Get past the retro-even-then language and within half a page you will realize that you are in the orbit of one of the Great Pioneering Goof-Offs of all Time. And you will be happy.
Or you will be happy until you get to the part where it is revealed that he got a month off every year and quit pretending to work every day at 4pm.
But I promise you you will recognize the mind of an eighteenth century blogger immediately. If not sooner. So very very interesting. More later.