You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2009.
REMINDER: Giveaway II, to mark the US publication of BAD THINGS, will be taking place next Tuesday, May 5th. See post below for details.
I think I may have just solved an enduring family mystery. When I say ‘mystery’, don’t get over-excited (or even mildly so). This doesn’t involve divining the location of some long-lost treasure trove, or discovering why my father’s side of the family have three ears. It’s just a word nerd thing —and relax, it doesn’t involve me getting medieval over some piece of punctuation*.
My mother’s mother (known as Nana) had a range of idiosyncratic sayings, due presumably to having being born, beguiling her entire life and eventually dying in the same small village deep in the gothic heart of Cambridgeshire.
One of these was the expression ‘Peter, peter’ – muttered in tones either scandalized or ominous – whenever anyone (usually a small child, and often me) was seen to be drinking a liquid in a manner she deemed profligately speedy. My mother, sister and I were intrigued, and asked her what it meant: she of course, said it just meant ‘Peter, peter.’
But just now, perusing Snake River Press’s appealing edition of The Reverend W. D. Parish’s “A Dictionary of the Sussex Dialect”, I wonder if I’ve found the solution. Parish notes that in 1875 it was current within Sussex dialect to say ‘What a peter-grevious child you are!’ He suggests ‘peter-grevious’ might be a corruption of the French (or Anglo-Norman, I guess) expression – ‘petit grief’. In other words (approximately)… ‘You small source of grief’…
Or, in modern parlance, ‘you little pain in the arse’.
Which makes me wonder whether ‘peter, peter’ comes from a similar root, and started out as ‘petit, petit’ – meaning ‘small, small’, or ‘only drink a little at a time’?
As neither my Nana nor mother are still mired on the earthly plane — and I’ve never heard anyone else either use or even refer to the expression — there’s only my sister and I left to give a flying toss.
But I like this theory. If you happen to know different or better, feel free to let me know…
* Normal snarkiness will be resumed as soon as possible.
In an unprecedented spasm of something or other, I’m doing another giveaway – this time to mark the US hardcover publication of BAD THINGS, on May 5th.
Again I’ll be picking three Twitter followers at random on the day, with the aim of sending a copy of the book to them — inscribed to the winner, or the person of their choice. If you’re already following, you don’t have to do anything — though you could spread the word to anyone who might be interested. As previously discussed, this isn’t a follower-gatherer-ploy. Since the whole “Dude, Where’s My Brain?” stunt, numbers are thankfully moot. It’s simply the easiest way of tracking people down afterwards. Apart from in the case of @rodneycharles, who won one of the books last time, but is keeping a very low profile. I’ll find him, though, don’t you worry.
SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT RULES:
1. No purchase necessary. No alternative offered, cash or otherwise.
2. If you don’t want the book, that’s fine – let me know and I’ll pick again.
3. Don’t use two exclamation marks. !! What’s that supposed to mean? One is permissible, though really, do you need it? Three has a certain exaggerative quality, like XXX, and I can live with it. But two? Just how loud is that? Where does it sit on the line between ‘slightly accentuated for effect’ and ‘bellowed like a weird old man, shouting at a lonely tree in the twilight’?
4. Don’t put quote marks around items in menus. Special Breakfast #4: Comes With “Tea” or “Coffee”. What’s this supposed to mean – alleged tea, and so-called coffee?
5. And don’t use a capital letter after a colon, either. Why would you do that? I don’t care if it’s the house style. Your house is stupid.
6. Don’t make a musical about Jade. That would be the work of a terrible, terrible asshole.
7. Don’t go and see a musical about Jade, should someone disregard Rule 6.
8. Don’t let small children play on my computer in my absence again (this is specifically directed toward my wife, should she be reading. But don’t any of the rest of you do it, either. Though come to think of it, what are you doing in my house?).
9. Stop coming in my house.
10. Also stop putting those huge warning tags on children’s soft toys. I know I’m not suppose to let the kid eat them or put them on the barbeque or hollow them out, fill them with acid and balance them on the cat’s head. The tags make the toy look stupid — especially when they’re half the size of the bloody thing itself — but I can’t seem to bring myself to cut them off, in case the tags themselves contain some special magic that stops the child coming to harm.
11. That’s enough rules.
I’ve long believed that certain locations possess an inherent character, an inescapable inner quality that both shapes and reflects the behaviour of those who pass through them. That the area directly in front of Camden Tube station in London, for example, is a mecca for drug dealers, the perilously drunk and other reeling miscreants because (or as a continuation of the fact) in days of yore it held a prison, and prior to that, a stocks. That churches were often built on established pagan sites not just to steamroller Christianity over pre-existing beliefs, but because the places in question had always simply felt like a good spot to sit quietly and muse about stuff for a while. That there are certain high street locations that have no desire to be a restaurant or bar, but yearn to be banks once again — which is why modish new eateries fail there within months, no matter how winsome their Brazilian-Irish fusion cuisine.
I’m beginning to suspect that the same obtains for the staircase and upper hallway of our house, and that it must originally have been an elevated prehistoric midden or dumping ground, a place where neolithic Londoners stored (allegedly temporarily, but in fact for ever and ever and ever) objects for which they had no use, or were at least unsure what to do with right at this moment.
It doesn’t matter how many times you clear the stuff out — or ask one’s wife to, as it’s all her stuff, or at least under her jurisdiction — within weeks a new pile has appeared. Piles, in fact: the big, spreading one in the upper hallway (a broken printer, old light fittings, small cardboard boxes full of nameless detritus); and the little satellite piles on every third step (catalogues, paperwork, scribbled-upon envelopes, pieces of ribbon and string). In so far as I understand my wife’s ‘system’, it appears the latter piles are for materials in current currency, and merely in transit from one location to another, whereas the former is for objects on their way out of our lives for good, ultimate destination currently unknown.
Any attempt to raise the middens in conversation is met with the bullishly straight-to-the-nukes discussion style for which my wife is widely celebrated (within my head, anyway). The middens are defended as a key opening gambit in the long-term project to tidy her study, something to which I can only pledge fervent support. I don’t like to go in my wife’s study. It unnerves me. It is the last uncharted wilderness. In a novel I once described a room where gravity had failed twice, in different directions. My wife’s study is worse, with that very Lovecraftian sense of a crawling chaos kept just barely in check. If Bigfoot or a major prehistoric lake monster is ever to be discovered, then just to the side of my wife’s desk is as likely a place as any. We had that Ranulph Feinnes in there a few months ago, looking for Eldorado. He didn’t find it. He went away muttering about needing more funding, but I think he was just scared.
I once asked my wife, when I was trying to track down one of our phones in her lair— and had just lost a valued sherpa (not just an experienced guide, but a damned good friend) in a retreat from the notoriously savage wastelands on the approach to the Inkjet Printer of Doom — if it wasn’t possible for the room to be a bit tidier. My ears are still ringing, and harsh things were said about her having an entire household to run and a proper job to do, while I just arsed about all day ‘making things up’. The same tends to happen when I raise the question of the staircase middens.
And so, in the end, I retreat to my study, a location where men and women have sat down the centuries, staring out of the window, not doing quite enough work — but where it has always been, nonetheless, quite tidy.
Ah, the Internet. Having rashly decided to select three random followers, I was confronted this morning with how to actually do it. So I googled “twitter + random + follower”, and came upon twitrand.com, which does exactly that. Who knew. I must remember to google “secret + eternal + happiness” and see what comes up.
The winners chosen via this method were:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
1. Your name
2. Your address
3. Who you’d like the book dedicated to.
Well well. I seem to have got through a whole blog post without crapping on about punctuation, which is nice. But I’m still watching you. Always watching. Especially you, @roumagrl. Actually, that was just twitrand again. Don’t worry.
Oh, nuts. Just noticed that the text at the bottom of the twitrand page has a misplaced apostrophe in “it’s amazing API”.
I was so close.
I know this is deeply trivial in the light of the state of the world in general, but I’m going to put you through it anyway. I don’t see why I should suffer alone.
Early yesterday morning I was slumped on the couch, interacting with my son, who – in blatant disregard for a public holiday – had encouraged me out of bed (a bed that had felt like the most comfortable bed in the world, the snooze-pit of kings, the Platonic ideal of sleeping environments) to accompany him downstairs to hang out, a little after six in the morning. His chosen form of relaxation was a box of Playdough-like materials, and within seconds of seeing the box my brow was furrowing. The illustration displayed the cool sea-faring creatures we’d soon be able to make – a sea horse, jelly fish, a few other weird-looking denizens of the deep. A panel said:
• 4 x Shaping Moulds
• 7 x 35g (Approx.) Dough Tubs
• 1 x Moulding Tool
Why is every word capitalized? It’s not a series of song titles, is it? “Hey! It’s great to be back here in Cleveland! You guys rock! Gonna play one of the old favourites now, our first ever number one: give it up for… Shaping Moulds!” Or a list of Damien Hurst artworks (and I’m using the words ‘art’ and ‘work’ very loosely in this context)? It’s not even in German, where I understand that proper nouns are capitalized. So why have they done it? Is it supposed to make it seem more official? And if so… why, again? The demographic here is the under-5s, and those who care for them. We just want dough. We don’t need Dough. Unless the capital means it’s money, rather than dough. But it didn’t. I checked.
Then the multiplication symbol – “4 x Shaping Moulds” – as if the whole business is being specified with military precision, taken an infuriating step further with: 7 x 35g Dough Tubs. Well thank god, you think, thank god they specified there’s 35g of Dough in each of those containers. A ‘Tub’ or ‘Lump’ may be a sufficiently precise unit of measurement for slacker parents, dull-eyed losers who just want some blobs of gunk to desultorily mangle into vaguely cat- or duck-like shapes. With bozos like that, what they hell do they care how much Dough there is? Me, I’m a high-performing parent. I’ve got big plans. I need to know exactly how much Dough there is in each Tub. What, do I look like some kind of fucking amateur?
But then you smack face-first into the dread word “(Approx.)” – and realize you’ve been gypped anyway. There’s not actually 35g of Dough in each of the Tubs, is there – it’s just (Approx.) – and suddenly I’m in a tense scene in a black and white movie:
“Well, Bob, we were going to use these 35g Tubs of brightly-coloured Dough to build that Secret Spy Plane we promised ourselves. But it turns out the damned measurements are only (Approx.) It’s not guaranteed that the quantities are correct to the nearest atom!”
“That’s a bad blow, Clive. I can’t lie to you. But… at least they capitalized everything, eh?”
“True Bob, true. And in these dark days, we have to take our comforts wherever we can. And at any time.”
“Are you… are coming on to me, Clive?”
I’m not sure who’s the biggest idiot here. The company which believes that specifying the weight of the Dough in the Tubs somehow makes it better or cooler or more official; the Customer who might sue the Manufacturers on the grounds there’s only 34.873g of Yellow in his particular Box…
… or me, for spending so long getting tetchy about all this that I looked up to find my son had gone behind the Television and started chewing Wires, just for something to do.
But, my actual point is… It turns out I was only (Approx.) right about the publication day of the paperback of BAD THINGS, which is apparently Thursday, not Wednesday. Duh. I’m sure you’ll agree, however, that this just makes a giveway tomorrow all the more exciting. So I’m going to do it then anyway, as planned. Which means you have about 24 hours to follow the instructions in the ‘Stupendous Bad Things Giveaway’ post below… Or, to recap:
Three signed copies of the BAD THINGS paperback will be going to randomly-selected Twitter followers, chosen at 12:00 GMT on April 15 – tomorrow.
Over and out.
I like things that sit on the border between chosen and random, where at least part of their appeal comes from the non-aesthetic of happenstance and utility, roughened by time. The colour and look of old urban buildings, of abandoned homesteads in the American West, of tumbledown farmhouses in rural France. Objects stacked in a back alley. The pattern of rust on old locks and doorways. The semi-random position of chairs outside a café after a long day of use, placed to support conversations that are no longer taking place, and which the participants may already have forgotten.
I like seeing the back of things, too, the non-presentation side. Years ago I took part in a theatre tour of Northern pubs, during which we travelled from venue to venue on a barge. The best part of the whole trip was cruising along the canals through the disregarded middles and godforsaken back-ends of towns in the small hours, seeing materials that had been stacked or thrown away, in places where people thought others wouldn’t see them. You see this sometimes on train journeys, too, just outside towns or inexplicably far out in the wilds, piles of non-stuff, ex-stuff, stuff deprecated, devalued or otherwise hidden away — abandoned to the elements, but marked by the behaviour and choices of the last human to interact with it.
The Japanese word shibui, the first entry in this blog, is an attempt to capture just this quality. I’m not sure why I find it quite so appealing. Maybe it’s just that some objects and places don’t seem truly themselves until they’ve been knocked about a little, refined through encounters with people and time. A couple of years ago I spent a fairly long few days mooching around Madison, Wisconsin, and while I can see it’s a very nice college town and doubtless a swell place to grow up or study or indeed live – and any place with a big Frank Lloyd Wright building in it deserves visiting – from my point of view it needs a couple hundred years’ more kicking around before it feels like somewhere in particular. Though I did enjoy reading Doug Moe’s collection of essays and columns on the place, Surrounded by Reality.
And isn’t a lot of human behaviour this way, too? Aren’t the parts of people we love the most – or at least, the bits we find characterful and distinctive about them – precisely those aspects and traits which lie between chosen and thoughtless: a manifestation of inner acts of consciousness, translated and contextualized through circumstance and expedience? Isn’t it people’s rust that we find most appealing about them?
Anyway. This is basically a long-winded and wildly pretentious way of saying that (in what I really hope will be the final groovy new way I find of not-working), I’ve started a Tumblr page. It’s for stuff that’s too short for a blog but too long for a tweet: pictures, quotes, that kind of thing. Not much there yet, but hopefully there will be.
Expect rust, naturally.
Yes, alright, it’s not that stupendous. But a week today – April 15th – will mark the official UK paperback publication of the new novel, BAD THINGS.
In a giddy celebration of that fact, at 12:00 GMT on that day I’d like to pick three Twitter followers at random, with the aim of sending them a copy of the book – inscribed either to the winner, or to the person or pet of their choice. Or just signed.
If you’re already following, you don’t have to do anything at all. Relax. Though you could spread the word to anyone else you think might be interested. If you’re not following, you’d need to start following.
This isn’t an evil ruse to garner vast swathes of new followers, by the way: now we’re into the Invasion Of The Pointless (and yes, Peaches ****ing Geldoff, I specifically mean you, amongst others) the Twitter numbers game is history anyway. If you enjoy inhabiting the same intersect as me in the vast Venn diagram of tweets, floating down the same whispering river of disembodied voices, great. If you don’t, you can always unfollow me again. This is simply the easiest way I can think of to pick people and get hold of them afterwards.
Okay? Good. I’m glad we had this little chat.
1. No purchase necessary. No alternative offered, cash or otherwise. You cannot swop it for the special edition of ONLY FORWARD written in blood, on ice. Which actually does exist.
2. You don’t want the book, that’s fine – let me know and I’ll pick someone else. And then go shoot myself.
3. Um, do I need any more rules? Maybe.
4. Always look before you leap.
5. If you’ve been out at a pub in the city all evening and see a cab passing at the end of the road, don’t assume that proves there’s lots of cabs around. It means you’ve just seen the last cab, ever. So run like hell and get it.
6. Do not use the phrase ‘hard-earned cash’ in relation to outlays of 59 pence/one dollar in the iPhone app store, especially in tones of self-righteous indignation. Never type the phrase ‘Nuff sed’, either, in a review of anything, ever. In fact, if you’re considering using either of these crapsacks of letters, turn the computer off, take off all your clothes and go running off into the woods. You’ll be happier there.
7. Always get your tube/train/subway/bus/airline ticket out before you’re confronted with the barrier. Don’t stand around like a moron patting all of your pockets as if the need for a ticket has caught you entirely unawares.
8. Other people’s desserts always taste nicer. Probably because you don’t have to eat the whole damned thing.
9. A stitch in time doesn’t save nine. Stitches have got nothing to do with nines. What the hell are you talking about?
10 The best sets of rules stop at #10
11. Oh, nuts.
“People give advice, but they do not influence anyone’s conduct”
La Rochefoucauld, MORAL REFLECTIONS
I hate advice. No good ever comes of giving it, and nobody ever listens anyway. It’s one of those things you just have to put up with, like colds, dust, and celebrities. The only useful lifestyle advice I’ve ever seen was printed on the side of a matchbook (‘Keep dry, and away from children’) and there are some types that should be simply be banned:
There’s plenty more fish in the sea
I know this. I don’t want the other fish. I want the fish who just left me for that guy in her office, a man who may be more attractive than me and less irritable and who earns an extra 25K a year, but who is undoubtedly in every other way an evil idiot. I want that fish. Not least because she’s still got half of my CDs and one of my favourite t-shirts, and I miss the smell of her neck.
Mind you don’t hurt yourself
Always handy for all of us who haven’t realised that hurting yourself is a negative experience, and to be avoided. ‘Mind you don’t get your head caught under a falling building’ – that’s another good tip. ‘Mind you’re not directly underneath when an asteroid hits’. ‘Careful you don’t suddenly turn into a unicorn’. These are examples of a broader type of advice, which includes the classics ‘Mind you don’t spill that’, ‘Mind you don’t trip’ – and boil down to ‘Try to avoid having an accident that you’re already doing your best to avoid’. But ‘Mind you don’t hurt yourself’ remains easily the most infuriating, not least because it’s generally offered by a person who isn’t currently carrying something heavy and awkward down a flight of stairs, while watching someone who is.
Pictures on the side of food packets, advising you how to serve what’s inside. ‘Put it on a plate’, seems to be the gist of it, or ‘If you’re feeling wild, stick a bit of lettuce next to it. Oh, and a slice of tomato. Go nuts. Live the dream.’ Do they think that people don’t know how to serve crackers — or are the words genuinely there to cover the company in case some lunatic tries to sue after discovering that a plate and garnishing aren’t included in the deal? “What, you mean if I open the packet I don’t find an already-hot stock pot of delicious food, complete with side dishes, table cloth and a rustic table… but just some raw ingredients? Just as well you put ‘Serving suggestion’ on the side, my friend, or I’d be chasing your lying ass through the Supreme Court. Damn.”
Left a bit…
Total strangers, giving you advice on how to park your car. They never tell you anything you don’t already know, and merely make you feel pressurised at a time when you could do with being left alone. And given they’re always standing on the pavement, what evidence is there that these people know how to park in the first place? Who knows if they can even drive? They might just be field operatives from a weird sect of terrorist pedestrians, trying to get everyone to mash up their car.
Collect the set!
Often found on the packaging of things which are ‘collectable’ purely in the sense that you could, if you had nothing better to do with your time and money, buy more than one of them. Dressed up as a new hobby which will be fun and fulfilling, it amounts to nothing more than a demand that you acquire more than one example of whatever rubbish they’re hawking. Tropical diseases! Small, undistinguished pebbles! Bumper packs of toilet tissue! Why not collect the set? Well, because it would be a fucking tragic thing to do, that’s why. Next question.
Light blue touch paper and retire
Our species has evolved – or so we are told – through the survival of the fittest, though I’m unclear as to how that explain a lot of the humans I run into on a daily basis. If some of these people are too dumb to realise that you shouldn’t put lit fireworks in their mouth, evolution is telling us we don’t need them in the gene pool. Unless this advice actually means that after lighting a firework they should stop working, go live in a golfing community in Florida and spend a lot of quality time with their grandchildren, in which case fair enough. I have no problem with that.
Leave it Gary, he’s not worth it
Actually, this advice is worth listening to. The bloke Gary wants to have a fight with almost certainly isn’t worth it. The only problem is that by shouting this advice – standing right in the middle of the action, bristling with indignation and aglow with dangerous excitement – you’re only likely to make the bloke want to hit Gary even more. A far more useful piece of advice is ‘Leave it Gary, I’m not worth it’, which is what I always shout when someone wants to hit me. It generally confuses them enough to give me time to run away, especially if they’re not actually called Gary.
They really, really do. They’re part of our language, of how we impart meaning. Our world is increasingly contextualized and presented to us within the creations of computer code – which is how you’re reading this now, of course. If you get something half as wrong as a misplaced apostrophe within a stretch of C++, make an error in meaning a fraction that small, the application’s going to crash hard. Make that kind of mistake in HTML or CSS, and you’ll be showing a blank page.
Our real language is the same, and I’m tired of people who go around driving cars and raising children and doing other complicated things, pretending that they can’t get their minds around something as simple as the apostrophe. We all make mistakes from time to time, but to not even know is just feeble. So here’s some information. Listen up, yo.
Apostrophes are used to show one of two things:
1. POSSESSION: That something belongs to someone or something else – “The vampire’s shoes”, for example. In cases denoting possession, the apostrophe always goes after the noun, be it singular or plural, which describes the owner/s of the shoes in question. If the shoes belonged to a family of vampires, therefore, it would be “the vampires’ shoes”, because we’re referring to the footwear of several “vampires”, not that of a single “vampire”.
– Here the apostrophe is acting like a little name-tag sewn into the noun’s shirt, telling you who thing/s belong/s to, and also whether the owner/s are singular or plural. Or vampires.
2.CONTRACTION: That something is missing. An apostrophe is also used to indicate that, through convention, a letter or letters have been missed out. The one in “don’t” for example, showing a missing “o”; or in “that’s the way it goes”. This second example showcases one of the most common usages of an apostrophe – a missing “i” from an “is”. Instead of “that is”, we write “that’s”.
– In this case something’s missing, so it gets a little marker, the one we call the apostrophe, to indicate the fact. It’s like a tiny history lesson, or an IOU for a missing letter.
You do not, therefore, need an apostrophe in the sentence: “I must take the videos back to the store”. I know it’s tempting to write “I must take the video’s back to the store”… But don’t. Because there’s nothing missing in the word “videos”, it’s merely a plural, and nothing belongs to the videos. And don’t write “I’m going to fetch some coffee’s…” either, for the exact same reasons. Just don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t make me come up there.
And that’s pretty much it. Simple, right? There is only ONE place where this gets even a tiny bit complicated, and that’s the word “it” – because “it’s” could mean one of two things:
a) Something BELONGING to “it” – the possessive form.
b) A CONTRACTION – short for “it is”
So in this single case, the world had to make a decision about what “it’s” was going to mean: possession, or contraction. And here is the news, my friends – the world chose CONTRACTION.
“It’s” means something’s missing. So to type “It’s a lovely day for procrastinating”, or “Turns out it’s really easy to get apostrophes in the right place – who knew?”… is correct. To write – as I once saw in a massive 16-sheet poster on the London Underground – “THE FILM WITH A .357 MAGNUM POINTED AT IT’S HEART” is horribly, depressingly wrong: “Pointed at it is heart”? Fucking morons.
So now you know everything you need to know, and can go around putting apostrophes in the right place all the time, thereby impressing the hell out of co-workers, dates and passing livestock. And yes, of course this stuff matters. It is absurd, lazy and disingenuous to pretend otherwise, an oppressive carbon footprint in the ecosystem of meaning, the conceptual equivalent of driving a gas-guzzling SUV of dullardry. Apostrophes aren’t just for decoration, something you throw in there because certain words look a little plain without them. It isn’t some pedantic little peccadillo, either, the kind of thing anal-retentive men and maiden aunts become hot and bothered about because they haven’t got other things to worry about, or because they’re not getting enough sex. It’s part of how our language works, a structuring tool, a way of establishing and explicating meaning in a very simple and elegant way. People who pretend otherwise are merely trying to hide the gaucheness they feel at not understanding something, or else they’re arrogant “I’m bigger than language” asswipes like George Bernard Shaw, who really couldn’t believe anything in the world was important apart from him and his beard – and who wrote really sucky and boring plays.
Two hundred years from now we may well have thrown apostrophes overboard (along with reading, and classical music, and other out-dated fripperies of culture, things that require a tiny bit of attention and have no flashing lights) but we haven’t yet. So if you get them wrong, you got it wrong. Don’t pretend otherwise. There ain’t no come-back, no excuse, no high-falutin’ defense about the evolution of written language. You’re just getting it wrong.
It’s that simple.
1. This rant was inspired in part by a dumb tweet by a superblogger who should know better. I’m not saying who.
2. Um, if anyone happens to spot a misplaced apostrophe in the above, could you let me know asap? Thank’s.
In a follow-up to the previous post… Yesterday afternoon, still ludicrously pleased at the 666 follower co-incidence, I tweeted thus:
“In honor having 666 followers, some old gags: What’s 664? The Neighbor of the Beast. 665? The Fax Number of the Beast. Etc”
The barrage of dreadful gags that followed is fine testament to the inventiveness of the denizens of Twitterland…
@jdaysy: did I miss Sox Sox Sox the number of the Beast watching baseball?
@demonchild6: 6-6-6 The measurements of the beast. I am a snake after all.
@Ricky_Kay: Six Sex Sox the number of Dr. Seuss.
@nerdsoup: ln666 – the natural logarithm of the beast (= 6.501)
@EmmaJaneR: Sax sax sax – the number of the Beats
@EmmaJaneR: 66,666,666 – the number of the boast
@lamaupin: Seexseexseex — The Number of the Beast with a French accent.
@jonathaneric: 616 — the number of the pedantic Beast (http://tinyurl.com/616-beast).
@fi69: SuxSuxSux – the Beast with a new zealand accent?
@EmmaJaneR: 6. The number of the lazy beast.
@littorally: 0898 666 666 sexy Beasts waiting to take your call.
@MatBlackmore: 999 – the number of the Australian Beast
@neilhimself: 656 – the Wrong Number of the Beast
@Fiona_Mackenzie: HE6 66LL the postcode of The Beast.
@Maudelynn: 667, the neighbour of the Beast
@leethompson: SexSexSex – the Beast with a German accent
@Seonaidh: 0800-666 Freephone Number of the Beast
@nashg: 1/666 – The Denominator of the Beast
@AndreaGillies: 666a and 666b – Beast has been split into flats…
@littorally: B666 – the look, I know it looks like a cart track but honest, it’ll take half an hour off the journey of The Beast.
@AndreaGillies: “Was 666, now from only 466 – Credit Crunch Beast”.
@The_No_Show: 222 – one of the Beast triplets. (And watch out for Imogen, the middle one – she’s handsy)
@Cautivo: 5318008 the upside down calculator gag of the Sexy Beast.
@chunky666: 121212 the morbidly obese beast!
@tartanink: 969 dyslexic beast?
@sharkmoss: Microsoft version 6.66 – the OS of the Beast
@leethompson: 333 – “I shall call him MiniBeast!”
@timlebbon: 25.817 – the square root of the beast
@Seonaidh: DCLXVI – Roman numeral of the Beast
@nashg: 666MHz – The CPU of the Beast.
@meldh: 999, The Beast doing yoga
@LouMorgan: 6.66%: the Agent cut of the Beast
@catmachine: £665.99, the RRP of the Beast
@Cautivo: 669 the Brothel of the Beast?
@lamaupin: 667, the Upstairs Neighbor of the Beast?
@Demonchil6: 7, the number of George Best
I think that’s all of them – apologies if I missed one of yours, but they were coming in scarily thick and fast at one stage. Where duplication occurred, the first to come up with it is up on this list… And I’ve just thought of another one, dammit:
Pieces of Six – The Plunder of the Beast.
But that’s enough now.