Like the proverbial Cretans, all bloggers are liars. I apologize unreservedly for confronting you with such a paradox in my first sentence, but I feel it's important to lay my cards out on the table from the beginning, so to speak. They are, if anyone cares, the seven of clubs, the six of hearts, the four of diamonds, the jack of diamonds and, last but obviously not least, the ace of spades. I realize, of course, that until that happy occasion arrives when my computer is equipped with a live webcam (a distinctly unlikely possibility at this stage, I'm afraid) that nobody can see these cards, so you'll just have to take my word for it - caveat lector - and I refer you back to my opening sentence. The enigmatic nature of that statement being duly noted, I feel we can move forward to the next paragraph. (Except for a brief moment to consider that the six of hearts might actually be from a different pack, even though the Bicycle brand 'Blue Rider' design on the back appears to be the same as that on the others).
Most blogs, to extend an already protracted metaphor, are nothing but houses made of cards. Perhaps, to risk over-reaching with our metaphor altogether, we might conclude that blogs are really more like Towers of Babel made of cards, and not very good cards at that, but flimsy ones manufactured using only the cheapest paper and the weakest ink, not even plastic-coated for protection. These are cards that have been dealt many times before, inexpertly shuffled, in the loneliest and most depressing games of Solitaire imaginable. Some of the corners of the cars are also, dare I say it, a trifle dog-eared and finger-stained. Blogs, suffice it to say, are always a losing hand.
Except mine, of course. The seven of clubs, the six of hearts, the four of diamonds, the jack of diamonds and the ace of spades, one of them possibly from a different pack, may not seem like elements of a Poker player's dream to most people, obviously, but who knows what unexpected trumps might lurk along the length of my inner sleeve? Or I could just be bluffing and really have absolutely nothing at all. How can anyone know for sure on the Internet? And it is at this juncture in proceeding that I'm keen to draw your attention to an amusing irony: the table that my aforementioned cards are lain upon is itself infinitely more fascinating than the actual cards that it supports. In fact, the table appears not entirely dissimilar to the table that appears in M C Escher's lithograph known as Relativity, although mine is much nicer than his, and probably a lot more expensive. (Escher was notoriously parsimonious when it came to furniture for his designs. Indeed, many of his imaginary structures feature no furniture at all).
I purchased the table many years ago, at a fire sale of effects from a defunct Swiss sanitarium near the town of Bingen-Bongen, in the shadow of the Alps. At the time I was seeking, tediously and unsuccessfully, cheap apparatus for distilling my own iron tonic, but an ancient edition of the Almanach de Gotha suddenly caught my weary eye, which then became further captivated by the example of dusty yet exquisite chestnut craftsmanship upon which the book was resting. There were cobwebs clinging to each leg, several scratches and nicks, yet the table completely won me over. "This will be ideal for laying my cards out on," I thought to myself. The iron tonic apparatus was quickly forgotten as I calculated the combined cost of the table and shipping it to America.
So exactly what makes the table so interesting? Well, the humorist Robert Benchley once claimed that there are two kinds of people: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those that don't. This divisive dualism would also be true of tables if tables were anthropomorphically capable of discriminating thought, and my table would be the first kind of table. In other words, my table is a rather snobbish table; sneering down its elegant drop-leaf at those sorts of grubby tables with grape-flavored gum stuck underneath their surfaces or juvenile delinquent's initials carved into their veneers. My table, no doubt, if it could speak, would dispute my assertion that it resembles the table in Escher's Relativity, drawing your attention instead to its similarity to a table featuring in Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin's painting Still Life With Attributes of the Arts (although the table in that picture is largely obscured, almost invisible, so I have absolutely no idea how my pompous table can be confident enough to make such a comparison.)
Even back in that cold, Swiss salesroom I had sensed the table's aloof and supercilious manner, but, like the proud new owner of a Persian cat, had dismissed these character flaws in favor of acquiring a beautiful object. And now I often feel that the table considers being in my house as beneath its dignity; that it cringes with horror whenever I wipe it down with a generic brand of polish, as if it were an ethereal sensualist forced to wear a cheap and industrial-strength type of sickly-sweet perfume. I sometimes even think that I can feel the table rock with rage every time I deal my worthless cards out upon its surface, trying to slide them off onto the floor, where, perhaps rightly, it believes they ultimately belong. My table, after all, is not a great reader of blogs; not that I have an answer to its criticisms anyway.