Meet Mister Inquisitor
Well now, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, what scenes we've been having in the Inquisitorial Oubliette since our last edition! The mutterings of the teams of Community graphologists who've moved in to analyze Robbie Stamp's hand-written responses in hope of learning something of his masterplan for the site... the gentle cooing of the Larholms' carrier pigeons as we tried to figure out a way to let them out of the cages... the distraught sobbing of the old fact checker after being forced to listen to Les chemins de ma maison one time too many...
Anyway, we eventually figured out how carrier pigeons actually work and with that in mind (and none of the recipes for pigeon in Granny's old cookbook being especially appetising) there was nothing to do but get on with our long-distance interrogation of social networking colossi and Co-Saviours of h2g2 (TM) Brian Gunner and Alyson Larson ...
If you were to go down the local home for abandoned animals and adopt a doggy in need of some care and attention from a brand new owner, what kind of animal do you see yourselves arriving home with?
I'd say "All of them" because I can't possibly turn away from the "puss in boots" eyes of any animal. For Brian, without a doubt, it would be a cow.
One of those famous dog-cows, obviously... Is there any truth to the rumour that Noesis started life as an unsuccessful Gallagher brothers tribute act? If so, which one of you would be Noel and which one Liam?
Oh absolutely. We were nicknamed the cats chorus and the dancing cows. Unfortunately, it didn't take off… Brian played the part of Noel – he insisted, but only because he's such a fan of Christmas.
The new fact checker informs me you offer a 'unique nautical theme'. Can we look forward to more tricorn hats and keel-hauling on the revamped h2g2?
You'd like that wouldn't you?! We think you have plenty of that already!
So that's where all our old fact-checkers end up working... A question for Brian: what's your favorite pastry? Please give reasons for your choice.
Nothing quite gets close to proper handmade Danish pastry (which is actually called Viennese bread in Denmark) the dough gently folded with butter, covered with remonce1 and sprinkled with slices of almonds baked to perfection and enjoyed fresh out of the oven on a cool winter's morning. Unfortunately I have yet to experience anywhere else in the world that has perfected this fine art like the bakers in Denmark.
Another question for Brian: as someone with the extremely macho middle name Gunner, what are your thoughts on the theory of nominative determinism?
Holy cow, I had no idea! As it happens I picked that name myself when I was a teenager and used it instead of Brian for a while. One could then ponder if the name picked my personality or if my personality picked the name. Long story, send more pigeons for that one.
A question for Alyson: having asked Brian about pastry, how do you feel about cookies? (Our research indicates Brian is a huge fan of them.)
I have a deep emotional involvement with them, all of them, the more I see, the more I want…I have to fight them every day!
Another question for Alyson: as someone with form in this area, how would you respond to the suggestion that the term 'community manager' is an oxymoron, particularly with reference to h2g2?
Hah! You are an interesting lot and you're pretty good at managing yourselves. I think that the term "Community Manager" is an oxymoron for most communities! It's amusing actually, in my experience, many of the community managers I've worked with in the past would be more suited to the term "Moron" anyway, if you know what I mean. *wink*
Imagine: it's DVD night in the Larholm household. Unfortunately all that is available is a complete set of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Do you go for one of the comedies or one of the good ones? A split decision is not acceptable in this case.
We quite like Arnie so it would be a tough decision. But one movie guaranteed to have us talking for hours is "Total Recall". We have yet to decide if the entire movie was in his mind, or if only portions of it were and while the effects are a bit dated now, the implications of it being entirely in his mind makes up for it. Only downside for Brian was the lack of bovine involvement in the plot.
That, and it's a travesty of a brilliant story written by a genius. If you could permanently swap the position of London with that of any other city in the world, which one would it be? What advantages could you see arising as a result?
Male, in the Maldives. The main advantages would be the weather and the diving. We are both keen divers and Brian hopes to see a sea cow one day.
The internet is switched off and the two of you are required to form a circus act in order to feed your family. What kind of entertainment could we look forward to?
Brian would be featuring his highly trained cows, sitting, fetching, mooning and jumping through hoops of fire. I might be on a tightrope at the top, balancing everything very precariously hoping I don't fall!
And finally, are there any questions you're particularly sorry not to have been asked in this interview?
Yes, how did this thing with Brian and cows start?
I think we can all echo that one. I think the image of the Larholms wrapped in charming domesticity, Alyson fighting her biscuits, Brian training cows to moon, is one which will stay with us for a long while. Thanks again to them for agreeing to participate and hopefully they don't feel too betrayed and ridiculed as a result. Until the site gets sold on again and I have to interview another set of new proprietors, I've been Mister Inquisitor. Farewell!
Alyson Larholm and