My literary alter ego has a Facebook page, which I thought would be a possible marketing tool; it didn’t really work, but I stop in on it now and then. I had forgotten that I filled out one of those “memes” that periodically make the rounds of Facebook, asking you to answer a string of questions about yourself.

This is how Miss Jane talks. I invented her only because I needed a front woman, but she insisted on her own personality. I sometimes wonder from where in our heads these people hail.

“Forty four odd things about me.” What a quaint little whimsy!

by Jane Alexander Barcroft on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 10:55pm

1. Do you like blue cheese? Roquefort for preference; Stilton otherwise, so long as some hooligan doesn’t pour port in it.

2. Have you ever been drunk? My dear, one must call it “tipsy.”

3. Do you own a gun? A darling little trinket that shoots out a red flag.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? My dear! One drank, at most, Poland water with a bit of lime.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? One avoids doctors unless struck by a vehicle; they are impertinent.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Bring the poor panting things in out of the sun.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? “The Lion in Winter.”

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Darjeeling, double strength.

9. Can you do push ups? Miss Jane would never do anything so vulgar.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? An old onyx signet with sentimental value.

11. Favorite hobby? Listening in on police channels.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? Would I be filling this out if I did?

13. What’s your favorite shoes? A pair of terribly sensible walkers.

14. Middle name? Alexander.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? Where is my fountain pen? Ought I to transplant the narcissus bulbs? What ever are they burying across the street?

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Mimosas; Imperial Gunpowder; Horlicks.

18. Current hate right now? Those tiresome Examiner papers that are tossed unwanted onto Miss Jane’s lawn.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? Quince paste was involved.

21. Where would you like to go? London, to see if the place has changed..

22. Name three people who will complete this? How ever is Miss Jane supposed to know?

23. Do you own slippers? Peau de soie, with clever little tassels.

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Ivory herringbone silk, with pearl buttons

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Darling, how tacky!

26. Can you whistle? Miss Jane can imitate a police whistle; just pucker up your lips and blow.

27. Favorite color? Puce.

28. Would you be a pirate? If there were an adequate benefits package.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? “Aupres de ma blonde.”

30. Favorite girl’s Name? Marguerite

31. Favorite boy’s name? Angelo.

32. What’s in your pocket right now? My solicitor’s business card.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? The “Arlington Yupette” weblog.

34. Best bed sheets as a child? Childhood is so beneath one’s dignity, darling.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had as a child? See above.

38. Who is your loudest friend? What a rude question!

39. How many dogs do you have? Only fictional ones.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? How ever is Miss Jane meant to know?

41. What is your favorite book? “Le Matin des Magiciens,” by Pauwels et Bergier.

42. What is your favorite candy? Ginger Altoids.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Darling, sports are so vulgar.

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? “Tutto il mondo e burla,” from Verdi’s Falstaff.

I don’t own a single shirt with pearl buttons, and I can’t remember whether I ever drank a mimosa. I drink Chardonnay or Nebbiolo, and queer cordials, and single malt whisky, neat.


4 thoughts on “Doppelganger

    • Heh. Pleasantly enough, I wrote those answers rather before we had our conversation about the book on your blog. Miss Jane likes it because, being a mystery writer, she enjoys the idea of complex secrets underlying conventional realities. I don’t know about wonderful though — she’s a bit snarky, and as Zeus said after he read the spoofy mysteries, full of cameos of real life people: “Remind me never to piss you off.”

      One day I want to dress as her, like Conan Doyle being photographed dressed as his Professor Challenger the explorer (with a faux beard and all), and do an author interview on video. I succumbed to the temptation to buy her a dear little parasol with tulle roses all round the rim (they form a lovely bouquet when it snaps closed). I need to find some no-nonsense spinster clothes.

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