Friday, February 20, 2009

Who is that masked man?

Last night I spent most of my time fighting Microsoft's PowerPoint. It meant that I didn't get the chance to do much in the way of research.

Instead, I shall respond to the deluge of the email I received.

It is highly probable that if you follow my blog here (and here and here), that you may have come across the man of mystery.

Those of you who may not have yet adjusted to my synaptic tangents, you may feel that I am about to explain exactly who was that masked man, The Lone Ranger. As a pre-Clint hero of the Old West, he was allowed access to the chain of beauty parlours around the badlands of 19th century America that ensured that he and his trusty sidekick were always impeccably manicured. Faced with such clean shaven and well moisturised good looks, the hoards of bad-guys soon saw the error of their ways and surrendered to be rehabilitated into society. A society where all women were beautiful, young and even when besieged by renegades, could always smuggle in their make bags and find time to touch up the slap.

Our hero and his sidekick could always be relied upon to remain pleasantly aromatic and spick and span thanks to the secret material used to make their outfits that always remains clean and ironed no matter how many days are spent in the saddle. Sadly, it is a material that remains secret to this day.

But as usual, I digress. No, I am talking about that legend of blog folklore, Evar.

The historical timeline of Evar remains vague in my memory, but is rooted in the early days of my first blog on Yahoo. I started this on 30th May 2006. Rather like the Old West of the Lone Ranger, they were simpler times. I wrote my entries, posted them and experimented a little.

I started to explore the blogs of other people and the other features on the site - like I would encourage any 'newbie' to do. Above all, I got into a habit of setting aside some time every day to write a bit, read a bit, post a few comments and build up my network of fellow bloggers. The comments bit being the important bit as this built up relationships with people far more experienced in the art than I.

Looking through my old blog entries, I can see how my voice and style developed. As my confidence and network grew, I spent more time on the formatting (using HTML which eventually took longer than the writing!).

Evar appears to have made his first appearance in my blog on 21st June 2006, co-inciding nicely with Wimbledon and me suffering an apparent attack of bad taste.

Evar was born out of one of the features of Yahoo which was the short messaging system. People could type in short messages on the front page of your site. Along with an appropriate little smiley face, you could choose an emotion to go with your message. Lumped in with the obvious 'smiles', 'hugs' and 'waves' was one for 'Best 360 Evar!'

Somewhere, now lost in the mists of time, lay a conversation with Marcus Jordan (Yes, another Multiply refugee from the crumbling 360 megalith) over the delights (or otherwise) of these messages and somewhere in these it was decided that ‘Evar’ referred to an over competitive Eastern European winter sports specialist

Now, I am not at all sure how all of this came about and the actual conversation is now buried in the bowels of some Yahoo post that will probably never return (tags are great for finding individual posts, but sadly never updated to reflect comments).

I have another shameful admission. I can’t even be sure that I remember Evar’s full name. Somewhere along the line he acquired a girlfriend, Yvette Munsderpiedder, with whom he competed in the 2006 Wimbledon finals until a scandal forced Evar into hiding with the famous detective, Chief Inspector McCrindle Barleymow Honeydew-Fforbes of New Scotland Yard hot on his tail.

Shortly after this, Yahoo declared that I was interesting. Something that felt like a huge honour at the time, but take it from me, you don’t want to stay interesting.

Evar continued and the legend grew. Stories wove around him and characters wandered in and out of the blog. Everything based around the simple premise of my local shifted from Reality A to Reality B where it became reborn as the ‘Rat & Ferret’ all aided by Dried Frog Pills and Dr. Ethaniel Nightswerve’s Velvet Cudgel. He still gets the occasional outing of course, but I am careful that before I let him out in public, I check that nobody has sewn a new label in my underpants.

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