Ted (merovingian) wrote,

Palimpse, palimpser...

I went to a Chinese restaurant last night, and the food was terrible. The only saving grace was my fortune cookie, which read "Ted, your next step toward enlightenment is to go to an avante-garde stationery store."

So, today, I did. There's this chic little shoppe downtown, nestled between an oxygen bar and a pottery-wheel café. Handcrafted pulp paper from third world countries is just the beginning of the excitement. There's chipotle paper there, and ionically-stability coal-filtered paper, and "pioneer paper".

The best paper there, though, was the palimpsest. They purchased and resold used paper, with the previous statements erased.

The proprietor, John Boring, explained that this was becoming the most popular paper. Writers loved it, because, and these are his words, not mine, "the ghostly impressions of previous people's thoughts make for subconscious inspiration."

I didn't buy the pitch, but I did buy the paper.

And then I drank some of their Kool-Aid.

They also had a resale program. You could return your palimpsest to them for 50% off your next purchase of palimpsest. The only catch was that if you ever got your own palimpsest back again, and saw what you're written, erased and written over so many times, you'd die on the spot from bottomless recursion.

When I got home, I decided to put together my shopping list, and pulled out the paper. There were a lot of things on the paper, but one thing stuck out the most. A list of questions.

At great expense, I've reprinted them here for your benefit...

Poll #33582 The question on the palimpsest...

Assume that a market for the one-way exchange of personal memories (in which one party gains the memories and the other loses them) is well-established, socially acceptable and reputable. Now, think back to the time in your life when you were the most popular. What's the cash value of that memory?

Oops, I forgot to ask. What was that memory?

Can I borrow fifty bucks?


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