If you have tried googling anything this morning, you may have noticed that today is Edward Gorey day on Google! Yes, apparently they are commemorating what would have been his 88th birthday* with a special logo.
*I wonder why his 88th would be of significance…I know, I will google it!** Hang on….
**Please note that this increasing dependence on machines to do our searching and thinking for us is one of the first steps in our eventual downfall as a species. Yes, you are witnessing the genesis of it all right here, friends. And perhaps one day, many years after our Robot Overlords have wrested control of the planet, a small rag-tag band of rebel humans will mount a resistance movement. Hacking into the matrix, they will search back through the annals of internet history in search of a clue as to how it all went downhill…and maybe they will find this post. If you are reading this, rebel humans, please allow me to extend an apology to you. On behalf of the entire human race, I am sorry that we were too distracted by pictures of cats on the internet to notice that the machines were quietly plotting their attack.
Anyway, back to Edward Gorey. A cursory search has failed to reveal why his 88th birthday would be of importance. There must be a reason for it though. Am I missing something? Is 88 a significant number for Gorey fans? Or for Google? The number 8 is basically the infinity sign flipped on its head, so maybe that has something to do with it. Is Google engaged in an ambitious rivalry with infinity? That would be just like them, wouldn’t it?
Whatever. Some mysteries are never meant to be solved. Like the mystery of Edward Gorey’s ‘The Doubtful Guest’…
Where did he come from? Why did he stay? Was he sporting the same pair of white canvas shoes for 17 years, or did he keep ordering new pairs? Is falling asleep in a soup tureen as uncomfortable as it sounds?
There are no obvious answers to these questions. But I do very much enjoy the Doubtful Guest sitting here inside of the Google logo, surveying the scene with polite interest.