Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Five Fiendish Footnotes

Flying fishnuts! There's over $100 up for grabs in my From A to Z Contest! Enter today!

I like footnotes. Not all of them, of course. The traditional ones, which simply impart more information or list source material, can be a bit droll. Footnotes can be so much more.

If you've been on my blog before, you know I typically use them as humorous asides, or as the punch line itself. Twice, I've had footnote-centric posts with 10 notes a piece, and my blog's title also comes from a footnote. But it's not just me.

Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell has footnotes that go on for pages, detailing past events in her revised history of Britain. Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves contains footnotes within footnotes within footnotes, mirroring the story's narrative. Jasper Fforde's protagonist Thursday Next speaks with characters who aren't in the scene via a footnoterphone. And these are just a few examples.

My footnotes today, however, are like none of the above. You may notice there are no little numbers or asterisks pointing you to them, that they have no connection at all to the content of the post. Here's why: My friend Maureen always reads the footnotes first, and I've tailored these specifically to, for lack of a better phrase (and to ensure the infinitive I started back there is really, really split), screw with her. Never mind that I don't necessarily believe the things I'm saying below. Like I said at the beginning, footnotes can be so much more than just boring old information.

They can be downright fiendish.

1 "Not unless it's a hundred grand." Get it? Because of the farmer's tooth? Man, that joke kills me every time...
2 ‒ • •   ‒ ‒ ‒   ‒       ‒ • •   ‒ ‒ ‒   ‒       ‒ • •   • ‒   • • •   • • • •       ‒ • •   ‒ ‒ ‒   ‒   this.
3 But this time, the duck was wearing a monocle.
4 People may call Bill Gates the Devil, but I say it's Steve Jobs. Think about it. They say the devil's in the details, and while Gates has given up day-to-day decisions at Microsoft, Jobs still has his hand in each new iDevice that comes out and imposes strict regulations on every product and app. He is like a snake, and Apple is the fruit of the devil.
5 Which is why, from now on, I shall only use
Comic Sans. In bold text, red on a dark background. No, wait. It should be RAINBOW! And in a scrolling marquee!! BeSt FoOtNoTe EvAr! (Note: You'll need to click through to the blog to actually see the marquee — and blink — in action.)

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, hosted by Jen Daiker and seven others. Go check out the other participants!


  1. Footnotes are a lot of fun, but I prefer parenthesized sarcasm on my blog.

  2. Sometimes I flip through books and read the endnotes, appendices, and footnotes first. (Maybe even the bibliography. Strange but true.)

  3. i love your footnotes, and to this day i'm still ridiculously amused by your blog title story and how sometimes, that wheel in the corner actually is on fire.

  4. Personally, I love your digressions...err...footnotes! :)

  5. You're funny. And, thanks, about Matilda. We'll miss her so, so much.

  6. I've always liked your footnotes. So has Rex Ryan.

  7. I love your blog. I'm still trying to figure out how to do your other a-z challenge. lol good post.

  8. I have seen footnotes used in many forms- but your is the first I've seen in so many colors! lol Thanks for the smile.

  9. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to and pick up your award.

  10. Gotta love rainbow text! Best kind ever! ;)

  11. AshR: I used to be all parentheses all the time, but now I try to disperse my sarcasm via a diverse array of methods. I don't care whether it's inline, (parenthetical), or *footnotal.

    li: Even the bibliography? The horror!

    Falen: Aw, thanks! For me right now, the wheel is flamin'. Poor Ixion.

    Bridget: What a wonderful coincidence! My footnotes love you, too. But I digress...

    Mary: Well, my parents gave me the option of either being funny or being smart. I think I made the smart choice.

    Chris: Rex Ryan has never seen my noted feet! Lies, I tell you! Filthy, filthy lies!

    Suburban: Thanks! And good luck with the A-Z. I'm looking forward to what you come up with.

    Golden: Excellent! My work here is done. (Of course, I still have plenty more work to on many more footnotes this month...)

    Summer: Glad I could amuse. My next goal: a note shaped like a foot. (Don't worry, I can still keep it colorful, like rainbow-striped socks!)

    Deirdra: Thank you so much for the hand-drawn award! My blog will wear it proudly... some time next month. (Alas, the rest of April's already booked.)

    Lynda: Glad you liked it! Although, for me, rainbow text is only second-best. To plaid.