A couple of days ago, because of the odd job I have, I needed to know roughly how long a giraffe's neck is. But, as a friend of mine has already brilliantly illustrated, when you're halfway through typing a phrase like that into Google, it starts suggesting the things that most people who start a question that way have gone on to ask, in a way that looks rather like a poem. It's quite an arresting snapshot of a world of curious people:
How long is a g-
How long is a generation?
How long is a governor's term?
How long is a giraffe's neck?
How long is a giraffe's tongue?
How long is a goldfish's memory?
How long is a girl's period?
How long is a great white shark?
How long is a good nap?
Did anyone else see the nap coming? I didn't. Until then, it was pretty clearly a precocious but bashful child trying to slip the question he really wants to ask in a barrage of camouflaging stuff about animals. But then right at the end, he suddenly becomes about 75. And sleepy.
Anyway, obviously I now had to go through the rest of the alphabet. Here are my two favourites. In both cases, as in the above, I've removed some obvious repetition, but otherwise left it untouched.
How long is a kilometer?
How long is a killer whale?
How long is a keg good for?
How long is a king size bed?
How long is a klick?
How long is a king cobra?
How long is a kitten a kitten?
See, once again, it saves the best till last - just as you're getting worried about what kind of grotesque stunt, or possibly illegal fight, these frat boys are planning to stage with their whale and their cobra and their beer and their bed... suddenly out of nowhere comes that adorable meditation on the precious transience of kittenhood.
Ok, last one. For this one, I like to imagine it as a dialogue, with one person insistently asking the first seven questions, and the other finally answering with the eighth.
How long is a passport good for?
How long is a paragraph?
How long is a pregnancy?
How long is a patent good for?
How long is a prescription good for?
How long is a p90x workout?
How long is a platypus's bill?
How long is a piece of string?