I am unexpectedly approached by the Mysterious Parka Stalker of British Blogging.

I receive an email.

This is unusual. People do not normally email me these days. At one point, during the emerging glory years of British blogging, I would get several emails a day from the people, telling me how wonderful my stuff was, that I deserved a book/magazine contract, how I had changed their entire life etc. etc. (I paraphrase.) These emails have inexplicably dried up.

I open the message, and am stunned by what I see.

The Mysterious Parka Stalker of British Blogging has returned.

My head swims. It is barking mad; like being back in the ancient days of 2005, before Twitter and Facebook, when people with blogs ruled the Internet (not that this is a blog, it is a serious and learned diary).

Would I like, the message asks, to be sent a parka?

The mysterious parka stalker of British blogging is a bit difficult to explain, but basically he/she went through a phase of gratuitously sending parkas to bloggers for no discernable motive or return. Anonymous, unprompted free parkas. There is a useful and quite detailed write-up on Jonathan Cricklybee’s blog here, which will give you some background.

Then, one day, the MPSoBB got his coat and disappeared, never to be heard of again.

Until now.

I think hard before I reply. Although I am always interested in something for nothing, I am keen to attempt to find out more before deciding whether to accept or not. It is a little frustrating, as I feel that I have to ask gentle and courteous questions whereas what I really want to establish is whether the MPSoBB is some sort of con artist who will somehow rip me off by sending me a parka and/or will have masturbated into the lining.

It is a quandary. It would be quite easy to get my used parka sent to a business address or the Post Office etc. so that I do not reveal my own home location to a complete stranger, let alone one of potential liner-masturbating persuasion. But parkas are not very common, and I feel that walking around Norfolk wearing one might then blow my cover. I have no wish to become blogging’s John Lennon.

I am not sure what to do.

21 Comments

  1. Only wear the Parka in doors when the boiler breaks doqn, better still give it to the LTLP – but get it cleaned first, jusat in case.

    Not using twitter much at the moment.

  2. I want a Parka! I have ripped the pocket of my corduroy duffel coat and that sounds just the job.
    I shall start a blog forthwith which should easily surpass your feckless wittering and secure the garment in no time at all.

  3. Norbert, couldn’t you just persuade Jonny to give the MPSoBB your address and then you’ll get the one that he doesn’t really seem to want and everyone will be happy?

  4. hmmm. used, you say. the possibility of the existence of semen or even anthrax IS there, but i say to hell to with, accept the parka. Parkas are nice.

  5. Perhaps a Parka is better than a Mackintosh.

  6. It was in anticipation of receiving a coat from the MPSoBB that I started my blog five years ago. I never did, though. And now it’s going to you, with your book and your royalties (most of them from my multiple purchases) and fame and adulation and all. I’m deeply upset. I may stop blogging.

  7. If you accept you’re admitting that you are, indeed, a blogger.

  8. If you don’t really want to pass up a freebie but are worried you may catch something or might be traceable, you can always give him Ivan’s address.

    A very good and dear friend gave me a Waterstone’s card for my recent significant birthday thus allowing me the luxury of buying a brand new book and not waiting until I see a good one at a boot market. I do hope I’ve chosen wisely. I’ll let you know.

  9. Why not accept the thing then do a DNA test using sample found on the parka?

  10. Okay, that was my sleepy comment.

    Now that I’ve slept on it, and no-one else has any new theories, let’s get to work, Watson [that’s you, JonnyB, I’m Sherlock].

    Was Jonathan Crinklybee the only recipient or did other bloggers receive parkas also? Were their names John, Jonny, Jon, etc? With a B or Bee or Bie or Bei part of their name?

  11. These all give good advice. Or at least interesting advice.

    No Ivan. Hm. Have you noticed you never see him and the stalker in the same blog post?

  12. Oh – and thank you Richard! I wondered what the big spike in sales was!!!

  13. There’s a lovely Indian restaurant round the corner from me called Semen Parka. The jerk beef is especially rewarding.

  14. I really want to establish is whether the MPSoBB is some sort of con artist who will somehow rip me off by sending me a parka and/or will have masturbated into the lining.

    My money is on both. Though you’ll be lucky if it’s the lining and not the hood, and even luckier if it’s just semen.

    As for becoming blogging’s John Lennon, I think you can rest easy on that score. Have you considered being blogging’s Kurt Cobain instead? Shotguns are two a penny in Norfolk, and there’s less waiting around…

  15. Only accept a parka if it’s a real one. ie. ex-US army circa 1963 (ish). That’s what we used to use on the old Lambretta (God, I’m getting so depressingly old! Write another page or two to cheer me up).

  16. I would modestly point out that, although never offered a parka, I have had innumerable proposals of marriage from VERY friendly family oriented Russian women and several intriguing but vaguely frightening offers from someone who seems to want to do some variant of swinging but who suffers from severe tourette’s of the keyboard.

    Take the parka, and plaster a great big notice on the back announcing that this is a FREE parka acquired through CELEBRITY ALONE. That should impress the chickens.

  17. Nothing’s for nothing or words to that effect.
    It’s a bit creepy. I should ignore – you’re bigger than that.

  18. Just say Yes.
    You know deep down that you’ll worry yourself to bits if you don’t accept.

    No-one said you had to actually wear the parka.
    Have it dry-cleaned (don’t even look) and hang it in a cupboard.

  19. Boooooo – Megan, I don’t even get those now. I once had a lady who wanted to meet in a hotel. But I was too scared to reply with anything other than an ‘oooo er’.

    SeaBee – cupboard space is valuable, however! Plus also I would not want to accept one if this is some sort of eccentric pauper, spending his/her (but lets face it, his) last pennies on one…

  20. Don’t take it!

    He may have blogged into the lining

  21. Better an eccentric pauper than an eccentric pooper, which is how I read it at first glance.

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