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I’m feeling a little foolish. Does everyone but me know of the British politician Tarquin Biscuitbarrel? I only learned about him a few hours ago, in a roundabout way.

The starting point was this Andrew Sullivan post on Sarah Palin, which linked to a review at the palingates blog of Anne Kornblut‘s recent book Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win. I went to the review at palingates and found that it was a guest post — which I recommend — written by Mrs. Tarquinbiscuitbarrel.

Not yet knowing of the British politician whose name the guest writer had taken as her nom de plume — and assuming it was in fact a nom de plume — I decided to investigate. Searching led to three Biscuitbarrels. A Mrs. Tarquinbiscuitbarrel, presumably the author of the review, has appeared as a commenter on several blogs and as an Amazon reviewer. (Assuming all these Mrs. Tarquinbiscuitbarrels are one and the same, I quite like her writing, and her views.) In 1981, a Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel was one of several candidates for the British Parliament in an important by-election. And with this we get close to the original source, a 1970 Monty Python sketch parodying election night television coverage. In Luton, Silly Party candidate Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel soundly beat Sensible Party candidate Alan Jones for a seat in Parliament (with Slightly Silly Party candidate Kevin Phillips-Bong getting no votes).

How did I not know this?

Categories: Humor, Politics
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