January 20, 2005

The Blogosphere and the Mystery of the Elderly Widow

Desert Cat finally popped the question: Who the heck is Esther Wilberforce-Packard, author of the blog Topic Drift?

Smart money says, no sweet little old lady is actually producing copy like this:

This Country is Full of Sandwiches that Do Not Work

Man is born free, but everywhere his sandwiches are in chains. Last night I forged a sandwich so hideous that I capitulated immediately. I set the bready beast in the dog’s bowl and walked away in despair. It was a complete waste of horseradish-mustard and good intentions; never again will I combine the two.

Apparently, Desert Cat had a few suspects lined up, including Jeff from Oakland, the Kommissar, and Allahpundit. But Jeff has denied it, and he was my top pick: I "liked" him for this "crime."

Furthermore, I don't think it's quite the Kommissar's style, and Allah has an alibi, if I recall correctly: he was dating on nights that a few of those posts were made.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Let me know if you have any hot suspects. This person is presumably maintaining an entire blog, just for the joke value, and has been doing it for months—on top of whatver other blogging duties he/she has. So it's someone who has patience.

The other thing we can do is try to identify Mrs. Wilberforce-Packard's earliest supporters. Those initial links must include a few from her creator's "real" blog.

Who's your top suspect? Let me know. After all, we blew RatherGate wide open: we can certainly determine the true identity of an eccentric widow.

Posted by Attila at January 20, 2005 01:34 AM

Denial aside, I guess I just assumed it was Jeff @ Beautiful Atrocities.

Posted by: Pile On® at January 20, 2005 06:40 AM

Attila, I barely have time for my own blog. I was going to do a fake Barbara Lee blog, but who has time?

Posted by: jeff at January 20, 2005 08:39 AM

Well, that's the thing: whoever's doing it is achieving something impressive.

I probably thought it was you because you ran a picture of her on your blog, and I saw her mentioned in your entries before you actually linked to the thing itself.

It certainly is a work of art.

All in all, though, I'm glad you're not sacrificing sleep for something like that.

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 20, 2005 08:55 AM

I happen to know that Chris Cope at http://chriscope.blogspot.com/ claims to have had dinner with the author. They are both in Minnesota, which lends creedence to the idea. He's the weakest link. Break him, and you have your answer.

Posted by: noisy ghost at January 20, 2005 09:48 AM

So long as she/he/it keeps doing it, I'll be happy though. It's genius. It's art. Don't stop!

HERE she responds.

Posted by: Desert Cat at January 20, 2005 09:55 AM

All I know is I wish I'd thought of it. It is indeed blogart and I hope it keeps on going ... and going .. and going

Posted by: Preston Taylor Holmes at January 20, 2005 10:06 AM

I was actually looking for a shot of an old bag's orthopedic hooves to add EWP to my foot post, but couldn't find one. I guess I could've staked out the church down the street.

Maybe it's Garrison Keilor? Lileks?

Posted by: jeff at January 21, 2005 07:19 PM

I think it's the Artist Formerly Known as Juan Gato now blogging at Farm Accident Digest. It's got the same sort of humor, and I found Ms. EWP through FAD.

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