Apparently I was wrong. Facebook users actually love reading 25 things about themselves. I never expected to receive so many e-mails defending a person's right to read about how much his high school biology lab partner hates goat cheese. (Read the original "25 Things I Didn't Want to Know About You.")
According to its supporters, Facebook's "25 Things" trend helps people understand each other, and the millions and millions of poorly punctuated revelations have united people in a way no mere chain letter ever could. How else to explain such outpourings of compassion as "I too have been injured by a ninja throwing star," "Phlegm problems? Ugh, tell me about it," and "I am another straight man who listens to Jewel." (See the best and worst blogs of 2008.)
It's almost certainly a by-product of our blogging, Twittering, Flickr-photo-sharing culture that people are no longer fazed by long lists of strangers' quirks and neuroses. So perhaps my initial take on the phenomenon was too judgmental. Maybe "25 Things About Me" is more interesting than it appears. I decided to read 25 more things and find out:
1. I used to buy Donald Trump's toilet paper.
2. I almost stole someone's cat last weekend.
3. I would do dirty, dirty things to Tina Fey.
4. I have always felt destined for greatness. So far, this has been a total bust.
5. My favorite activities when I was young were building forts that spanned the whole playroom, dancing to Michael Jackson and throwing my brother down the stairs.
6. I work "That's What She Said" jokes into every conversation. (See TIME's list of T shirtworthy slogans.)
7. My grandmother once told me I was her favorite. I don't think she meant it.
8. When I die, I want a steaming hot Reuben sandwich shoved in my mouth during the open-casket part of the funeral.
9. I cry during Robert Downey Jr. movies. (See the top 10 movies of 2008.)
10. My friend Brian and I once brought home a dead opossum because we wanted to "stuff" it. We tried to cut off its head with hedge clippers, but it was late fall and the creature was far too frozen.
11. I make my own Spice Girls clothing and accessories.
12. I listen to the soundtrack of Sweeney Todd while shaving.
13. Fetuses freak me out.
14. I wrestled a hippopotamus. I used a wrestling move and it went unconscious.
15. I think it's frustrating that ChapStick tastes good when you put it on your lips and lick them, but if you just bite the ChapStick, it tastes like poison.
16. On two separate occasions, I have returned to my dorm room drunk, with some form of cheese in my purse. (See pictures of Denver, Beer Country.)
17. When I was little, I pretended my bike was a horse named Satan.
18. My wife calls me Panda. When a friend of ours found out and started calling me Ling Ling, I got pissed.
19. I can't take guys who wear sports jerseys seriously.
20. Danny DeVito broke my pinky toe.
21. One time, Sean came over and asked what I was cooking. I grabbed his hand and shoved it into the pot of water. I had just put it on the stove, so it wasn't hot yet, but he didn't know that.
22. I find puppets to be one of the most satisfying ways of expressing myself.
23. When I was a kid, I confiscated one of my mother's slips and adopted it, calling it Lovey.
24. The most famous person I've seen in Los Angeles is Bruce Willis with Rumor, Secret, Honor and Tango (or whatever the hell he named those damn kids).
25. I'm writing this list for sympathy and attention.
Nope. Still dumb.
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