Nothing on my interests list starts with an X. No one on my friends list has a username starting with an X. To the best of my knowledge, no one I know has a real name starting with an X. No author on my bookshelves has a name starting with an X. No CD or cassette on my CD and cassette racks is by a band or singer whose name starts with an X. I'm going to have to really work at this one, aren't I?
I assert that the letter X is the very most unpleasant letter in the entire alphabet.
1. X is for exes. As in those monstrous creatures that the people you used to be in love with all turn into, after they finally once and for all drive you to really not be one teeny tiny little bit in love with them anymore, and in fact to wonder what kind of severe dementia must have seized control of your brain during the period of time when you used to be in love with them.
2. X is for Christians. As in Xmas and so on. They even wear little sideways Xs on chains around their necks, which help to warn the rest of us when we are utterly surrounded by people who all harbor bizarre beliefs about a Magic White Guy in the Sky who was sentenced to the death penalty 2,000 years ago, most of whose worshipers still continue to support the death penalty anyway.
3. X is for Xenu, a leader of the space aliens according to Scientology. Two creepy religions in one single letter!
4. X is for Xanga, a LiveJournal-wannabe website that has been known to recruit new members by sending spam emails to random GeoCities and Angelfire members, and which through these evil methods has managed to become supposedly the 21st most popular English-language website in existence.
5. X is for Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates, whose name, according to my dictionary, has entered the English language as a word meaning "an ill-tempered woman." Yes, that's right: X is for taking sides in a 2,400-year-old marriage dispute by remembering the husband for his philosophy and writings but remembering the wife only for the fact that she wasn't as happy as she "ought" to have been with being a sex slave to a husband who was some 40 years older than she was.
6. X is for Xiaxue, whom Wikipedia informs me is one of the most prominent bloggers in Singapore. Glancing through her blog, I can't imagine why; she writes like a hyperactive teenage alcoholic and seems to be awfully obsessed with looking for ways to belittle as many other people as possible just out of a belief that this will make her look good by comparison to them. On top of that, she's offensively xenophobic, having written blog entries suggesting that foreign workers should be banned from public events, claiming that they (or the males among them, anyway) are in the habit of nonconsensually groping Singaporean women (whereas I guess we're to suppose that no men born in Singapore ever do such a thing).
7. X is for xenophobia, that scourge of all cultures everywhere.
8. X is for Xerxes, the King of Persia from 485 B.C.E. to 465 B.C.E., who appeared as a character in Gore Vidal's novel Creation, which I read last month. As a character, he wasn't that bad, but not that great either (according to Vidal, he spent most of his reign utterly ignoring all the signs that he ought to do something to avoid being murdered). And the book was far less interesting than I normally expect from Gore Vidal.
9. X is for xacuti, a very yucky food from India that involves chili peppers.
10. X is for Xixuthrus, a taxonomic genus containing 15-centimeter beetles that have horns and "produce a loud and fearsome hissing noise when threatened." Now there's a pleasant thought.
Anyone want a letter now? At least if you get your letter from me, you'll know I'm not likely to give out X, because I've already done X for you.