John Hodgman

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Fig. 1. HODGMAN Suffered for Some Duration a Mild Blue Screen of Death Syndrome

Good evening. My name is not John Hodgman.

"But," you ask, dear not-at-all-hypothetical reader, "who, then, is JOHN HODGMAN?"

You are at the right place, dear reader. For this article aims to be an ALMANAC of COMPLETE HODGMAN KNOWLEDGE, only half of which is true.


"JOHN KELLOGG HODGMAN" (for that is the name of John Kellogg Hodgman) is a prototype of the Microsoft Literally Personal Computer (a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation) and a writer, as well as a famous minor television personality. He has written an almanac of complete world knowledge, as well as an almanac of even completer world knowledge, and is to write another almanac of even more super-extra-complete world knowledge (or your receipt back). He has also starred as himself, dear hopefully still attentive reader, in a series of 30-second to 1-minute documentary shorts, sponsored by Apple Inc, that feature snippets of his actual life in completely white space with his only friend, the escaped renegade Literally PC, "Justin Long" who simply calls himself "Mac."


Speculation is rampant about the origins of Hodgman. Legend claims, reader, he was born of the famous hobo-king, Joey Stink-Eye Smiles, or that he was the rare full-human child of two mole-persons, or that he was found lying alone in a crib with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. Many sensible people claim he was merely brought to Brookline, Massachusetts by a stork. But the truth about Hodgman's origins, dear reader, was that he was built, as the prototype of the Microsoft Literally Personal Computer (a registered trademark), in the underground labs of Microsoft Research Brookline. In his teenage years, Hodgman escaped to Brookline High School, where he found worse menaces. Fortunately, he had inhuman intelligence and strength, as he was, in fact, inhuman.

Fig. 2. Old Feral Instincts and Other Assorted Clothing Choices Die Hard

Nevertheless, dear reader, Hodgman became a member of that prestigious institution, Yale University. There he met a feral mountain man named Jonathan Coulton, whom he befriended. After graduating, he worked as a literary agent in New York, where he went on exciting secret missions involving preserving the natural course of literary events. Once, dear reader, he saved Sherlock Holmes from suffering a fatal bee sting in the Sussex Downs by having him "accidentally" gunned down in World War II first. Hodgman himself barely escaped the atomic bomb before returning to his office by escaping in a helicopter made out of Play-Doh, two miniature electric fans and a flashlight. Amongst the tight organisation of the secret agents of the Writers House, these extravagant missions were known as "daydreams."


Hodgman soon decided to retire before the job dehumanized him, and now worked full-time as a former professional literary agent. He wrote columns for numerous well-known publications, and lectured mostly at Brooklyn to small audiences about specific subjects, such as "How to Prepare Manuscripts for Publication," "How to Win a Fight," "Exiles of Chicago," "What Will Happen in the Future?", and "The Animals: ARE THEY OUR ENEMIES?"

It was not long before these lectures of wisdom were compiled into a book of complete world knowledge, which, with completely honest intentions, he called THE AREAS OF MY EXPERTISE. This, dear reader, is a must-read, although I may only be saying that because this is an article about Hodgman. Nevertheless, the book was a truly important starting point for Hodgman, for here it was that his life as a famous minor television personality began.

Hodgman was permitted, after much bargaining and out-of-place ferrets, to appear on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This marked the beginning of Hodgman's appearance there as RESIDENT EXPERT, as well as additional media attention. Apple Inc., looking to run as quickly as they could from Ellen Feiss and the Switch advertisement campaign (you may remember them, dear reader), soon found Hodgman as well, and started talks to feature him in some commercials.


Now, dear reader, you may recall the truth behind Hodgman's origins. He was a prototype computer, the first of his kind. Not only this, but he was fundamentally a PC, running Microsoft software. Now despite this, reader, Hodgman was a faithful Macintosh user since 1984. However, to Apple this did not matter. What mattered was the potential PR fiasco that could erupt viciously were it to be revealed that Apple was using a Microsoft PC for one of its commercials.

However, all of this was changed, dear reader, with the discovery of a renegade Literally Personal Computer (a registered trademark) that was designated "Justin Jacob Long" or "JUSTINJ~1" for short. This Literally PC, however, was miraculously running the Macintosh OS X, and taking a cue from his operating system, he called himself "Mac."

Fig. 3. And We Were Both Told There Would Be These Huge Racks of Guns Shooting out from Infinity That We Could Use When We Ran out of Bubblegum

Apple's ad agency, TBWA, had a brilliant idea. You see, dear reader, the natural habitat of the Literally PC is what we call the Matrix. It's difficult to describe, and you would only begin to comprehend it when you were shown it. The big idea of TBWA was to film "Mac" and Hodgman inside the Matrix itself, the very fabric of cyberspace. These advertisements would be unscripted, unedited 30-second to one-minute snippets of the lives of a PC and a Mac.

Naturally, they succeeded.

Helped in addition by his almanac of even completer world knowledge, called MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE, Hodgman gained further fame, enough to make a speech at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner in the presence of our governmental overlord, potential saviour and new bicycle, Mr Barack Obama. There, Hodgman made fun of the struggle between geeks and jocks, and -- MOST IMPRESSIVELY, dear almost-done reader -- did not subsequently get beaten up in the hallway by an angry mob of aforementioned jocks.


Hodgman is known outside of the geek community for running an outdoor gear company, from which he earns some part of his income. You may have heard of or even worn Hodgman waders, dear reader. In that case I congratulate you, for by wearing outdoor gear products that share a name with a geek-oriented writer, you have participated in an experiment of a most superb irony. Also, Hodgman may or may not be part of what is referred to as the Secret World Government, explicitly mentioned in his almanac. He has also been seen in disguise as Doctor Gerard, approximately 352 000 years before our time, on one of the Twelve Colonies.


to the end of our article, dear reader. I know, dear reader. I am sad as well. However, there is a time when all good things must come to an end, and this is the case for all bad and ugly things as well. Thus I leave you with a heavy heart, hope we meet again, and in conclusion say