TOP—or rather the new (TypePad) TOP blog—reached Comment #100,000 at 5:43 this afternoon. When it happened, sirens went off and balloons fell from the ceiling here at TOP World HQ, scaring the dog.
The lucky 100,000th commenter, known as "Q," is by his own admission 144 years old, which I assume means he was in fact the Quartermaster for Her Majesty's Secret Service, supplying Bond with Q-devices. (I say "he" only because I actually do know his name.) For his services here, I was going to pick out and buy him a nice photobook, but then I decided I'd better get a grip and let him buy a photobook of his own choice. (It's still essentially a mystery to me, but I realize empirically that not everyone shares my taste.) So he's getting a $100 Gift Certificate from Amazon.
Q's prize is a way of symbolically recognizing the contributions of all the many wonderful commenters who participate here on TOP, enriching and amplifying so many discussions. It is, for one thing, how I continue to constantly learn things here, and how I keep myself entertained and amused. Thanks to one and (almost) all.
If you're curious, Jim Henry was commenter #99,999, and Ken Tanaka #100,001. So close!
Congratulations (and thanks) to Q. He hasn't stepped forward yet to claim his prize, but maybe we'll hear from him. (Who knows, maybe he'll leave a comment.)
—Mike, On the Velvet Rope
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Ken: "And yet you did not even make Q's comment a featured comment? Wow, what does one have to do for a featured comment around here, anyways? [With tongue firmly in cheek.]"
Featured Comment by Q: "Yikes! Really? Wow! I feel like one of those stunned actors you see in TV commercials who just look about wide-eyed when the sirens sound and the balloons envelop them at the checkout counter or some such place—except of course I'm not acting. [Looks about nervously.]
"I'm afraid I don't have a speech ready...
"Thank you for this very generous book-by-proxy gift! I think I know already where it's going to go. (Hmm; is The Empirical Photographer available on Amazon?)
"More, though, thank you for the years of posts, yours and your guest writers', and the comments. Everyone here seems to have a well-reasoned point of view, and the great majority of them know considerably more about the craft and the art of photography than I do; I learn more from TOP than from any of the other photography sites I read. I daily look forward to refreshing the TOP page and seeing what pearls appear, and I'll keep reading well past the 200,000th comment (which I'll make sure won't be mine).
"And—my sincere apologies to Lulu. I hope she got over her fright quickly.
"Thank you again!
Mike adds: Q, whose real name is Damon C., tells me he actually took his handle from "silent Q" in Monty Python's Bookshop sketch (originally from At Last the 1948 Show—here's a version with Marty Feldman):