Y'know, I dig Ambush Bug fan fiction and pictures of other people's pets just as much as the next guy, but sometimes it takes the folks at a major academic research library to remind me just how crazy alltime everything these tubes are.
To wit, this afternoon I've been browsing through the electrified letters of Charlotte Brontë, and discovered that she did a meme even before This American Life came up with it. From a letter to George Smith, dated 26 December, 1849:
I think if a good fairy were to offer me the choice of a gift, I would say--grant me the power to walk invisible; though certainly I would add--accompany it by the grace never to abuse the privilege.
It's that second bit that gets you, eh?