Vedant Misra

I work on artificial intelligence research at OpenAI. Previously, I was founder and CEO of Kemvi, acquired by HubSpot.

The Only Reason I'd Commit Arson...

...would be to use the word "ucalegon" in a sentence. Although "ucalegon" isn't in the Oxford English Dictionary, which means it won't be in any other English dictionary, I'd seen the word before in a collection of unusual and interesting words and phrases. Indeed, I asked the Internet, by means of the Google, to tell me what it means, and I was informed:

A Ucalegon is a neighbour whose house is on fire. It seems impossible that there should be a word for this, but here you are (courtesy of Trojan legend, in which Ucalegon was an unfortunate, burned-out neighbour of Aeneas). An extremely rare word, though one should not be burning to have a chance to use it.

(--f2.org)

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen; that explains it quite thoroughly. They didn't even leave me a chance to make the one pun I thought up...burning desire...

Like I said, I'd burn a house down just to yell out "Hey! Crap! Call the fire department! We have a ucalegon!" No I wouldn't do that, I'm just kidding. Except maybe I'm not. Dear neighbors: if you see me in your house splashing gasoline around, just do everyone a favor and get your stuff outta the way, you crazy ucalegons-to-be.