The most intriguing question of transfer deadline day was posed by a contributor to Talksport. Why is it that multimillion-pound, sharp-dressed, speed-of-light football is the only industry in the world still using fax machines?
In terms of actual transfers the questions were no easier to answer, apart from the obvious one about what on earth a French club with a brief to gain worldwide attention could possibly see in 37-year-old David Beckham who, if he actually plays, will become the oldest outfield player registered in Ligue 1.
Classy as it was of Beckham to announce his Paris Saint-Germain wages will be donated to a children's charity in the city, it did nothing to dispel the publicity stunt nature of the exercise. Great pictures, not that much of a transfer coup.
For England to start exporting players again was something of a surprise, especially to France, when the traffic has all been in the opposite direction in recent months, though possibly not as much of a surprise as Blackburn supporters must have had when they heard Christopher Samba describe the Premier League as the best place in the world to play football.
It was not exactly startling to discover the defender was pining for a return to England after his lucrative move to Anzhi Makhachkala did not work out to his liking, though it is hard to fathom – apart from a four-and-a-half-year contract worth an estimated £100,000 a week – why he thinks bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers are a better bet to supply him with the Premier League career he now wishes he had not interrupted. It could be argued that Samba is a long-time fan of the Hoops and it was a bid from the former manager Mark Hughes last year that unsettled him at Ewood in the first place. But 12 months ago he was not being offered the sort of deal that Harry Redknapp and Tony Fernandes have just come up with.
At least when Redknapp described his new acquisition as a monster he intended it as a compliment, which is more than can be said for some of the names Sunderland supporters have been calling their new £5m striker. Danny Graham was more or less destined to end up at the Stadium of Light from the moment he publicly disparaged the club while still a Watford player. As a Newcastle fan, he said, he would rather end up playing for Gateshead than Sunderland if he moved back to the north-east, but neither that nor the sound of Sunderland supporters booing the player when he appeared on Wearside with Swansea in midweek dissuaded Martin O'Neill from getting his man. This could at least be a last-day transfer story with legs.
With the bigger clubs doing their shopping early in the window – deals for Demba Ba, Daniel Sturridge and Wilfried Zaha were conducted with little fuss and, though Mario Balotelli's exit dragged on, there seemed to be a sad inevitability about the eventual parting – the deadline day was decidedly short on drama. The more excitable media outlets always seem to think there is going to be a repeat of the dizzying last day of January 2011, when Fernando Torres went south for £50m and Liverpool shoved the proceeds towards Andy Carroll with all the rash optimism of a tourist at the roulette table, though it was clear even at the time that that would be the exception rather than the rule. Two years on it is even clearer that major clubs are going to be more guarded with their money in winter. There are two main reasons for that. One is called Torres and the other Carroll.
In the absence of great big, jaw-dropping deals there was just a list of tiny surprises. Most people had completely forgotten Heurelho Gomes was still on Spurs' books, prior to his loan move to Hoffenheim. Ditto all the other White Hart Lane corpses, sorry careers, Redknapp spent his evening trying to revive. Ditto Rory Delap, whom many outside the Potteries might have assumed had left Stoke some time ago. In other unstunning news the Barnsley right-back turned his back on Wigan in favour of a move to Everton and Norwich decided Luciano Becchio might be a Premier League striker after all.
Jack Butland choosing Stoke over Chelsea and Manchester City looked a bit of a story at first but the small print knocked it down. The goalkeeper is 19, Birmingham are holding a firesale, he is staying with his present club until the end of the season and he reasoned, perfectly reasonably, that he would not be going straight into the team at Stamford Bridge or the Etihad. Common sense is going to be the death of deadline-day drama.