Thursday, April 12, 2012

People Find Me

Sometimes I wonder about people.

Well, I wonder about people all the time, really. I wonder what they’re doing. I wonder how they get through the day. I wonder whatever happened to them, what might happen, and how I can find out. But mostly I wonder what goes through their heads.

This is why I majored in psychology as an undergrad. It’s also why I became a historian. It’s all people, and trying to figure out what they were thinking. People are just the most ridiculous things in the universe, and they’re heartbreaking that way.

One of the sneakier things that Blogger gives to those of us who use its services is a tab in the control page labeled “Stats.” You can find out how many people have visited recently. You can see what they looked at if it made the top ten things. And you can see what search strings people use to get to your blog.

Today’s winning search string? “Skinny bald cat wearing a chain.”


There are many levels upon which one might take that, all of them filled with regret and awkwardness. I’ve thought about them a bit since this morning, and I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t anything I could ask about that search string that would make me feel better about the world and my fellow human beings in it for knowing the answer.

The thing that sort of gets me about it more than anything else is the specificity of it.

Whoever was looking for that was looking for something remarkably narrowly defined. I suppose you could quibble about the definition of “cat” – is it a feline? A Beatnik? A jazz musician? And you could ask yourself what kind of chain as well: gold, silk, anchor, whatever. But there’s not much play in “skinny” or “bald” and when you put it all together it’s fairly clear to me that the whole phrase refers to a very concrete image, whatever that might be.

It’s a mystery.


Gristle McThornbody said...

I bet that some of the keyword searches and phrases Janiece and I get could give you nightmares for months. My blog title in particular has brought traffic from (I assume) men who definitely have some anger issues with women. Some of the cuter ones seem to be searches along the lines of "Mrs So-and-So ugly bitch," where I'm best-guessing that Mrs So-and-So is a teacher or authority figure of some sort.

But when I was doing a lot of transcription, and much of it was LGBTI oral histories, you can bet my Google Search History was interesting.

David said...

You know, I'm sure you're right. ;)

Most of the search strings for my blog fall into the category of "Huh?" rather than "AAAAAH!"

For example, competing for today's prize were such entries as "adenoid face," "how long is 10 dimes," and "goold beastwinkle little star."

Whatever works for people, I guess.

Tom said...

See, I think they meant to search for "hungry mangy kitty on a leash". Really. They want to adopt a poor kitty. That's not surprising, is it? But that doesn't give you a ready-made blog post, does it? You damn liberals always misinterpreting what real conservatives mean. Pity the poor kitties.

David said...

Poor kitties. Let's give them guns.


Unknown said...

Speaking of kitties, did you see the youtube videos of cats flushing the toilets?
A kitty on a LEASH! No self-respecting cat would be caught voluntarily on a leash.

Unknown said...

By the way, where does your title come from?

David said...

We've tried to put our kitties on leashes once or twice, since the earnest Solons who run Our Little Town have decreed that no cat may be outside without one. It went about as well as you'd think.

These are the same Solons who complain about Big Gubmint interfering with their lives.

I'm assuming you mean the blog title rather than the post title. And that's explained by the tag line.

Unknown said...

What is the tag line based on? Something historical or did you make it up?

David said...

It's loosely derived from an old retort - "Yeah, well, that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee" - meaning "that's pretty much worthless." You can tell how old by the price.

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I liked the general notion of that retort, and somewhere along the line I ended up with my own version: "Yeah, well, that and four quarters will get you ten dimes."

When I was trying to come up with a name for this blog, that was where I ended up. I like to write, I like to tell stories, and I have all sorts of opinions about all sorts of things that I like to express. But I'm not so far gone into my ego to think that what I do is going to be anything more than that.