Saturday, May 14, 2005

Self-Googling is Masturbation

Self-googling is masturbation. For me, it often comes late at night, when I am feeling lonely and a little depressed, a sweaty, cold beer bottle in hand.

It’s that dark time when you start googling all your old exes to see if you can find a hint of where they are now. Did they move to a different city? Do they regret breaking up with you? Do they think about the time when you slashed their tires? And when you have exhausted the list of 43 names, you start googling your own to see if anybody is talking about you.

If you’re unlucky to have a common name like me, it will be harder to sift through the morass that is the World Wide Web. If you’re lucky, your name is unique, like Fartogus Ishmael, and you can easily find that the people you used to go to high school with, who still refer to you as “Ishmelly Farts.”

Author John McNally must’ve been doing quite a bit of ‘masturbation’ when he found my site. He had been looking for notices for the paperback release of his novel, The Book of Ralph. I had written a brief post about buying his book along with a photo of the growing stack of unread books on my nightstand.

The post was the result of a problem that plagues some normally verbose bloggers: opinionus interruptus – the temporary exhaustion of opinions. When this happens, there is suddenly a spate of photos of their pets instead of a post. You get photos of cats doing cute tricks; photos of dogs in goofy sweaters; photos of gerbils in anal cavities.

I don’t know how some people are able to write post after post, some almost daily. I admire how committed they are. I hope they will be released very soon from their mental institutions.

I had debated whether I should get started on The Book of Ralph or try to dig through that stack. Upon reading this, John felt that he had to make a pitch on why I should start with his:

"Hey. John McNally here. Now, listen: I know you have a shit-load of books on your nightstand -- I saw the photo -- but you really should read my book next, and I'll tell you why. It's funny, it's moving, it'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry. Actually, it just came out in paperback, and now's the time to get some groundswell of grass-roots support going for the book, so my reasons for getting you to read it soon are completely selfish."

This was a start of an exchange of e-mails that resulted in my first Author Interview, which will be in my next post.

Even though I am only in the third chapter as of this writing, I laughed out loud when the titular Ralph tries to make money as an eighth-grade hitman. I hope the rest of the book is good, it is very promising.

Funny what happens when somebody who self-googles acts upon something they find.


Even though I am happily in a relationship now, every so often, I will turn on the computer and start googling those names again. I don’t know what I am looking for. I don’t know why I do it. It’s spontaneous and impulsive, you know, like winking or burping or giving your mother-in-law the finger.

I don’t know what I would do if I found anything.

I don’t know what I would feel if I were an ex of mine, and I found this site, this post, these words.

Yeah, I still think about you sometimes.

NEXT: An interview with author John McNally

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