Thursday, August 28, 2014

COLUMN: Blog Stats 3

It's good that the internet exists.

It serves as an information hub of immense scope and resource. It unites us together as a people in ways we never thought possible. It has revolutionized the way mankind communicates.

But most importantly, it gives us a daily reminder that no matter how weird we might think we are, there's always someone a whole lot weirder out there.

Don't believe me? Do you know that there's an entire website out there devoted to erotic fan-fiction involving the late Roy Orbison covered in Saran Wrap? I kid you not. Wanna see squirrels shooting laser guns? There's a site for that. Dancing anime Arnold Schwarzeneggers in bikinis? There's a site for that. The internet is the perfect place to let your freak flag fly.

Nowhere is this more evident than on the stat tracker page of my blog.

I keep all of my old columns online at, and I've got a little program on there that keeps track of visitors. Let's say you go to Google, search for a particular phrase, and somehow get routed to MY blog. My stat tracker records what you searched for in order to end up in my neck of cyberspace. The results are nothing less than a perfect glimpse at just how strange the rest of the world really is.

For instance, at some point in the 486 columns I've had published, I used the word "sex." Somewhere along the line, I've also innocuously used the word "rabbit" and the word "hot."

As a result, there's a chance you could now get linked to MY blog by Googling the phrase "hot rabbit sex" -- which, in fact, happened this month to some poor innocent pervert who clearly went online for an evening of clandestine XXX bunny action. Imagine his disappointment when he instead landed on the website of a socially awkward newspaper columnist with a penchant for writing about cats and Katie Holmes.

But "hot rabbit sex" is only the start of the cyber weirdness that's at one time or another crossed paths with my site. What follows is a list of actual Google keyword searches that have led folks to my blog at some point or other in the past year:

• "BEAT UP BY OLD LADY" - Great. Write ONE column about getting threatened in the Walgreens checkout lane by a senior citizen and I become an expert in defending oneself against the elderly. I suppose there are worse reputations to be had.

• "SLIGHTLY USED PERFORMANCE HORSE" - The sad thing is that I know why this happened. Through keen research and a naturally inquisitive nature and absolutely NOT because I'm shallow enough to sit around and Google my own name, I know that "" is the commercial web portal for "Shane Brown Performance Horses" (motto: "Delivering on the Promise of Excellence.")

As much as I like to think that I run the entire world, I am NOT the Shane Brown of Shane Brown Performance Horses. That's some OTHER Shane Brown who's clearly using MY name in order to ride these coattails to fame and glory in the equine industry. Still, I'm moderately interested in what makes a horse "performance"-worthy, and I'm especially curious to find out how one becomes "slightly used."

• "SONGS THAT MAKE ME VOMIT" - I'd like to have been privy to this conversation.

"Hey, Ed, what are you up to tonight? Wanna go hit up a club?"
"Naw, sorry, Jasper. I've got plans."
"Oh, you do, eh? What's on your agenda?"
"Well, I was gonna sit here, listen to some music, and regurgitate."
"Good times."
"Good times, indeed, my friend."

Helpful advice: If you go out to a nightclub and end up barfing, it's probably not the song's fault. I'm just sayin'.

• "GREG DWYER UNDERWEAR PREFERENCE" - I've got to admit, a part of me was a little bummed out that it wasn't "Shane Brown Underwear Preference." (Answer: Boxer briefs. Comfort AND security. Not that you care.) Instead, though, someone in cyberspace clearly holds deep concern as to the undergarment situation of 50% of the Quad Cities' most popular DJ duo. Well, I am nothing if not a consummate journalist, so I'll get to the "bottom" of this situation if no-one else will. It just so happens that 97X morning jock Greg Dwyer is a friend, so I just shot him an e-mail to find out, once and for all, what "GREG DWYER UNDERWEAR PREFERENCE" really is. This is his actual response:

From: Dwyer - "Wait, you want to know MY preference for YOUR underwear? I'd have to say zebra thong."

Reply from: Shane - "No, dork. YOUR underwear. A curious public waits with bated breath."

From: Dwyer - "For me? Well, like Bill Murray says, 'I rarely wear underwear, and when I do, it's something unusual...'"

So there you have it. And the best part is that I've now said the words "jock" and "underwear" in close enough proximity to make future keyword searches even more alarming. Huzzah.

• "WHAT DOES MILKY DISCHARGE MEAN?" - I am not a doctor. I don't even play one on TV. But I'm pretty sure it means you need to get off the computer and get yourself to a hospital. I might even suggest running. Seriously, leave now.

• "WHAT IS FINGERS?" - What's worse -- not knowing your own phalanges or not knowing how to conjugate a verb?

• "IS SHANE BROWN A JERK IN REAL LIFE?" - My guess is that they're once again talking about the performance horse guy. I'm not shallow enough to assume that everyone on Google who types "Shane Brown" is looking for me. But for the sake of argument, let's pretend that everyone on Google who types "Shane Brown" is looking for me because I'm super awesome.

And if THAT'S the case, then the answer is entirely contingent on the situation. If you're a stranger and you say hi, I'm not a jerk. If you're a stranger and you say hi by nearly running me over in your car and making me late for work, I might be a jerk. If you're at a dance club, spot me DJing, and come request a song, I'm not a jerk. If you're requesting that song 5 minutes before closing time and your breath smells like Southern Comfort and you rain spittle onto my face while requesting that stupid "Fancy" song even though I've already played it 4 times but you HAVE to hear it one more time because "isss myy frennnnz birrrthdaaay"? Then it's pretty much guaranteed that I'm gonna be a jerk.

But most of the time, you'll just have to settle for me being incredibly shy, socially awkward, and bereft of normal conversation skills. That doesn't make me a jerk. It just makes me weird. But as I've learned today, weird is fine. Weird is normal. As long as it doesn't come with any form of milky discharge.

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