Monday, December 13, 2004

Mock Scoot

Dear Friends,

This is my last Oh, For God's Sake. It was just about a year ago that I started this blog and in short order, a woman exposed herself on national television, hurricanes and cicadas stormed the world, and Jesusnazis took over the country. Clearly, God is trying to tell me something.

OK, I don't blame myself. But it is time to move on. Being a victim of hypergraphia, I'm sure I'll continue to write in some form. Maybe I'll start a new blog. Or write the world's first nihilistic fortune-cookie fortunes. Perhaps I'll write clever inspirational sayings for church signs. Or maybe I'll write my own ticket. But for now, it's time for a break.

For those of you who are interested in such things, here are some facts about OFGS readership: Last May, I started monitoring site traffic using a cool, free Web counter called Sitemeter. When you visit OFGS, Sitemeter logs your visit and notes which pages you open, which country and time zone you're in, and stuff like that. (It reports a portion of your computer's IP address but nothing more to identify you, so I don't know visitors' names or e-mail addresses or religious affiliation or sexual orientation or mortgage amortization or urinalysis or masturbation habits or anything private like that.)

Since May, OFGS has logged 1127 visits and 2219 page views. (If you come to the site and read two pages, that's two "page views" but only one "visit.") I've averaged about a hundred page views per week from about 50 unique, weekly visitors. If I were to take an educated guess from the IP prefixes, I'd guess there are about 25 dedicated OFGS readers who visit every week and I am not exaggerating when I say I love you guys!

One Sitemeter feature that has been a regular source of hilarity is the one that tracks search terms. Whenever someone ends up at OFGS after searching for a particular topic at Google or Yahoo, Sitemeter reports what the search terms were. Imagine my glee upon discovering that unsuspecting readers had landed on OFGS after googling such terms as "UK+Wildcat+Christmas+ornament," only to find a rant about idiots at the mall or "Cheddar's+menu," only to find a blog making fun of the insufferable hellhole known as Cheddar's. It's enough to make me question my agnosticism! (Oh, and to the person who searched for "Pillsbury+Doughboy+pooped:" please, seek help.)

Another interesting tidbit: People from every continent (OK, except Antarctica) have stumbled upon this blog. Imagine my delight to have readers from Japan, Australia, Russia, Switzerland, and South Africa. And yes, I'll admit to gulping when Sitemeter reported visitors from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Texas. (Just kidding about Mohammed and Jesus, pardners! Honest! Ha ha ha!)

So, can you longtime readers guess which topics were the most popular? Here they are:

1. Kentucky in Contention for Most-Redneck-State Status

2. Suburban Dining: Come See What All the Fuss is About!

3. Do Nothing and Go to Hell

I think the lesson is clear: nothing sells like sarcasm. Of course, in such a small universe, just a very few e-mail referrals make a big difference in site traffic. If you liked it enough to recommend it to a friend, that caused a noticeable boost in traffic. My lovely sister alone probably accounted for a sizeable jump in traffic each week when she pestered her friends to read. (I love you, Mary.)

To all of you faithful readers, thank you. To all of you who wrote me with funny stories or words of encouragement or conspiracy theories or album titles, thanks. I really appreciate your notes, even those of you who are assholes (and you know who you are).

Thanks to Mom for the leads and the reassurance, thanks to Dad for naming the blog, thanks to Blogger, thanks to Sitemeter, thanks to my agent, and thanks to God Almighty for bestowing upon me the tools to doubt His existence in handy blog form.

Kurt Vonnegut said, "Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia." The person I always write to please is my sister Mary. So thanks most of all to you, kid!

One last story: I grew up in a German-American community, where my elders routinely lapsed into German when the need arose. Wie geht's substituted for "how are you?" (The proper reply: "the gate's all right but the hinges are getting a little rusty.") And, of course, nobody cusses like the Germans. But my favorite German expression is one meaning "goodbye." Despite all the great ways to say it in English, there's a way to say it in German that always seemed especially affectionate to me: macht's gut. The expression means "so long" or "be good" but with a pinch more goofy affection. When I was a kid, I thought of it as "mock scoot," which I never really outgrew. So besides a friendly farewell, it also seems to say, "now, get out of here - and don't take yourself too seriously!"

Mock scoot, y'all.


As my parting gift to you, here's an OFGS summary cheat sheet for readers with attention deficit disorder (oh, yes, there WILL be a test):

Clip 'n' Save!

Practically everything shitty in the world can ultimately be traced back to religion.

Guns kill people.

Racing cars is stupid.

Iraq: Not al-Qaeda. No WMD. Unilateral, preemptive military intervention in an oil-rich country in the name of religion = Wrong.

Education overcomes ignorance.

Fuck Wal-Mart.

Life is so much funnier and nicer and better organized and more attractive and happier and more enjoyable generally if you share it with some queers.

O'Charley's sucks.

There is absolutely no reason for hunger or homelessness or poverty. Why do they exist? Because we choose to let them exist.

Practically everything shitty in the world can ultimately be traced back to racism.

Here's an easy way to drastically improve your life: turn off your television. And your computer. And your iPod. And your cell phone. Go for a walk. Read Lady Chatterly's Lover. Talk out loud to animals. Drink a glass of water.

Women are usually wiser than men but not always.

Kentucky Senator David Williams is a dick.

There are certain words you can't use in e-mail without risk of having your messages intercepted by warlords. For your convenience, all of these words appear elsewhere in this blog.

There is no God. Or maybe there is. Hard to say. But probably not.

Journey sucks, but don't rule out chicks who dig them.

Cows can kill you.

Practically everything shitty in the world can ultimately be traced back to capitalism.

Sure, there are cute butts at the mall, but very little else of value.

Fox News is a steaming load of lying fucking bullshit.

Rage, under certain circumstances, is hilarious.

If you drive a Hummer and you're not actively involved in defending your country, you, my friend, are an asshole.

The Pledge of Allegiance is neither a pledge nor allegiant. Discuss.

John Kerry is quite a marksman.

Practically everything shitty in the world can ultimately be traced back to redneckery.

Don't hate me because I'm straight.

If evangelical Christians don't have enough decorum to leave your country alone, you're under no obligation to leave their religion alone.

Circuit City can kiss my ass.

You gotta admire a priest who can clean up communion barf without puking.

There are too many people in the world. And you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Practically everything shitty in the world can ultimately be traced back to television.

Sure, you can play the opening riff to "Smoke on the Water," but can you play it with soul? Can you, maaaaaaan?

Jesus Christ loves Boilermaker football. Also the Red Sox (but not from 1919-2003).

Don't remodel a teenager's bathroom on vacation.

Practically everything shitty in the world can ultimately be traced back to the Eagles.

One zero zero is just six zero to a microwave.

That hair gel shit is fucking amazing.



Monday, December 06, 2004

E-mails I Didn't Receive

From: jpii@thevatican
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: birth control

Ya know, I've always had doubts about our stance on birth control. It's just that it's hard to change horses in mid-stream, ya know? But -- shit -- you're right. I mean it IS the age of AIDS and all. Not to mention other STDs, teen pregnancy, overpopulation, third-world mores, the earth's dwindling resources, human drives, etc. I might be a hundred and eighty years old, but I can remember the urge to shtup. Frankly, we're on the wrong side of this one. Abstinence is, like, SO 500 years ago. Since reading OFGS, birth control does seem like a wondrous gift from God. We should also let priests and nuns get 'em some of the nasty. They needs ta be straight-up fuzizzlin', knowudam sayin? Get out da jack shack and lay off da bois, f'shizzle. I'll get on it soon, I promise. Right after my nap. God bless. -- Karol


From: potus@whitehouse
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: Funny Boy

Oh, For God's Sake: I think I'm gonna call you "Funny Boy." You sure crack me up with all that bloggin'. "I ♥ Taxes." Heh-heh. You kill me, mister. I misunderestimated you. Oh, and I checked and you're right. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan isn't in Iraq after all! I'm a little upset with Dick. Anyway, we're gonna get outta Iraq and refocus on the terrorists, pronto, like you suggesterrated. No drilling in Alaska, either, I promise. (Not unless Clinton's there, if you catch my drift. Heh heh.) Want me to get Rupert to promote your blog? You'll think twice about those tax cuts then, Funny Boy. OK, gotta run. It's prayer time! See ya, George.


From: mitch@yahoo
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: rednecks

You're right: I really am a jackass for getting in bed with all those evangelicals and rednecks. Truth is, I'm smart as a whip (ha ha, get it?) and I could give a holy fuckall about abortion or gay marriage or stem cells. Aren't I a stinker? OK, what'll it take to get your vote in '08? Want me to make Ernie eat a booger on C-SPAN? Because I'll do it. Oh, I'll do it. Just watch me. --Mitch


From: fast_guys@nascar
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: Thanks

At first we wondered why you kept picking on us. After all, we just like to drive fast in circles. And millions of people like to watch, so where's the harm? But then we thought about it some more and realized how silly it all is. Machines. Going fast. In circles. People just watching to see a bad crash. Because tangled metal and blood reach the human soul in a fundamental way. We feel a little silly now. So we're going to quit. Thanks for your insight. Oh, is figure skating OK? Because that seems pretty silly too.


From: gun_nutz@nra
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: Guns Not People

Whoa. You're right: Guns DO kill people! Sorry. We'll disperse now.

From: evangelicals@southernbaptists
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: something warm to come to

Stand by your man, give him two arms to cling to and something warm to come to when nights are cold and lonely. Stand by your man and tell the world you love him, keep giving all the love you can. Stand by your man.


To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: Our bad

Thanks to your thoughtful and constructive criticism, we've seen the error of our ways. We're going to stop voting against our own economic interests, stop hating others, and knock off all the pow, pow, pow. Hell, we'll even get to know some people of color and drink a nice pinot noir once in awhile. Maybe take a class at the community college. Stop fucking our cousins. That sort of thing. Thanks for showing us the light!


To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: We're really terrible

God, you're right -- we suck! We hate us.


From: entire_staff@ocharleys
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: We second that emotion

We agree. We hate us too. For what it's worth, we also hate Golden Earring.


From: evangelicals@southernbaptists
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: all the old, familiar places

I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day and everything that’s bright and gay. I’ll always think of you that way. I’ll find you in the morning sun and when the night is new I’ll be looking at the moon but I’ll be seeing you. I’ll be seeing you in all the old, familiar places that this heart of mine embraces all day through.


From: asshole_retailers@themall
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: We'll do better!

Until we read Oh, For God's Sake, we didn't realize just how stupid our policies are. Especially rebates. How insulting of us to sell you something at an inflated price, only to make you jump through a bunch of hoops to get your own money back. We're going to stop that immediately! We'll also put a bookstore back in the mall, quit marketing tawdry, slutty clothes to young girls, and knock off all the perfume spritzing. Oh, and UK Basketball Christmas ornaments? Gone. Sorry about all that. Come back soon! -- The Mall


From: evangelicals@southernbaptists
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: You can do whatever you feel

Young man, there's a place you can go. I said, young man, when you're short on your dough. You can stay there and I'm sure you will find many ways to have a good time. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A. They have everything for young men to enjoy, you can hang out with all the boys. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A. You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal, You can do whatever you feel.


From: shitty_chain_restaurants@the_suburbs
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: No More Fangos!

You are SO right about the bacon cheeseburgers and the Caesar salads and the fuckin' chicken fingers. Look, when we started out, we thought that shit would never get old. And we had no idea people would get so fat so quickly. E. While we've got you, can we get some shit off our chests? Selling all that meat as "healthy" is wrong. And our salad dressings have, like, 50 fat grams. And -- who are we kidding -- nobody needs that many fries. We're really evil to the core, selling food that doesn't taste good, is unhealthy, too expensive, AND nationwide. God, why does everything have to be exactly the same wherever you go?! Why? It's driving us mad! MAD! We're definitely going to knock it off. We're going to take down all our stupid stores and replace them with green spaces and playgrounds and even rebuild some small farms. It's the least we can do, considering. Thanks for setting us straight.


From: dick@whitehouse
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: You're right

I really have been an ugly, mean, slimy, hypocrite. I'm going to divert all Halliburton proceeds from now on to veterans' hospitals and environmental groups and gay rights organizations. And all of my oil holdings are going to the Iraqi people. And I promise to wipe that stupid sneer off my face when I'm on TV. I'd hand over the reins to George, but I don't think any of us want that. But I'll be good from now on, I promise!


From: Holier_Than_Thous@SoutheastChristianChurch
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: billboards

We were driving down Bardstown Road the other day and we spied one of our billboards claiming to know how God defines marriage -- you know, the one with the pregnant woman? -- and suddenly it hit us: What does pregnancy have to do with it? What about heterosexual couples that don't have kids or who adopt? Are their marriages invalid also? What about loving, spiritual gay couples who adopt kids and love them and raise them to be good people and lift them up out of poverty and give them good homes and provide a great model of caring, respect and dignity? It was then that we realized all our views were suspect. Everything we held dear came tumbling down like a house of cards. (Well, actually, it was like a giant, offensive mega-stadium of cards out by the interstate, but you know what we mean.) So we're tearing it all down -- the billboards, the jumbo-tron, the bleachers, the 75-acre parking lot, and the massive "church" and we're advising our zealots to go outside, take a walk in the woods, love everybody, stop judging, interpret the bible figuratively, stop discriminating, support fairness, and have sex any way that feels right. And a lot of it. (We're overdue.) We thought you should know.


From: god@heaven
To: LessCynicalInPerson
Subject: monotheism

Of course I don't exist. I mean, c'mon. I was invented by some bored assholes who wanted to keep their women and children in line and score some fast cash and justify their slave ownership and love of war. What a concept! God almighty! Oh, for My sake! Of course I don't exist. Geez... Or DO I? Dun dun DUN. Muahahahahaha. I kill Me. --God