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.



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