20 February 2008

People Will Come

This story might make your skin crawl. No gore and it shouldnt ruin your lunch, but it's a little creepy.

Just over a year ago, I posted a sentimental tribute to my son, about the time he filled in as an AFL batboy. It touched on baseball and life's illusions, and I was pleased to get some positive feedback on it. Like all posts, though, it eventually got archived and my thoughts turned to a hundred other ostensibly related topics. Baseball...Diamondbacks...Alyssa Milano......How to make my blog more viable...Alyssa Milano.

For those of us not in on the big sell, it hasnt been easy getting featured on mlblogs. But that's old news. The point is, you come up with gimmicks to make your page stand out; to make it more fun or useful than that of the geek next door. For example, I added sardonic images to my posts, and foreign language translations on the sidebar - including one in beautiful Arabic heiroglyphics, as a joke. Funny thing was, I actually got some hits from the Kingdom. Not a lot, but they'd trickle in from different IP addresses. Got a similar hit yesterday from the UAE.
Like most bloggers, I got me one of them site meters. They're fascinating tools, providing all sorts of free info about your readers except who they really are. I wondered if my Saudi readers were expats with Arizona connections, reaching out for Diamondbacks from ARAMCO barracks halfway around the globe. Or maybe a privileged prince with a secret American baseball bug? I really had no idea.
Most baffling was that the Middle Easterners, almost without exception, gravitated to a single post I had written some time ago - the one about the AFL game. Gee, it really was a good story, I told myself. But why weren't the Saudis reading any of my other stuff? This struck me as a tad queer. Perhaps cryptic Saudi significance was innocently embedded in the initials "AFL"? Ak-Faisal Ladin, anyone? No. The AFL baseball team was called the "Desert Dogs" could that be a connection? Or did Julio Franco, who I mention twice in the story, have a burgeoning fan club in Riyadh? I was at a loss.
Turns out, it was none of that. Further snooping on SiteMeter revealed that this distant seduction was fueled, not by anything I had written, but by a stock photo inserted near the bottom of the AFL post - a picture of a boy my son's age, from the waist up, taking a shower. It turns out the two most popular Google searches to find Diamondhacks, from Saudi Arabia anyway, are:

  1. Naked boy
  2. boy in shower

Lovely. I dont wanna come down too hard on any society righteous enough to parade around in long, white robes with funny hats, nor one sufficiently sage to forbid women to drive. Nor do I (heaven forbid!) want to come across like a Crusader, but with due respect to the fine folks sitting on the world's largest oil reserves, their Minister of Purity really needs to look into this whole gay pedophilia thing and consider chopping off some dicks.

(photos ourtesy of ottawalynxblog.com and raidernet.com)

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