a funny thing happened on the way to obscurity

So much for the plan – design a site, get it working, post a few times sans audience for the pure thrill of writing unwatched, then abandon it in the middle of the night and flee the country, with nobody being the wiser. Sadly, I have an audience now, of at least four – three friends and some stranger who left decidedly non-roboty tracks across my log files. Hello, stranger!

Perhaps it’s not all bad. I read the other day that for every seven blog/journal/whatever readers there are two blog/journal/whatever writers, so I’m not merely at my allotted worldwide attention level, I’m half a reader over it. (Yes, I’m ignoring the fact that blog/journal/whatever readers quite probably read more than one blog/journal/whatever each, but honestly, what good are statistics if you can’t bend them to your will?) Building an audience of this vast size wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be. Who knew it was so easy? Although at 7:2, perhaps everyone already knows and all preexisting readers are off installing blog software or signing up at the new and improved rounded-corners blogger. Soon, I bet, there will be a writer for every reader, and balance will be restored to the universe.

The real problem is, if you are here or not, I’m always watching what I create, and usually hating it. I’m always thinking about the outcome, and you can’t write with regard to the outcome, says the woman who wrote ET, who should know about these things. It took me like fifteen years to intellectually understand that and fully know it to be true. How many more will it take me to act on it?

There’s my three paragraphs of over thinking for the evening; it’s like stretching before running, or eating before swimming, something like that. Perhaps in the future I can skip all that and get right to the funny animal stories.


I have no more funny animal stories.


Well, sorta one:

The other day on Ninth Street downtown there was a pig in the crosswalk.

The pig was wearing a pink tutu.

And some pink flowers.

The pig was on a leash.

The leash was held by a woman in a pink jogging suit.

The pig and the woman were being escorted in their walk by three police officers. None of the officers were wearing pink. Proof yet again, I should always carry a camera.

Without the cops, I’d wonder but perhaps only briefly, and even then, just because the weirdo count in our little town is fairly low; it wouldn’t even rate a second glance in NY or SF and perhaps only a flicker of thought in Seattle or Miami. I once walked around Manhattan at three a.m. with a four foot tall bunny under my arm and nobody even blinked. (Perhaps if it had been a real four foot bunny and not a carnivalprizesque one.) (And yes, the bunny was pink.)

But in Idaho, in a city small enough that we don’t even have cell number portability yet, the pig, in pink, with the police escort, I really gotta gotta gotta know. A prize winner? Did someone win or lose a bet? Practice for a parade? Pig Pride Day? Some sort of odd animal rights demonstration? I’d say it’s just Art with a capital A, but Art rarely merits police. The woman in pink also complicates things. If it’s a young teenager you know it’s some 4H thing, although you expect that sort of thing only in August and only at the county fair, with the show chickens and so forth.

Yes, I live where once a year people display prize chickens and watermelons bigger than my kid. It’s a bit odd to me too.

I saw nothing in the newspaper that day or the next; nothing on any of the local news shows or their websites. A Google for what seemed to be likely search terms turned up only a dead link to a review of a British-like pub in downtown Kyoto.

There weren’t a lot of people on the street at that time of day; for all I know, there were only a few other witnesses and that was that. No press, no permanent record. Just the pig, the woman, the cops, me, five downtown workers, and now you, my three point five readers.

I’d look for meaning, but we all know there isn’t any. At least the squirrel had a mission. But if nothing else, I admire those who do what they gotta do, if anyone is watching or not, obscurity be damned. Worry about the audience will do nothing but keep the pig down on the farm, the pink track suit in the closet, and my day sadly mystery-free.

At the very least, if googlebot comes by, then joining the dead link to the Kyoto pub will be not an answer, but at least a record of the question. Being on the internet may not really be immortality, but it might have to do.


This was published on 20 May 2004.
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