A sizable chunk of the surfers who land on my cyber island of AdHudler.com do so because a word-search has lead them there. They type a word or phrase into google, as we've all done thousands of times, and if any of those word combinations are contained in the hundreds of AdHudler.com blog entries, well, then, they're directed to my site. I get an hourly list of the search-engine phrases everyone uses, and, my oh my, has it been enlightening. Also, a little disturbing.
I've long suspected that google has slowly been replacing the priest, psychiatrist, physician and mother in our lives, and my venture into blogging has certainly substantiated this theory. People ask google anything and everything. As witness to our secret, anonymous queries, google has learned the desires, fears, interests, passions and insecurities of us all. And now, I, too, know your secrets. The search terms don't lie …
"antiperspirant deodorant mental illness" Let me explain: I had blogged about how I only use deodorant and not antiperspirant because I fear that the latter causes bad things like cancer, impotence, impatience, etc. There's a reason God wanted those pits to sweat, so let them sweat. Obviously, someone else is worried about the same thing.
"underwear organizing" I conducted an unofficial poll, asking people if they folded their underwear before putting them away or simply threw them in the drawer. Results: 40-percent were careful folders, 60-percent were throwers.
"can you put soap in your butt?" (I am not making these up – I promise you.)
"I wear lizard skin boots am I bad?" (I have no idea how or why this person was directed to adhudler.com, but I have started watching peoples' feet in public very, very carefully.)
"our ad well endowed man for wife" (There's the reference to my name, of course. I can only speculate on the rest.)
"I dream about Alvin the chipmunk." (And I'm sorry about that, I really am. You must have been terrified by the photo of me in my size-10 Alvin Chipmunk slippers on Christmas morning, hmmm? Can you believe those things were available in a size 10?)
"why does my sweat smell like cat pee?" (Thank God I am not the only person with this problem. It started, inexplicably, about a year ago. But don't you think it would be more accurate to describe the odor as D-Con rat poison with higher notes of ammonia and oregano? At any rate, if you find the source of the problem please let me know immediately.
"Stephanie Abrams breasts" (I am a Weather Channel junkie, and I occasionally blog about the meteorologists there, but in my defense I have NEVER written about Ms. Abrams' breasts. She's always wearing a windbreaker, anyway, so I couldn't tell you if she's a double-A or double-D.) Also: Jim Cantore anything. Evidently I am not the only person out there with a crush/mancrush on this bald TWC meteorologist who always puts himself in harm's way, be it hurricane or tornado. We should probably add "stalker" to his list of potential dangers because people out there evidently want to know his status: "jim cantore divorce," "Jim Cantore affair," "where is Jim Cantore?" and "Jim Cantore suck."
"eat veins in chicken" I blogged about my realization that the dark, gritty vein that runs down a shrimp's back actually is his digestive tract, and if you don't de-vein the little guy then you're eating … well, you get the picture. It's a 2-for-1 deal: In addition to the shrimp being your lunch, you're also getting his lunch.
"naked women eye patches" While on book tour I'd blogged about meeting a reader in Jacksonville named Lonetta who wore an eye patch with a cute kitty on it … and in the same entry I'd mentioned how my friend had coerced me that day into stopping for lunch at a strip club on the interstate. So, I am exonerated. But you, dear curious googler? "naked women eye patches?!?!"
But the most common, and no less intriguing, search phase I've seen is a version of this: "cute cartoon turkey." And it wasn't solely a Thanksgiving thing, either. This search phrase started popping up in September, and continued well into February. Some people specifically want "a cartoon turkey with clothes."
Stymied, I googled it myself and was lead to what I wrote on this page on my website: "Dressing a turkey: What a weird use of the word 'dress.' Strange images come to mind, don't they? Little booties, a hat ... maybe underwear. I tried to google an image of a turkey in cute little clothes by typing in "cartoon turkey in clothes."
I'd also posted on my blog the photo that popped up in my google search of "cartoon turkey in clothes", which was not a turkey at all but rather a hot young woman in a very-low-cut black swimsuit, her long blond hair blown back by wind and her open lips all glossy and inviting. How and why did this woman's photo show up on my google search? Months later, I am still pondering the curious connection: Turkey breast, perhaps? Was it the word "cute?" Or is there some new code out there that I'm not aware of: "Hey, dude, that hot cartoon turkey at the bar just gave you the eye."
The list goes on and on: "birthday ad with tattoo," "balding guys with buzz cuts," "albino Canadian goose," "preppie MILFS," "granite counter microwave radiation."
…"Do I have A.D.D.?" (Having the name "Ad" greatly confuses Google.)
… "santa white eyebrow dye," "nasty massage school," "bar soaps sold in mall of America," "cats in underwear."
…"His immense gut," "sibling rivalry in middle age."
…"Does cooking an apple in the beans help control gas?"
…"Is Mr. Clean a real person?"
And, my favorite to date: "What does it all mean?"
Indeed. I've been wondering that myself.
Ad Hudler is a novelist, essayist, blogger and small-space landscaper who lives in Florida with his wife and daughter. His newest book, "Man of the House," was published by Random House this fall. He can be found at AdHudler.com