How To Be Popular: Flaunt Mastery Of Ketchup Science
For the past several days, the most frequently visited Heck Of A Guy post – by a wide margin – has had nothing to do with Leonard Cohen. Nor did it center on Allison Crowe (or any other musician), family members, friends, photography, or any of the topics regularly featured on this site.
The most popular piece on this site has instead been a June 30th, 2006 posting, Ketchup Decantation – The Definitive Report, which was then and is still the go-to online article for information about dispensing ketchup from glass bottles.
It turns out that batches of folks who read 5 Scientific Explanations Behind Everyday Nuisances at Cracked.com felt it worth their while to also click on the link in the final paragraph:
While there is no shortage of tips and how-tos on the subject, they tend to range from useless common sense stuff (“Do it carefully”) to mad scientist levels of lunacy that involve bendy straws, manual dexterity and an uncanny immunity to the public scorn of fellow diners.
Yep, a link on a Cracked.com post referring to the use of bendy straws as a solution to overcome thixotropic1 forces operating on bottled ketchup triggered enough unique page-views to nearly double the cumulative hits of all other Heck Of A Guy entries.
There may be a message in that, albeit one I am unable – or unwilling – to articulate.
How To Be Perpetually Popular: Flaunt Mastery Of Kinky Sex
The second most popular single post over the same few days (and perhaps the most reliably popular post ever published at Heck Of A Guy) has been 13 Mistakes To Avoid When Selecting A Safeword For BDSM Play, a satiric piece subtitled Subs Say The Funniest Things.
I am pretty sure what the message is in this case.
Two examples from A Sub’s Suboptimal Safe Words follow:
8. ” ” It didn’t work for Prince and it won’t work for you.
12. Some words and terms just don’t fit the context. For example,
• “Hamiltonian-Federalist Jeffersonian-Republican Alignment”
• “Willing suspension of disbelief”
• “Bernoulli’s Principle”
• Any phrase which includes the words “butterfly” or “unicorn.”
• Anything in the form of a rhyming couplet
• Almost all scripture from the New Testament (yes, even the modern translations)
13 Mistakes To Avoid When Selecting A Safeword For BDSM Play does, by the way, share one trait with Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen pieces – the safeword piece and Heck Of A Guy Cohen posts are regularly ripped off without attribution. 2_____________________
- Thixotropy is The property exhibited by certain gels (in this case, ketchup, of becoming fluid when stirred or shaken and returning to the semisolid state upon standing. [↩]
- For example, 13 Mistakes To Avoid When Selecting A Safeword For BDSM Play was cut and pasted into Melting Honey two months ago, garnering 144 responses while avoiding the hassles of performing any original work or crediting the the author (which would be me). [↩]