You non-bloggers out there may have wondered what those little chicklets are near the bottom of the page in the right-hand column where it says "View My Stats" and "Sitemeter."
Those are devices down-loadable free that tell you what kind of traffic you've been getting on your blog. In other words, how many people are reading.
But more than that, thanks to the all-seeing eye of the internet, you can go behind the scenes, as it were, to see from which part of the world your readers are tuning in and even which internet sit they may have been visiting before they clicked over here.
It's pretty scary, I know. Big Brother. The heck with library records, a government agent can find out more about you just by starting a blog. I have to admit, the technology can be highly seductive and sometimes I find myself rummaging around my own "stats" to see who's watching.
Truth is, the majority of my "readers" hit on this blog as the result of a search. I notice widespread interest in things like chilaquiles, for instance, or hog butchering. For a while, I was near the top of the search lists for my coq au vin.
Last night, though, I came up short when I saw a Google search emanating from Long Beach, California, and containing the words I've used in the title of this post: "recipes for and or proper manner to prepare a whole human carcass."
I swear, I am not making this up. The first question is an obvious one: Why did Google think I would be able to answer this query? Secondly, was this a joke, or is there really someone out there with a human body in his cooler looking for ways to turn it into dinner?
A little spooky, no?
This was one of those instances where you have to look away for a moment, then look back to see if you really saw what you think you saw. You hope that while your eyes are averted the words just float off the computer screen and disappear like some kind of chimera.
Well, the words didn't go away. They were still there the second and the third time I looked.
I had to tell my wife.
"We have to call the FBI!" was her immediate reaction.
Yeah, I thought. That's what I was thinking. But even though I considered this possibly a matter for law enforcement, what I found myself advocating for was the proposition that whoever was behind this Google query did not actually have a human carcass in his fridge but was just goofing around and thought it would be funny if there really was somewhere on the world-wide internet a recipe for cooking a human.
But my wife was not moved. "We have to call the FBI," she repeated.
I handed my wife the phone book but went to bed before finding out if she actually called and what our federal crime agency's reaction might have been. I can just imagine the agent working the midnight shift who takes this call, then goes home to his wife and says, "Honey, you wouldn't believe the nuts out there working this internet shit."
Or, are there agents at this very moment dressed in full SWAT regalia, surrounding some unsuspecting bungalow in Long Beach, CA, with the sole purpose of inspecting all refrigeration units on the premises, as well as crawl spaces, attics, garages, storage units and any newly dug garden beds.
I could not resist clicking on the Google query in question (go ahead, try it!) and of course found there is no such thing even in the great big world of the internet as a site explaining how to prepare a human carcass for consumption. Oh, you do get quite a few results, but pertaining only to some of the individual words in the query line.
The Slow Cook came up because of all my posts back in March about butchering hog carcasses.
I went to bed remembering the Twilight Zone episode where aliens land on Planet Earth and proceed to carry out a number of good deeds for humanity. The aliens are represented by the same actor who played Lurch on The Adams Family, only with this hugely swollen head (all aliens have gigantic brains, right?) and these horrible dark circles under his eyes (he gets no sleep, wracking his brain for ways to help humans.) He communicates telepathically and after doing many good deeds, invites human to travel back to his planet.
He leaves behind a huge book written in an alien script that is only deciphered after earthlings begin loading onto the flying sauces. The title of the book, the first thing de-coded, is To Serve Man, which maybe explains all the good deeds?
But just as the space ships are preparing to take off, the true contents of the book become clear and a clerk comes running.
"Don't go! Don't go!" she screams to the humans waiting in line to get aboard. "To Serve Man, it's a cook book!"
Of course now that I've used the words, I will be at the top of the list of any future Google searches for how to cook a human carcass.
Ah, well. I just had to tell you.