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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

The (Nearly) Unbearable Goofiness of Being… Charlie

Hey, kids. It’s time for another installment of ‘Hey, look, everybody, I’m a douchebag moron!‘. This episode is a story in three acts. The curtain rises at around two this afternoon. Grab your popcorn; we’re goin’ in.

Act I: Man, I Thought I Was Obsessive! Oh. Shit. Never Mind

So, I was hanging out at work. I was getting some shit done, but I was getting a bit tired, and started to wind things down for the day. There was nobody around, so I hijacked an Ethernet cable and did a bit of surfing while I wrapped up.

So, of course, I checked in here at the ol’ blog site. I checked out Blo.gs to see if any of my favorites had updated. And then I checked for any new comments.

(And thanks to Em and Lara for not disappointing today. The rest of you schlebs could learn a thing or two from these folks. Get the hell on that, would you?)

Anyway, before long, my attention turned — as it always does, for hours a day — to the access logs. How many people are reading, how much are they reading, how long do they stay — these are the questions that fuel my jets these days. Forget ‘Am I going to get fired?‘, ‘Is this finally the Red Sox’ year‘, and ‘Hey, what’s this red spot on my ass‘. Those questions are trivial, compared to the daily blog traffic queries.

(Though for the record, the answers, in order, are ‘Not today, apparently‘, ‘No, dammit‘, and ‘I don’t know, but I’m sure if I ignore it completely, it’ll eventually go away… right?‘ Just in case you’re interested.)

So, anyway, I ended up seeing who’d come by today. In between my near-constant self-aggrandizing clicking, I got a little bit of work accomplished. But yeah, I was pretty much log-watching at that point. And after a while, I noticed something interesting.

See, most people stop by here and stay for one click. They’re in, they’re out, it’s all cool. Hell, most of ’em are looking for topless cartoons or blow-up dolls, anyway, so it’s pretty understandable that they shove off right away. I don’t have any of that shit. Or… er, not so far as you know, at least. I ain’t puttin’ my stash out here for all to see, that’s for damned sure.

But sometimes a visitor will pull up a chair and stick around for a while. Two clicks, or three, or even a half dozen. Maybe they dip into the archives, or my ‘100 Posts About Me’. Or more likely, they have the good sense to check out my links to other blogs, and get the hell out of here to read someone with real talent. Whatever. When I see that somebody’s made with the clicky-clicky after they’ve gotten here, I usually check it out. I see where they came in, and where they went out, try to figure out what they’re looking at. It’s all about feeding the ego, folks. Feeding the ego.

So, understandably, I get pretty excited when I see someone spendind significant time checking out my stuff. And that’s what I saw today. Somebody out there — some wonderful, freaky somebody — was checking out a lot of my shit. When I first looked, my mystery fan was up to a dozen clicks or more. Cool!

Anyway, I keep checking in, and this person’s still on. Thirty minutes, an hour, an hour and a freakin’ half! And they’re still looking. At what, I can’t tell — the last page they’ve been on is always the main blog page.

What the hell are they doing,‘ I thought. Are they just reloading the damned page, or clicking in and coming back? What the hell?

This shit goes on for just about two hours. Right around four o’clock, I check in again, and see that my mystery caller has clicked on nearly forty links off my page, and has spent one hundred and twenty-one minutes hanging around. Who does that? Who could be so awe-inspired, so obsessed with my wit, so… so… worshipful to waste two whole hours on a Friday afternoon checking out my site?

And that — of course — is when it finally hits me. (Yeah, the thing that all of you’ve been thinking for the past nine paragraphs. Cut me a fuckin’ break, would you? I got up early this morning.) Obviously, the only maladjusted, work-shirking, fucked-up-priorities-having asshat who’s gonna spend two hours checking out my crap is… me.

Because I’m at a new office. And my IP filter blocks my home address, and my old work IP. Not my new address, whatever the hell it is. And so that ‘bestest fan’ from somewhere at ‘harvard.edu’, which is affiliated with my new hospital workplace? Me. Little stinkin’ dumbass old me. Shit.

I hope I don’t have to tell you that I stopped working and went home the very second that I had this epiphany. What a tool.

Act II: The Jailbait Day Parade

So, I’m walking the roughly seventy-two miles to my frickin’ car, because you can’t park in the same damned zip code as the hospital I work at unless you’re an ambulance driver, or the fricking pope. And even he pays full price in the garage, folks. This place is fucking serious.

Anyway, I get out the door, and what’s the first thing I see? A gaggle — not one, or three, or even five, people; I’m talking about a proper gaggle — of chickies with pigtails and painted faces bouncy-bouncing out of a McDonalds in front of me. They were all dressed up in red, with little stripes and glitter and hearts on their cheeks. I frankly had a hard time not leering at them openly, like a dirty old man in training.

Only… once I got a good look at them — and I did; oh yes, I did — I could see that some of them weren’t… um, weren’t quite… ‘ready for prime time’, if you know what I’m saying. They weren’t just ‘young girls’ — they were young girls. Too young. Eek.

On the other hand… others in the group were more — how shall I put it? — mature. (And a couple were very mature, indeed. Very. We’re talking porn star mature here.) And then there was another gaggle, and another, and another. They were everywhere — teeny-bopping little co-eds, dressed to the nines and heading to a pep rally of some kind. Most of them seemed a bit young, but a few… well, a high school’s going to have a few eighteen-year-olds, right? A couple? One? Any? Yeah?

But the question is, which ones? Who’s safe to ogle in this situation, and who’s just some guy’s little daughter? Creepy, ain’t it?

And anyway, I guess that’s not really the question. I’m married, after all, and happily so. Quite happily — I don’t really engage in a lot of ‘window shopping of any kind. Okay, maybe occasionally — but not ‘a lot‘, all-frickin-right? I wouldn’t lie to you people.

But dammit, these were extenuating circumstances, folks. If a hundred little girlies are going to paint up their faces and skip and whoop and giggle all around me, what the hell can I do but look? It was like being on the frickin’ Man Show or something. I’m not made of stone, people.

(Though for a few minutes, there, I was composed primarily of wood. But that’s different. Little. Twisted. And different.)

Anyway, I kept on walking, and trying not to look, and wondering how many of these people were old enough to drive, much less be watched while they were shakin’ their not-yet-money makers out on the streets of Boston. But mainly, I felt like a big fat old perv, despite my best efforts, and (relatively) good intentions. When it was all said and done, I just felt dirty. So when I got home, I took a shower to try to get clean.

Can I help it if it was a cold shower, too? That doesn’t make me a bad person, right? Right?!

Act III: Are You My Car? No. Are You My Car? No. Are You My Car?…

So, I finally leave the ‘Land of the Girls Who Cannot Be Ogled (Much)’, and make my way towards my car, more than a mile away. And, of course, because annoying crap comes in threes, something else happened.

About a block into my journey, I rubbed my eye, which had been watering.

(Perhaps from the windy conditions, but I suspect it was the bouncy co-eds that were responsible for bringing a tear to my eye. Whichever.)

Anyway, I rubbed my eye. My right eye, to be exact. And without rehashing too much of what I’ve gone over before, I’m in a little bit of a bad way, eye-wise, these days. I’ve been wearing hard contact lenses for years. But a couple of weeks ago, I lost one, and am now sporting one hard, and one soft, contact. And the soft one and I don’t get along all that well. It doesn’t want to go into my eye, it doesn’t like coming out of my eye — it’s like a fricking four-year-old child. Can’t make up it’s damned mind where it wants to be. Bitches.

But at the time, said soft contact was in my eye. Again, the right eye, which I rubbed, vigorously and with much gusto. Which in turn — for the first time during my limited soft contact experience — dislodged the damned thing, and jammed it somewhere off-center on my eyeball. I knew it was still in there, somewhere — I could feel the thing sliding back into my head — but I couldn’t frigging see.

So at that point, I was basically walking around with a plastic bottle cap liner in my eye. That’s what it felt like, anyway, and it was just about as effective at helping me not run into mailboxes, and light poles, and oncoming cars. Suffice it to say that I had a rather interesting walk to the car. I think I was flipped off a few times for getting in the way of various cars and pedestrians, but honestly, it was too blurry to tell for sure. It was like it happened on network television or something. Freaky.

Eventually, I got back to my car. After standing in front of three others and trying to open them with the keyless thingy on my keychain, that is. Have you ever stood beside someone else’s car, cursing and screaming at it becuase the little button in your hand won’t unlock the door? Hmmm? Done that one? No? Well, you should try it sometime, really. It’s just loads of fun. Oh, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll set off a car alarm. Oh yeah, that’s the ultimate.

No, no, officer, it’s my car. No, I’m sure it is. I don’t know why the alarm won’t stop. No, really. This is my silver Maxima, honestly.

What? This car’s white? And it’s an Oldsmobile? Um, hmmm. Heh. Well, uh, you can see it was an honest mistake. No, no — I think those shoe dents I put in the door will hammer right out. Yeah, no problem.

Sir, no, really — look, those cuffs aren’t necessary. It’s cool. Really, I’m just having a little trouble seeing. It’s a simple misunderstanding. See, all these underage girls were skipping along in front of me and — Hey! Put that stick away! Hey! Help! Help! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

So there you have it. Just another afternoon in CharlieWorld. Hopefully just reading about it won’t infect you with my wretched disease. Frankly, I recommend you go right now and take a long shower, just to be sure you haven’t caught the cooties. Just remember, if it ends up being a cold shower, thinking about those cheerleadery chickies… well, then it’s too late. You’ve already caught the bug. You’ll be checking those server logs every twelve seconds, just like me. Only God can help you now.

Permalink  |  1 Comment



One Response to “The (Nearly) Unbearable Goofiness of Being… Charlie”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Did you just call your wood ‘little’ and ‘twisted’ and ‘different’?

    And if you see any visitors spening hours on your site now, you can blame the new categories. They make it so easy!

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