Sooner or later, everybody you Blog about reads the post. It’s because of Google, of course — everybody does a search on their own name and their friends’s names occasionally. Here’s a list of various people that have contacted me after finding various bits of this site:
- The owner of the first-ever Mozzarepa truck in NYC.
- Various former girlfriends of Kieran Downes find his M4K pictures online and want to know how they can get back in touch. Ditto for college buddies of Gerard Viau.
- A childhood friend contacted me when I named him in an early post as my junior-high-school smut-mag connection. Since that dubious honor was googling higher than his online resume, I took it down in a hurry.
- I heard from the friend of a young, Midwestern chamber-of-commerce member whose online profile I had stumbled across in my search for the Defend Brooklyn T-shirt. Since I posted the story, she had become a police officer in Detroit. This spring, she and her partner were shot and killed while sitting at an intersection. I removed the mention.
- My friend Rommel Kott Cuellar, he of the Mexican Forklift Story, who became a SWAT team member in the state of Tamaulipas and recently apprehended an FBI 10 most wanted felon. Fortunately, he didn’t seem to mind the description I gave him. Did I mention I once talked him out of buying a tiger?
- Some toad-biting indie-film promoter wrote me with some veiled threats: “I am concerned over similarities between your concept and ours.” R-i-i-i-ght, as if there wasn’t plenty of prior art on this concept. Frankly, I think it’s sour grapes because I registered my domain name a year before him, so I didn’t have to use the definite article. Nyaaah!
- Motivational speaker Anthony Robbins, who borrowed the Ultimate Water Gun, took it to Singapore, then had his personal assistants threaten to sue me when I mentioned the fact on my site. I’ve been trying to negotiate an UWG loan to a heavy-metal band in Philadelphia, in return for recording a song caled “Anthony Robbins Can Bite my Crank.” Which I’ll post, naturally.
- I heard from the “real” inventor of the Super Soaker, who was carrying on a bitter and vengeful feud with the cabal of scientists, corporate bastards, and Venusian telepaths that screwed him out of the fruits of his work.
- This weekend, I was contacted by a person who had been deeply affected by the work of Red Cross volunteer coordinator John McGee. John was the one who organized the Red Cross’ efforts to work with the thousands of New Yorkers who showed up at 66th and 7th on September 11th, offering to do something — anything — to help. I spend a couple of days helping out, mostly making copies, telling people where the blood centers were (remember the big urge to give blood?), and attending Red Cross training sessions that John led. He was funny, organized, down-to-earth, and made a big difference. I realized pretty soon that we weren’t helping John, really: it was the other way around, and he was ministering to us by helping us feel like we were doing something. Plus, I came away with some good, real-world tips. For example, Red Cross shelters can’t accept donations of prepared food, since they have to follow the same health code restrictions as restaurants. It’s a big challenge for shelter operators to politely turn away plates of brownies, apple pies, ham roasts, and casseroles prepared by people who just want to help. John’s solution? Keep a fire company handy — “those guys will eat anything and everything.”
John passed away at the end of 2001, and he’s sorely missed.