Better One Than None

Spare a thought if you will, dear reader, for the one-hit wonder. You know, the musician who rockets from obscurity into white-hot fame with a single song, and then plummets back into the abyss.

Or the typecast actor, who mutates from nobody to celebrity on the strength of one role – and can never do anything but that role ever again.

Imagine what it must feel like to spend years working at a craft only to discover that one thing, and one thing only, makes a splash with an audience.

Like when you discover that a large chunk of the page views on your blog tracks to a single entry, and more specifically to the one picture on that single entry.

I have no idea why centipedes, the subject of that one picture, have become so popular all of a sudden. Perhaps a whole lot of college students are facing midterms in invertebrate zoology. Or perhaps a pack of young Calvins are collecting objects for their G.R.O.S.S.-club initiation rites. Whatever the reason, increasing numbers of people lately have been hitting on that picture. (I doubt they’re actually reading the post it’s on.)

And Google has been helping. As of this writing (15 April 2009), a websearch on both the text and the image functions of Google will call up the image in question. Over the last several weeks, the image has been progressing ever nearer to the top of the list.

However it is that Google decides such things. Probably by hit counts.

Which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, because everyone knows that the nearer you get to the top of a list, the more likely people are to check you out. Which is how come you see companies with names like AAAAAAAAardvark Service Services Inc. in the Yellow Pages.

(Let’s pause a moment while the under-twentysomethings out there do a websearch on “yellow pages”, and ensure themselves that this is not a synonym for “yellow snow“.)

I considered trying to capitalize on this trend by making this blog “all centipedes, all the time”. But I reasoned that it probably wouldn’t work. Just like Chubby Checker trying to sell reworked versions of The Twist over and over and over again didn’t work.

Not that the idea is completely without merit. For I discovered, while trying to figure out just what was going on with this apparent centipede craze, that a bunch of the images posted online under the name “centipede” are actually millipedes, or caterpillars, or sawfly larvae, or, well, who knows what else.

And even when the picture is matched correctly to the name, errors remain. Consider this quote from the Wikipedia page on centipedes:

Some species of centipedes can be hazardous to humans because of their bite. Although a bite to an adult human may only be painful, those with allergies that are similar to that of bee stings and small children are at greater risk.

So I guess that means, if you’re allergic to small children, don’t come to Hawai‘i, the centipedes will get you.

I don’t think the Chamber of Commerce is going to like that idea.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. Well then I hope I stay at the bottom of the list, which in all likelihood I will. Kill a centipede Love a child I always say and in between who cares what the Chamber of Commerce thinks 🙂

  2. I am warned. Funny, a few weeks ago I checked my hit counter and there were (by my standards) a lot of recent hits (maybe 80 over two days.) I checked the referrers and there had been a flurry of searches along the lines of “Ambrose Bierce Definition Discussion.” I’m dying to know what made people so eager to find Bierce’s definition of “Discussion” but I’m more eager to know how they felt discovering he didn’t write one.

  3. Let’s pause a moment while the under-twentysomethings out there do a websearch on “yellow pages”, and ensure themselves that this is not a synonym for “yellow snow“

    Now this I found funny, but you are right, they’d have to Google Search it.

    On Hit Wonders ~ Who can ever forget Millie Small.

  4. You’re not getting out of this that easy, Quilly. :*

    Thom, remember, this is Hawai‘ian native wildlife we’re talkin’ about. If Al Gore hears about this …

    Et tu, Walela? Maybe a college prof sent his salary justifications students out on a mission to discuss the PC quotient of the Devil’s Dictionary.

    I trust that Albertan Googlers know enough to watch where the huskies go, Bill.

    “Millie Small” reminds me of the woman in the gospel of Mark (14:3-9) who poured the jar of ointment on Jesus’s head – perhaps because she didn’t have the option of telling Jesus that he desperately needed a shower. To be told that what she had done would forever be told in memory of … um … whatshername.

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