September 18, 2011

Proof That I Am Famous


Back in the days when offices had water coolers, one of the oldest water cooler jokes was this:

I looked up 'idiot' in the dictionary, and there was a picture of Fred.

(Where 'Fred', was the name of one of the office wags who happened to be standing around the water cooler.)

Get it? The little pictures they put next to definitions in the dictionary are chosen to be so iconic that if they used Fred's picture next to 'idiot', then....

Well okay, no one ever said water cooler jokes were very funny. Maybe that's why hardly any offices have water coolers anymore. And come to think of it, how many of us have an unabridged Funk & Wagnalls on our desk anymore? Or even an abridged Funk & Wagnalls?

Mr. Google has pretty much done away with the popularity of printed dictionaries. But Mr. Google has continued the tradition of posting iconic little pictures for practically anything you might want to google.

Sure, if you search Google images, there will be a gazillion photos for almost any search, but only the three or four most iconic of those show up when you're searching the whole web for something.

If you search for 'anchor', for example, Mr. Google will show you these iconic images of anchors:

Note that almost none of those looks like the kind of anchor a real sailor would be likely to have on their boat today. But they are the most perfect representations that Mr. Google could find of what the word 'anchor' means to most people. I think that's what iconic means, anyway. And Mr. Google is tireless in his search for the most perfect, the most iconic images.

So, why do I bring this up?

I thought you'd never ask.

While trundling (look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls) through Sitemeter the other day to see if anyone is still reading this blog, I made a remarkable discovery. Someone had found this blog by searching merely for Flemish coil.

So, what the hey, I thought, I'll try doing that same Google search to see if I'm on the 27th or 28th page of hits for Flemish coil. In the course of western civilization, after all, there have been other references to Flemish coils besides the ones in this blog and other photos besides my Blogger profile photo:

And, what the hey, indeed!

I was shocked - shocked, I say - to see the results!

According to Mr. Google (who is never wrong), that very profile photo - photographed on location right here on O Dock - is the second most iconic photo of a Flemish coil in the entire universe:

Do you understand the significance of that?

Since Oprah is no longer on the air, recognition by Mr. Google is the most authoritative acknowledgement that one can have of one's standing in the world!

The once ridiculed Flemish coils of O Dock - and, in particular, my Flemish coil - have finally assumed their rightful place in the entire galaxy of Flemish coils. When it comes to Flemish coils, the coils of O Dock now speak for all the world!

If you still haven't grasped the importance of this, consider that I've just used four exclamation marks in the past six paragraphs. And how often does that happen?

I'm still reeling from all of this. I'm struggling to maintain balance. I'm desperately seeking that inner peace that has guided me through so many of life's overwhelming moments.

How will I cope with this sudden international recognition? Will it affect the tenor of this blog? Will I remain the down-to-earth, humble person that I have always been? Will I continue to ask tedious rhetorical questions like this?

How could I have guessed that a casual reference I made to Flemish coils in the comments page of a now silent sailing blog - lo, so many years ago - would one day lead to such fame?

At long last, I now know there is a God.

And that He uses The Google.



  1. Aye, O, tis the immortal coil in yon images in ye googleverse!

  2. Excellent accomplishment, O-man. Your iconicality knows no end.

  3. Iconic, yes. And ironic that this revelation is unearthed smack dab in the middle of one person's self-imposed web silence. I suppose he'd have little to say about it anyway.

  4. Buccaneer Buff9/19/11, 2:39 PM


    That scurvy cove Tillerman of the brig Laser be an IP pirate - aye, that he be!

    Tip him the black spot!

  5. I don't get it.

    Here I am trying to do some shameless self-promotion and everyone starts talking like Robert Newton's idea of what pirates should sound like.

    Pirates of the Spanish Main didn't start talking like that until the 1950's, when most of them had been dead for several hundred years.

    It's more likely an English speaking pirate of the 18th century would have said something like, "Pardon me, my good man, but would you hand me that cutlass, please."

    After all, they were Englishmen.

  6. Thanks to this iconic picture, I learned that Flemish coil was a rope on O Dock and not, as I had previously thought, a Belgian hairstyle.

    Your status is well deserved.

    (of course, you will never be associated with an image of living basil on the Google)

  7. I don't know, Panda, I think it's more an English style of hat.

    Maybe this was the original hat worn by 18th century English pirates.

  8. wow wow! now i'm going to flemish coil my hair, Lido my face, and dust off my mom's pj's. And i'll have a sandwich board that will read: "This look is brought to you by ODock and Friends and Google." Not that we're really concerned about hits, not that we ever count...

  9. Come to think of it, you don't see a lot of people wearing sandwich boards anymore.

    Have the urban chic all switched to panini boards?

  10. You know what's crazy, I still have never seen your boat and its flemish coil. Even knowing the boat name, the type of boat, the dock, and having the third image for "flemish coil" on google images. Insane.

  11. The boat's still there, although looking pretty grubby these days, but the famous coil is no more.

    Mr. Neptune, in his wrath, swept across the Pacific and obliterated it.

    I wonder which of my comments was the one that set him off.