On Coming into the 4,000 Follower Membership

My Dream Date With Queen Amina of Zazzau

As I entered the WordPress locker room on the finish of one other lengthy day of running a blog, one thing appeared . . . amiss to me. And never the form of miss that turns right into a Mrs. when she will get married.

No, as an alternative of the same old banter and horseplay there was a low murmur after which, once I crossed beneath the lintel over which hung the inspirational signal that mentioned “Dare to be nice in the present day–or at the least silly”–there was solely silence.

I nodded at my fellow bloggers and regarded into their eyes to see if I might discern what, precisely, was up. After which it hit me–an ice chilly bucket of Gatorade poured over my head from behind by two guys who’re identified to me solely by their display names–“Wasted in Worcester” and “Ratso123.”

“Congratulations, you mook!” Ratso shouted.

“What–what’s this all about?” I mentioned, blinking again the orange re-hydrating liquid from my eyes.

“You simply hit 4,000 followers!” Wasted mentioned.

At this level I might attempt to snow you with “aw shucks” false modesty however the reality is, I knew I’d been creeping up on this necessary milestone for purveyors of on-line bullshit for a very long time. I’d simply been distracted by the inconveniences and irritations of a cross-country flight and had forgotten to test my “stats” once I bought residence at 1:30 within the morning. I’d been caught on 3,999 for fairly some time, and I used to be starting to marvel if I’d ever hit 4 grand, a watershed that divided the merely good from the greats. I knew I nonetheless had a protracted method to go to qualify for a kind of running a blog “awards” that you simply click on on and infect your pc with a Russian virus, however I allowed myself a teeny-tiny nanosecond of satisfaction.

After I began running a blog in 2006, my spouse had expressed her issues. “Are you positive somebody gained’t attempt to steal your identification?” she requested, her brow creased with wrinkles of concern.

“You’re the one who’s all the time telling me I’ve no character–why would anybody attempt to steal my identification?”

A good friend named Tom–who is just not a lawyer–raised a authorized concern. “You higher watch it,” he mentioned, shaking his head. “You libel someone you’re going to be in bother.”

“To not fear,” I replied. “The whole lot I write might be both the reality–which is a protection–or fiction. What might probably go improper once I deal with each classes with scrupulous equity?”

I’d proved these naysayers improper; fifteen years later–$0 paid out in claims, and just one vaguely threatening remark from a man in Milan once I cracked an outdated joke of the “What’s the distinction between [_______] and an elephant?” selection. With “an Italian grandmother” within the clean area.


I’ve acquired fairly quite a few spectacular followers, each particular person and company (thanks, Metrowest Flooring and Carpet!), within the final decade and a half. There was “Donut Woman,” a lady who likes to festoon herself America’s with favourite breakfast snack. There are residents of third-world nations who thank me for the insights I’ve given them about American tradition and mores, simply in case they ever resolve to come back right here illegally and don’t wish to be arrested by overzealous immigration officers. And there are the numerous, many ladies with disproportionately massive mammary glands whose profile footage are selfies taken whereas wanting of their rest room mirrors–what might be extra arousing?

In fact, there might be items for Ms. 4,000 (I can’t disclose her title till she indicators the authorized launch) of the type which can be given to comfort prize winners on TV recreation reveals: a house model of “Gerbil Information Community,” a yr’s provide of Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks, 100 kilos of modeling clay, a bundle of Roseland lard, and so forth. Sorry in the event you missed out, at my present tempo the subsequent spherical of giveaways might be someday in 2024-25 once I hit follower quantity 5,000. I don’t imply hit hit, most likely simply Tase the man or gal.


Whereas the satisfaction of reaching this milestone is greater than sufficient compensation, I feel it’s truthful for me to count on the type of coals-to-Newcastle ceremony sometimes held for a baseball participant who wins his three hundredth recreation, or strokes his 3,000th hit. Fer Christ sake, everybody went nuts when Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s report of two,one hundred and thirtieth consecutive video games performed–and I’ve bought Ripken beat by 1,368! Typical items given by working-stiff followers to millionaire athletes who attain an end-of-career landmark like mine are: (a) new automobile, (b) rocking chair, and (c) high-powered motorboat. FYI–I already personal a rocking chair.

As a author, the 4,000 follower credential is one which I’m instructed is necessary to literary brokers, who spend their days saying they’re unavailable once I name. Now I can dial up Miriam Drykesworth of Drykesworth Literary or Clive Barker of The Barker Company and, earlier than their assistants put me on maintain, rattle off my “quals,” which is brief for “{qualifications},” not “Quaaludes,” the artificial, barbiturate-like central nervous system depressant and in style leisure drug.

“Is he/she anticipating your name?” is the gag they’ve all the time pulled on me up to now, however I’m not going to take that for a solution any extra.

“What taste would you like–orange, cherry, or lemon-lime?


“Younger man/woman,” I’m going to say any more, “I’ve 4 thousand followers.”

“Wow, that’s spectacular,” the tyro will reply. “Jim Jones solely talked a thousand individuals into consuming Kool-Support.”

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